The latest work-life information at IU
           
   


No. 36
October 2005


University Human Resource Services
www.indiana.edu/~uhrs

Inside this Issue:

 

 

The Informed Employee is published 2-3 times a year by University Human Resource Services for approximately 16,000 full-time appointed staff and academic employees across the eight Indiana University campuses.

University
Human Resource
Services
Indiana University
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47405-3085

  Annual Open Enrollment

Once a year, full-time employees have the opportunity to make changes in medical, dental, and Personal Accident Insurance coverages and to enroll in the university’s Tax Saver Benefit (TSB) Plan pre-tax reimbursement accounts.

If an employee does not take any enrollment actions during Open Enrollment, participation in medical, dental, and Personal Accident Insurance will remain the same at the 2006 contribution rates. If an employee does not enroll in a TSB reimbursement account, he/she will not be a participant in 2006.

Participation in the university’s TSB plan requires enrollment each year to take advantage of pre-tax reimbursement of health and dependent care expenses. Employees do not need to be enrolled in an IU-sponsored health plan to take advantage of the TSB plan.

The Open Enrollment period takes place during November of each year, with enrollment changes becoming effective on January 1. This is an opportunity to:

  • Select a different medical plan or drop a plan.
  • Add or drop dependents.
  • Add or drop dental coverage (if eligible).
  • Add, drop, or change Personal Accident Insurance.
  • Allocate contributions for pre-tax reimbursement of 2006 health care and/or dependent care expenses (TSB).

An Open Enrollment packet with additional information and enrollment forms will be sent to full-time appointed employees early in November through campus mail. The deadline for submitting Open Enrollment forms is November 18, 2005.

Eligibility provisions for enrolling dependents in IU-sponsored medical and dental plans are at the University Human Resource Services Web site at
www.indiana.edu/~uhrs/benefits/needknow.html. These provisions will also be available in the Open Enrollment packet.

 

Important Notice Required by Federal Law
Prescription Drug Coverage and Medicare

Employers, like Indiana University, are required to provide notice to employees about the new Medicare prescription drug coverage available January 1, 2006.

  • Starting January 1, 2006, new Medicare prescription drug coverage will be available to everyone with Medicare. This coverage is referred to as Medicare Part D.

  • The prescription drug coverages in IU-sponsored employee medical plans—IU PPO-Plus, IU PPO $900 Deductible, Blue Preferred POS, and M-Plan HMO— are, on average for all plan participants, expected to pay out as much as the new standard Medicare prescription drug coverage.

  • Because IU-sponsored coverage is on average at least as good as standard Medicare prescription drug coverage, plan participants would not pay a penalty to enroll in Medicare coverage later—as long as their Medicare prescription plan enrollment takes place within 63 days of ceasing IU-sponsored coverage. (This rule is similar to the current rule about enrolling without penalty in Medicare Part B.)

  • If after May 15, 2006, a Medicare-eligible individual goes 63 days or longer without prescription drug coverage that’s at least as good as Medicare’s prescription drug coverage—monthly Medicare premiums will go up. The amount of increase will be at least 1 percent per month for every month after May 15, 2006, for which there was no coverage. For example, if a Medicare-eligible individual goes nineteen months without coverage, the premium will always be at least 19 percent higher than what most other people pay. This higher premium will be in effect as long as Medicare coverage is in effect. In addition, after a 63-day lapse of coverage, the individual may have to wait until the next November to enroll in Medicare.

Go to www.indiana.edu/~uhrs/benefits/needknow.html to learn more about Medicare part D coverage.

 

Tobacco Use and Health
The Price of Smoking

Is it really worth $40 per pack to smoke cigarettes? According to Duke University health economists, $40 is the real cost that a 24-year-old smoker should consider each time he or she purchases a pack of cigarettes. This amounts to $220,000 for men and $106,000 for women who smoke over their lifetimes. Of the nearly $40-per-pack cost, the smoker bears $33. The remaining costs are borne by the smoker’s family ($5 per pack) and by society ($1 per pack).

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine book review of The Price of Smoking.

Next article: 2006 Health Care Plans


UNIVERSITY HUMAN RESOURCE SERVICES
Last updated: 27 September 2005
URL: http://www.indiana.edu/~uhrs/
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