Indiana University is expected to spend over $169 million on employees’ healthcare benefits during the new fiscal year. Continued increases in this expenditure could jeopardize the University’s academic and research missions. As a result, the University has made it a priority to find ways to contain rising healthcare costs.
The IU Health Engagement Program is intended to improve the health of employees and spouses/domestic partners, effecting future containment of healthcare rate increases. The program will be phased in over a three-year period beginning January 2011. This article describes Phases 1 and 2. A booklet explaining these two phases in detail will be sent to employee home addresses in early August.
For each phase, an additional premium will be added to the base medical premium amount according to employees’ salary level. This new program also includes an incentives component that allows for a full or partial reduction of the additional premium. Employees and covered spouses will have the opportunity to reduce or eliminate the additional premium by completing specific Health Engagement activities. If all activities are completed the employee pays only the base premium amount.
To summarize, the medical plan premium will consist of two amounts:
- The base premium will continue to be established for each level of coverage (Employee Only, Employee/Spouse, Employee/Child, Family) just as it has in the past. This premium does not vary by salary level; and,
- The additional premium in each phase will vary by salary level and can be reduced or eliminated by participating in Health Engagement activities.
Base premium amounts will be announced in Open Enrollment materials in October.
Revisions to IU’s Overtime policy became effective May 16, 2010. The essential change is that the University will primarily only count time worked in determining an employee’s eligibility for overtime pay. Time off with pay no longer counts as time worked, with the following exceptions: hours applied to Adverse Weather (WTH), Adverse Working Conditions (ADW), Emergency Rest Time (ERT), Holiday (including HOL and HTK), and Injury on the Job (INJ). Other details include the following:
- Categories of paid time off that do not count in determining overtime pay include: Vacation, Income Protection (sick time), PTO, and compensatory time off.
- When an employee uses paid time off charged to any of the above categories (Vacation, Income Protection, PTO, etc.), there may be hours worked outside of the employee’s regular schedule that do not qualify to be paid as overtime. These hours worked will be compensated at a straight-time rate, either in the form of pay or compensatory time off at the department’s choice.
- In units that permit flexible or alternate work schedules, adjustments may occur in the number of hours applied to time off in a week. If a department has approved a flexible scheduling option—or an arrangement is made prior to taking time off—the amount of time applied to Vacation, Income Protection, PTO, or absent-without-pay time may be reduced so that the total time off and time worked equals 40 hours in the week.
- Premium pay provisions, such as call-back pay, stand-by pay, change of workdays without a 5-day notice, etc., are not affected by this change in the Overtime policy and remain at current rates.
The Overtime policy is at hr.iu.edu/policies/uwide/overtime.html.
Personnel policies related to the employment of Hourly employees have been modified to clarify which Hourly positions receive retirement benefits and the maximum number of hours an Hourly employee can work in a calendar year. (Hourly employees are generally defined as temporary or seasonal employees who are not in a budgeted position.)
There are two categories of Hourly employees:
- those employed for less than 1,000 hours in a calendar year (no retirement benefits), and
- those employed from 1,000 to 1,929 hours in a calendar year (with retirement benefits)
All hours worked for Indiana University in a calendar year in all positions are counted in determining when and if the 1,000-hour and 1,929-hour thresholds are reached.
- Individuals will be employed in Hourly positions (no retirement benefits) when the need for the position is for less than 1,000 hours in a calendar year.
- If an Hourly employee works or is expected to work from 1,000 to 1,929 hours in a calendar year, then an Hourly with Retirement (HRP) position must be established.
- Hourly employees are not permitted to work more than 1,929 hours in a calendar year. If an Hourly employee reaches this limit, the employee must discontinue working for the remainder of the calendar year.
- If the need for the position is for 1,930 or more hours in a calendar year, then a Staff position must be established, if approved by RC and campus officials, and filled following normal University policies.
Policies for Hourly Positions, Filling Hourly Positions, and Establishing a Staff Position can be found under the Personnel Policies tab at www.hr.iu.edu.
Prevalence of cigarette use among children and teens in the U.S. is less than it was ten years ago but it is still higher than that of adults. Parents are the key in preventing a child’s tobacco use. Parents must take the lead not just once or occasionally, but in the context of a series of conversations that take place as a child learns and grows. Start the dialog about tobacco at age 5 or 6 and continue through the high school years. Many kids start using tobacco by age 11, and many are addicted by age 14.
Kids who use tobacco:
- Are more likely to use alcohol and other drugs
- Become addicted to tobacco and find it extremely hard to quit
- Cough and have asthma attacks more often and develop respiratory problems, leading to more sick days, more doctor bills, and poorer athletic performance
Despite the impact of movies, music, and TV, parents can be the greatest influence in their kids’ lives.
- Talk directly to children about the risks of tobacco use; if friends or relatives died from tobacco-related illnesses, let kids know.
- Don’t use tobacco in the presence of children; don’t offer it to them; and don’t leave it where they can easily get it.
- Know if a child’s friends use tobacco and talk about ways to refuse it.
- Discuss the false glamorization of tobacco on billboards and in other media.
Summarized from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention