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Discussion Points

2014 SPECIAL SUMMER HEALTH INSURANCE DEDUCTIONS
2014 HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION TRANSFER PERIOD
2014 HEALTH INSURANCE OPT OUT PROGRAM
2013 SUNY PERKS HOLIDAY SAVINGS FAIR
2014 TAX-DEFERRED CONTRIBUTIONS - SUNY VOLUNTARY SAVINGS PLAN
2014 PRODUCTIVITY ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM (PEP)
2014 SUNY VOLUNTARY SAVINGS PLAN UNIVERSAL AVAILABILITY NOTICE
HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE - FOR ACTIVE EMPLOYEES
2014 NYS FLEX SPENDING ACCOUNT OPEN ENROLLMENT
UUP - SPECIAL OPTION TRANSFER PERIOD 2013
ENHANCED FLU VACCINE BENEFIT - EMPIRE PLAN ONLY
HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION TRANSFER PERIOD FOR PLAN YEAR 2013
OPT OUT PROGRAM (APSU/PBANYS, CSEA, M/C, NYSCOPBA, PEF)
NEW CAMPUS REPRESENTATIVE FOR TIAA-CREF
COVERING YOUR YOUNG ADULT DEPENDENT
YOUNG ADULT OPTION 

2014 SPECIAL SUMMER HEALTH INSURANCE DEDUCTIONS

Employees who receive their salary in less than 26 paychecks must have extra health insurance deductions taken prior to their removal from the payroll to pay for coverage during the summer months.  All extra deductions will be taken before the employee goes off the payroll for the summer.

Extra deductions, in addition to your regular health insurance deduction will be taken.  The paychecks impacted by the special deductions will be as follows:

Part-time Employees that receive 20 paychecks

Check Date                Deductions

5/07/2014                    2 extra deductions for 6/18 & 7/2

5/21/2014                    2 extra deductions for 7/16 & 7/30

6/04/2014                    2 extra deductions for 8/13 & 8/27

 

Full-time Employees that receive 21 paychecks

Check Date                Deductions

5/21/2014                    2 extra deductions for 7/2 & 7/16

6/04/2014                    2 extra deductions for 7/30 & 8/13

6/18/2014                    2 extra deductions for 8/27 & 9/10


2014 HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION TRANSFER PERIOD

The New York State Health Insurance Choices Booklet and Plan Rates have been released for Plan Year 2014.  Here is all the relevant information:

  • The NYSHIP Option Transfer Period 2014 ends December 31, 2013.
  • To make changes to your health insurance plan, complete the  PS 404 - NYS Health Insurance Transaction Form.
  • Forms must be submitted to Human Resources by December 31, 2013. (Close of business).
  • Health Coverage for Plan Year 2014 will be effective January 2, 2014.
  • The earliest paycheck in which a deduction change will be made is the check of December 31, 2013. (If you change plans, because of processing time, most paycheck changes will be made later in January and will include retroactive adjustments for coverage beginning January 2, 2014.)
  • No action is required if you wish to keep your current health insurance option and you still qualify for your current plan.

I encourage you to complete the option transfer forms as soon as possible. This will help to avoid retroactive premium adjustments and should allow you to receive new health plan identification cards timely. Choices 2014, a summary of health insurance plans, and Rates and Deadlines are available at:   Health Insurance.

Useful Links and Information

Choices Book 2014:

Choices 2014 Settled (CSEA, M/C, PEF, APSU/PBANYS, NYSCOPBA, UUP)

Local Plan Rates 2014:

Local Plan Rate Chart 2014

Choosing the health insurance plan to cover your needs and the needs of your family requires careful research. As with most important purchases, there is more to consider than cost. The first step in making a good choice is to understand the similarities and the differences between your NYSHIP options. There are two types of health insurance plans available to you under NYSHIP: The Empire Plan and NYSHIP Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). The Empire Plan is available to all employees. Specific NYSHIP HMOs are available in the various geographic areas of New York State. Depending on where you live or work, one or several NYSHIP HMOs will be available to you. The Empire Plan and NYSHIP HMOs are similar in many ways, but also have important differences. In addition to reviewing the Choices 2014 booklet for co-pay costs, read through the booklet for helpful information that highlight differences in your available health plan choices. 

NYSHIP Online – For more information.

SUNY Benefits Website


2014 HEALTH INSURANCE OPT OUT PROGRAM

OVERVIEW:

Effective January 2, 2014, the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) will again offer the Opt-out Program.  This program allows eligible employees, who have other employer sponsored group health insurance, to opt-out of their NYSHIP coverage in exchange for an incentive payment. 

Other employer sponsored group health insurance coverage means coverage through employment other than employment with the Executive, Legislative or Judicial branch of New York State government, including the State University of New York. Therefore, if the other coverage is through a NYS employee or retiree, the employee is not eligible for the Opt-out.

 

ELIGIBILITY:
To be eligible for the Opt-out Program, an employee must meet the eligibility criteria below to receive the incentive payment:

  • The employee must currently participate in the Opt-out Program; or
  • The employee must have been enrolled in NYSHIP, continuously and in his/her own right, as a State employee, on April 1, 2013 or on the date first eligible for NYSHIP if that date is after April 1, 2013, through the end of the plan year for all periods of time for which the employee is eligible for employee-share premium; and
  • The employee must provide plan information and attest to having other employer sponsored group health insurance coverage in effect as of the Opt-out effective date.

 

INCENTIVE PAYMENTS:
The annual incentive amount for opting out of NYSHIP coverage is $1,000 for Individual coverage or $3,000 for Family coverage. The incentive payments will be prorated and reimbursed through the employee's biweekly paychecks throughout the year (payable only when an employee is on the payroll and meets the requirements to be eligible for the State to contribute to the cost of NYSHIP coverage).

The incentive amount will be credited to the employee's bi-weekly payroll check and will be treated as taxable income. The bi-weekly incentive amounts will be $38.47 for opting out of Individual coverage ($1,000/26 paychecks) or $115.39 for opting out of Family coverage ($3,000/26 paychecks).

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

Employees Currently Participating in the Opt-out Program:  Employees currently participating in the Opt-out Program will receive a notice from the NYS Employee Benefits Division regarding Opt-out for Plan Year 2014.  Current participating employees will need to submit form PS-404 - Health Insurance Transaction Form to Human Resources, Doty 318, electing the Opt-out Program and the PS-409 - the Opt-out Attestation FormThese forms will need to be submitted during the Annual Option Transfer Period which ends December 31st, 2013; if the forms are not received timely, employee's payment will end with the last bi-weekly payroll check for plan year 2013.

Opting-out for Employees Currently Enrolled in NYSHIP in a Health Insurance Option:   Employees who are currently enrolled in NYSHIP and wish to participate in the Opt-out Program must elect to opt out during the Annual Option Transfer Period and must complete a PS-409 - Opt-out Attestation Form and a PS-404 - Health Insurance Transaction Form. The actual effective date of the Opt-out (i.e., the date NYSHIP coverage will no longer be in effect) will be January 2, 2014.


2013 SUNY PERKS HOLIDAY SAVINGS FAIR

SUNY is hosting a Holiday Savings Fair!

SUNY has negotiated great offers with hundreds of manufactures, retailers, and brands to compete for your business.  The goal of SUNY is to bring you and your family the best pricing and broadest selection for the holidays.

Fair starts Friday November 29th and runs through Tuesday December 24th.
There are hundreds of special deals just for Perk members - not available to the general public
Featured savings categories every three days

Login/register at SUNY Perks to Start Saving!
http://suny.corporateperks.com
Company Code:  sunycp

More information regarding the Perks program go to: http://www.suny.edu/benefits/discounts/employees.cfm
SUNY Perks Card Program - enables members of the SUNY family to save money on many of their everyday local purchases, including:  dining, retail, auto services, pet needs, home services, health & beauty, fitness, recreation, travel, entertainment and much more!


2014 PRODUCTIVITY ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM (PEP)

Overview:

The Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) for 2014 allows eligible employees to exchange previously accrued annual leave (vacation accruals) and/or personal leave in return for a credit to be applied toward their employee share of NYSHIP premiums on a bi-weekly basis.  In no case can the credit available under the program be applied to the employer share of NYSHIP premiums.

Enrollment:

The enrollment period for the 2014 plan year is now through November 29, 2013.

Return completed enrollment forms to Human Resources/Payroll Services, Doty 318 by close of business on November 29, 2013.

Forms:

CSEA, PEF, M/C Classified Enrollment Form – Click Here

UUP Enrollment Form – Click Here

M/C Professional Enrollment Form – Click Here

 

CSEA, PEF, M/C Classified (NU 2, 3, 5 & 6): 

Eligibility:

  • For CSEA and PEF represented employees, in the Executive branch in a title at Salary Grade 24 or below or equated to a position at or below Salary Grade 24;
  • For M/C employees in the Executive branch in a title at Salary Grade 23 or below or equated to a position at or below Salary Grade 23.
  • Have a minimum combined balance of annual and personal leave of at least 8 days after making the forfeiture; and
  • Be a NYSHIP enrollee (contract holder) in either the Empire Plan or an HMO at the time of enrollment.

CSEA, PEF, M/C Classified (For full plan description – click here):

Full-time employees, CSEA, PEF, M/C Classified in Salary Grades (SG) 1–17 (or NS 1-17, or employees with an annual salary rate no greater than job rate of SG 17) who enroll in the program may elect to forfeit a total of either 3 days (22.5 or 24 hours for 37.5 and 40 hour workweeks, respectively) or 6 days (45 or 48 hours for 37.5 and 40 hour workweeks, respectively) of annual and/or personal leave standing to their credit at the time of enrollment in return for a credit of up to either $500 or $1000, respectively, for the 2014 program year to be applied toward the employee share of NYSHIP premiums deducted from biweekly paychecks during the program year, January 1–December 31, 2014.

UUP (NU 8):

Eligibility:

  • Be employed on a Calendar Year or College Year basis;
  • Be a full-time employee with an annual salary below $90,022 OR part-time employee with an annual full-time equivalent salary below $90,022;
  • Be an employee covered by the 2011-16 New York State/UUP Collective Bargaining Agreement;
  • Be a NYSHIP enrollee (contract holder) in either the Empire Plan or an HMO;
  • Be eligible to receive an employer contribution toward NYSHIP premiums (or be on leave without pay from a position in which the employee is normally eligible for an employer share contribution toward NYSHIP premiums); and
  • Have a sufficient annual leave balance to make the full leave forfeiture without bringing their annual leave balance below 8 days or a prorated balance for part-time employees respectively

UUP (For full plan description – click here):

Eligible full-time employees with an annual salary of $62,998 and below who enroll in PEP for the 2014 plan year will forfeit a total of 3 days of annual leave at the time of enrollment in return for a credit of up to $500 to be applied toward the employee share of NYSHIP premiums.  Additionally, eligible full-time employees earning more than $62,998 and below $90,022 who enroll in PEP for the 2014 plan year will forfeit a total of two days of annual leave at the time of enrollment in return for a credit of up to $500 to be applied toward the employee share of NYSHIP premiums.  Eligible part-time employees who enroll in PEP will forfeit annual leave on a prorated basis in accordance with their payroll/employment percentage in return for a prorated credit. 

The credit will be divided evenly among the pay periods in the 2014 plan year to offset the cost of the enrollee’s employee share of the NYSHIP premium, up to the total biweekly employee premium cost.  The biweekly value of the credit will NOT be adjusted for enrollees who do not pay all biweekly employee share deductions during the plan year. Therefore, employees who do not expect to make all employee share premium payments during a plan year may not wish to participate in that plan year.

M/C Professional (NU 13):

Eligibility:

  • Be employed on a Calendar Year or College Year basis;
  • Be a full-time employee with an annual salary no greater than $77,454 at the time of enrollment OR part-time employee whose annual salary rate does not exceed $77,454;
  • Be a NYSHIP enrollee (contract holder) in either the Empire Plan or an HMO;
  • Be eligible to receive an employer contribution toward NYSHIP premiums (or be on leave without pay from a position in which the employee is normally eligible for an employer share contribution toward NYSHIP premiums);and
  • Have a sufficient annual leave balance to make the full leave forfeiture without bringing their annual leave balance below 8 days or a prorated balance for part-time employees respectively

M/C Professional (For full plan description – click here):

In the 2014 plan year, eligible full-time employees earning up to $59,312 who enroll will forfeit a total of either 3 days of Annual leave at the time of enrollment in return for a credit of up to $500, or a total of 6 days for a credit of up to $1,000.  Additionally, eligible full-time employees earning more than $59,312 and up to $77,454 who enroll will forfeit a total of either 2 days of Annual leave at the time of enrollment in return for a credit of up to $500, or a total of 4 days for a credit of up to $1,000.  All eligible part-time employees who enroll in PEP will forfeit Annual leave on a prorated basis in accordance with their payroll/employment percentage in return for a prorated credit.  This credit will be applied to the biweekly employee share NYSHIP premium deductions paid for the 2014 NYSHIP plan year.

The credit will be divided and distributed over 26 pay checks issued in 2014 and applied toward the biweekly premium payments required for coverage under NYSHIP in that plan year, up to the biweekly cost of the enrollee’s employee share of NYSHIP premium.  The biweekly value of the credit will NOT be adjusted for enrollees who do not pay all biweekly employee share deductions during the plan year. Therefore, employees who do not expect to make all employee share premium payments during a plan year may not wish to participate in that plan year.


2014 SUNY VOLUNTARY SAVINGS PLAN UNIVERSAL AVAILABILITY NOTICE

The State University of New York (“SUNY”) provides employees with the opportunity to save for their retirement through the SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan (the “Plan”).  Participation in the SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan is a great way to build your retirement savings and reduce current taxes. 

Whether you want to enroll in the plan for the first time, or you are already enrolled but wish to change the amount of your deferral, you can accomplish your goal by filling out a “Salary Reduction Agreement” form.  You can obtain a copy of the Salary Reduction Agreement and information on the plan from the SUNY Benefits Web Site.

Eligibility

All employees of SUNY who receive compensation reportable on an IRS Form W-2 are eligible to participate in the plan. 

Please take a moment to review the plan materials before enrolling. Once you are enrolled, you can review and change the amount of your contributions as often as once per pay period by submitting a new Salary Reduction Agreement form.  The exact date your investment allocations will take effect may vary depending upon the policies of the Investment Provider managing the investment options you chose for Plan contributions.

The Tax-Deferred Plans listed below provide a way for you to contribute to a retirement account on a pre-tax basis through payroll deduction.  Your contributions, plus earnings are not taxed until you withdraw the funds.  Usually this will be during your retirement, when your income may fall within a lower tax bracket.

How Much Can I Contribute?

For 2014 you can contribute up to $17,500 per year.

If you are age 50 or older anytime in 2014, you can contribute an additional $5,500 to your tax-deferred account, for a maximum of $23,000.

 If you have worked for SUNY for more than 15 years you may be eligible to contribute up to an additional $3,000.  To do this you must obtain a calculation from your Investment Provider indicating that you are eligible to defer the additional amount.  Please send the calculation along with a new Salary Reduction Agreement indicating the annual amount to be contributed to the Human Resources/Payroll Services Office, Doty 318.

 Each participant only gets one limit for contributions to all 403(b) plans, so if you are also a participant in a 403(b) plan of another employer, your combined contributions to that plan and to the SUNY Tax Deferred Annuity Plan in 2014 are generally limited to $17,500.  If you do participate in more than one 403(b) plan, you are responsible for tracking and reporting the amount of all of your contributions to the plans so that the total amount of all your contributions to all plans in which you participate do not exceed the limit. Note also that the sum of all of your contributions, and those of your employers, to all 403(b) plans that you participate in are generally limited to the lesser of $52,000 or 100% of your compensation in 2014.

State employees are able to maximize contributions to both the SUNY Tax-Deferred Savings Plans 403(b) and the NYS Deferred Compensation 457 Plan concurrently.

What Do I Need to Do?

If you are enrolling in a plan for the first time, you will need to complete the appropriate Investment Provider enrollment materials in addition to a Salary Reduction Agreement Form.

 If you are currently enrolled and wish to contribute the same BI-WEEKLY amount in 2014, no action on your part is necessary unless you are currently contributing additional monies under the Age 50 or “15 year catch-up rule outlined above.  Please check your pay stub to be sure your current bi-weekly contribution (Code 404, 408 or 415) multiplied by the number of pay periods in the year does not exceed the allowable 2013 limit.

Please be mindful that if you made a change mid year, you will need to make sure that your current biweekly amount will result in the correct annual amount you want deferred for 2013.

To change the amount you are now contributing, please complete a new Salary Reduction Agreement Form and return it to the Human Resources/Payroll Services Office, Doty 318.


HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE - FOR ACTIVE EMPLOYEES

The Health Insurance Marketplace, commonly known as the Health Insurance Exchange, was created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Federal Healthcare reform).

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?

The Marketplace is designed to help you find health insurance that meets your needs and fits your budget.  The Marketplace offers “one stop shopping” to find and compare private health insurance options.  You may also be eligible for a new kind of tax credit that lowers your monthly premium right away.  Open Enrollment for health insurance coverage through the Marketplace begins October 1, 2013 for coverage starting as early as January 1, 2014.

Does Employer Health Coverage Affect Eligibility for Premium Savings through the Marketplace?

Yes.  If you have an offer of health coverage from your employer that meets certain standards, you will not be eligible for a tax credit through the Marketplace and may wish to enroll in your employer’s health plan.  However, you may be eligible for a tax credit that lowers your monthly premium, or a reduction in certain cost – sharing if your employer does not offer coverage to you at all or does not offer coverage that meets certain standards.  If the cost of a plan from your employer that would cover you (and not any other members of your family) is more than 9.5% of your household income for the year, or if the coverage your employer provides does not meet the “minimum value” standard set by the Affordable Care Act, you may be eligible for a tax credit¹.

 

Note:  Because the State provides very comprehensive benefits and pays a high percentage of the cost of coverage, the vast majority of State employees who are eligible for NYSHIP coverage will not be able to obtain lower cost coverage under the Marketplace. A customer service representative for The Marketplace can be reached at 1-855-355-5777.

If you purchase a health plan through the Marketplace instead of accepting health coverage offered by your employer, then you may lose the employer contribution (if any) to the employer-offered coverage.  Also, this employer contribution-as well as your employee contribution to employer-offered coverage-is often excluded from income for Federal and State income tax purposes.  Your payments for coverage through the Marketplace are made on an after-tax basis.

How Can I get More Information:

More information about the Marketplace can be found at http://www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov or https://www.healthcare.gov.  NYSHIP's General Information Book provides details of the coverage provided to employees.  It can be access by clicking here.

¹An employer-sponsored health plan meets the “minimum value standard” if the plan’s share of the total allowed benefit costs covered by the plan is no less than 60% of such costs.


2014 NYS Flex Spending Account Open ENrollment

Open Enrollment Period: 

Enrollment begins on September 30th, 2013 and ends November 8th, 2013.

Please Note:
If you are currently enrolled in a Flex Spending Account for plan year 2013, you must re-enroll to continue participation for plan year 2014.

 

What is the FSA?

The Flex Spending Account (FSA) is a state employee benefit that saves you money by allowing you to pay for certain expenses with pre-tax dollars. Under this program, you can choose two benefits:

  • The Health Care Spending Account (HCSAccount) currently lets you set aside any amount from $100 up to $2,500 for the 2014 tax year to pay for health care expenses that are not reimbursed by your health insurance or other benefit plan. However, only medically necessary medical, hospital, dental, vision, hearing, and prescription drug expenses for you, your spouse, and your eligible dependents can be reimbursed by your HCSAccount. The maximum contribution may be subject to change annually since it is indexed to inflation.
  • The Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAAccount) allows your family to set aside up to $5,000 in pre-tax salary for eligible child care, elder care, or disabled dependent care expenses that are necessary for you and your spouse, if you are married, to work.

Who is eligible to enroll?

Employees who wish to enroll in the HCSAccount must:

  • be either permanently employed or expect to be employed for the entire calendar year in which they plan to enroll in the HCSAccount (employees who work on a semester or school year basis are also eligible)
  • be annual-salaried
  • work at least half-time
  • meet the eligibility criteria for enrollment in the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) and
  • be either M/C or represented by CSEA, PEF, UUP, NYSCOPBA, Council 82, PBANYS, DC-37, PBA, or NYSPIA.

Casual, seasonal, hourly, per diem, fee-basis, and session employees, as well as retirees, are not eligible to enroll in the HCSAccount. Employees of the SUNY Research Foundation and HRI are not eligible to enroll in either the HCSAccount or DCAAccount.

How to Apply?

Apply online with an easy paperless application process

  • It is easy to enroll in the Flex Spending Account. Just submit your application for enrollment in either or both programs online at www.flexspend.ny.gov. If you do not have access to the Internet, apply by telephone at 1-800-358-7202. You will need your NYS EMPLID number, which is located on your paystub, to complete your application.

The deadline for 2014 enrollment is November 8, 2013 and is strictly enforced. Please be sure to enroll by November 8. If you are enrolled for the 2013 plan year, you must re-enroll to continue your benefits in 2014.

Employer Contribution

Executive branch state agency employees who are M/C or represented by CSEA, PEF, UUP, Council 82, or NYSCOPBA, or are employed by the Legislature are eligible for the DCAAccount Employer Contribution. Employees of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, and the Environmental Facilities Corporation are also eligible for the Employer Contribution.

The 2014 Plan Year Employer Contribution Rates for Eligible Employees are:

If Your Salary Is... The Employer Contribution Is...

Under $30,000...       $800

$30,001 - $40,000... $700

$40,001 - $50,000... $600

$50,001 - $60,000... $500

$60,001 - $70,000... $400

Over $70,000...          $300

What’s the catch? Use it or lose it!

The key is to estimate your expenses carefully. According to IRS regulations, if you overestimate your costs you will lose any money that remains in your account at the end of the calendar year.

For more information please visit: www.flexspend.ny.gov


UUP - SPECIAL OPTION TRANSFER PERIOD 2013

NYSHIP CONTRIBUTION RATE CHANGES &

SPECIAL OPTION TRANSFER PERIOD FOR UUP EMPLOYEES;

EFFECTIVE AUGUST 29, 2013

As a result of the 2011-2016 collective bargaining agreement between UUP and the State, the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) premium contribution sharing arrangement is changing for eligible UUP employees with an effective date of August 29, 2013.  A Special Option Transfer Period is being made available to these employees as a result of premium contribution changes, which will be held August 1, 2013 through August 30, 2013. 

 

In addition to the change in an employee's premium contribution due to the impact of benefit changes and the new premium contribution rate, there is an adjustment to the biweekly health insurance contribution as a result of the collective bargaining agreement. The adjustment will be included in affected employees' health insurance deductions for 35 pay periods from September 2013 through December 2014, beginning with the paycheck dated August 28, 2013.  The adjustment amount will depend on the plan the enrollee is in and the coverage type (Individual or Family).

Special Option Transfer Period

As a result of these changes, there will be a Special Option Transfer Period from August 1, 2013 through August 30, 2013 for employees represented by UUP.

 

PLEASE NOTE:

  • If you wish to change your health insurance plan, you must complete the NYS Health Insurance Transaction, Form PS-404.  The completed form will need to be returned to Human Resources, Erwin 219, by August 30, 2013, close of business.
  • No action is required if you wish to keep your current health insurance option.
  • The regular Annual Option Transfer Period, usually held at the end of the calendar year, will be available and you will have the opportunity to review health insurance plan options and rates for 2014 as you normally do.

Enrollees who are considering changing their health insurance plan effective August 29, 2013 should carefully review the following:

Choices 2013

NYSHIP Rate Changes

Local Plan Rates

Empire Plan Report for UUP

NYSHIP HMO Report for UUP

 

FORMS: 

New York State Health Insurance Transaction Form (PS-404)

New York State Health Insurance Transaction  Form Instructions (How to Complete Form PS-404)

Required Enrollment Documentation

2013 Opt-out Attestation Form (PS-409)

 

NEW OPT-OUT PROGRAM for 2013

Effective August 29, 2013, NYSHIP will offer an Opt-out Program that will allow eligible employees who have other employer-sponsored group health insurance to opt out of their NYSHIP coverage in exchange for an incentive payment. The annual incentive payment is $1000 for waiving individual coverage or $3000 for waiving family coverage.  The Opt-out incentive amount will be credited to employees' biweekly paychecks and will be treated as taxable income. The biweekly amounts will be $38.47 for opting out of Individual coverage or $115.39 for opting out of Family coverage.

Opt-out payments will begin with the paycheck dated August 28, 2013 and continue for the 9 payroll periods that are left in the plan year of 2013.

 

To be eligible for the Opt-out Program, an employee must meet the eligibility criteria below to receive the incentive payment:

  • The employee must currently participate in the Opt-out Program; or
  • The employee must have been enrolled in NYSHIP, continuously and in his/her own right, as a State employee, on April 1, 2012 or on the date first eligible for NYSHIP if that date is after April 1, 2012, through the end of the plan year; and
  • The employee must provide plan information and attest to having other employer sponsored group health insurance coverage in effect as of the Opt-out effective date.

 

UUP represented employees who are currently enrolled in NYSHIP and wish to participate in the Opt-out Program must elect to opt out during the Special Option Transfer Period and must complete a PS-409 – Opt-out Attestation Form and a PS-404 – NYS Health Insurance Transaction Form. The effective date of the Opt-out (i.e., the date NYSHIP coverage will no longer be in effect) will be August 29, 2013.

 

NEW PRODUCTIVITY ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM (PEP) for 2013

The Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) for 2013 allows eligible UUP-represented employees to exchange previously accrued annual leave (vacation) for a credit to be applied toward their employee share NYSHIP premiums on a biweekly basis. In no case can the credit available under the program be applied to the employer share of NYSHIP premiums.

Eligible full-time employees with an annual salary of $61,763 and below who enroll in PEP for the remainder of the 2013 plan year will forfeit a total of 1.5 days of annual leave at the time of enrollment in return for a credit of up to $250 to be applied toward the employee share of their NYSHIP premiums. Eligible full-time employees with an annual salary above $61,763 and below $88,257 who enroll in PEP for the remainder of the 2013 plan year will forfeit a total of 1.0 days of annual leave at the time of enrollment in return for a credit of up to $250 to be applied toward the employee share of their NYSHIP premiums. Eligible part-time employees who enroll in PEP will forfeit annual leave on a prorated basis in accordance with their payroll/employment percentage in return for a prorated credit.

 

Due to timing, PEP credit for 2013 will be included in the paychecks beginning on or after August 28, 2013.

 

To be eligible to enroll in PEP, UUP represented employees must meet the following criteria:

  • Be employed on a Calendar Year or College Year basis;
  • Be a full-time employee with an annual salary within the applicable salary range, at the time of enrollment, for each calendar year of the program OR be a part-time employee whose biweekly salary is within the salary range, at the time of enrollment, for each calendar year of the program;
  • Be a NYSHIP enrollee (contract holder) in either the Empire Plan or an HMO at the time of enrollment;
  • Have a minimum balance of annual leave after making the forfeiture of at least 8 days or a prorated balance for part-time employees respectively.
  • Be an employee covered by the 2011-2016 New York State/UUP Collective bargaining agreement;
  • Be a UUP represented employee with an annualized salary below $88,257.

The enrollment period for the 2013 PEP program will be from August 1, 2013 through August 30, 2013.

PEP Enrollment Form – must be turned into Payroll, Doty 318, by August 30, 2013 close of business.


ENHANCED FLU VACCINE BENEFIT - EMPIRE PLAN ONLY

On January 12, 2013, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a Public Health Emergency in response to this year's severe flu season. In an effort to mitigate the effects of this severe flu season, and in support of Governor Cuomo's initiative, The Empire Plan will cover influenza vaccines received from a licensed pharmacist or from a participating provider in The Empire Plan. This enhanced benefit is effective February 1, 2013 through May 31, 2013.

At pharmacies in the UnitedHealthcare (UHC) national vaccination program network, vaccinations will be provided at no out-of pocket cost to the enrollee or covered dependents. Chain pharmacies included in UHC's national vaccination program are:  CVS, Rite Aid, Safeway, Target, Walgreens

Basic Medical coverage, not subject to deductible or coinsurance, is also available for vaccines received from other pharmacies and from non-participating physicians. Enrollees who choose to be vaccinated at a nonparticipating pharmacy or by a nonparticipating physician will need to submit a claim for reimbursement. These charges are subject to reasonable and customary charges but not deductible or coinsurance.

Empire Plan enrollees with questions about this benefit should call The Empire Plan at 1-877-7-NYSHIP (1-877-769-7447) and press 1 for the Medical Program.

HMO enrollees with questions about their benefits should be directed to contact the HMO.

 


health insurance option transfer period for plan year 2013

The New York State Health Insurance Choices Booklet and Plan Rates have been released for Plan Year 2013.  Here is all the relevant information:

 

  • The NYSHIP Option Transfer Period 2013  ends December 31, 2012.
  • To make changes to your health insurance plan, complete the  PS 404 - NYS Health Insurance Transaction Form.
  • Forms must be submitted to Human Resources by December 31, 2012. (close of business).
  • Health Coverage for Plan Year 2013 will be effective January 3, 2013.
  • The earliest paycheck in which a deduction change will be made is the check of January 2,  2013. (If you change plans, because of processing time, most paycheck changes will be made later in January and will include retroactive adjustments for coverage beginning January 3, 2013.)
  • No action is required if you wish to keep your current health insurance option and you still qualify for your current plan.

I encourage you to complete the option transfer forms as soon as possible. This will help to avoid retroactive premium adjustments and should allow you to receive new health plan identification cards timely. Choices 2013, a summary of health insurance plans, and Rates and Deadlines are available at:   Health Insurance.

Links to this booklet and other resources are listed below. I encourage you to review these resources before you decide to change insurance carriers for plan year 2013.

Useful Links and Information

Choices Book 2013:

Local Plan Rates 2013:

Comparing Your NYSHIP Options

MyNYSHIP -- (Side-by-Side Comparison Chart tool)

Choosing the health insurance plan to cover your needs and the needs of your family requires careful research. As with most important purchases, there is more to consider than cost. The first step in making a good choice is understanding the similarities and the differences between your NYSHIP options. There are two types of health insurance plans available to you under NYSHIP: The Empire Plan and NYSHIP Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). The Empire Plan is available to all employees. Specific NYSHIP HMOs are available in the various geographic areas of New York State. Depending on where you live or work, one or several NYSHIP HMOs will be available to you. The Empire Plan and NYSHIP HMOs are similar in many ways, but also have important differences. In addition to reviewing the Choices 2013 booklet for co-pay costs, read through the booklet for helpful information that highlight differences in your available health plan choices.

 


2013 HEALTH INSURANCE OPT OUT PROGRAM (APSU/PBANYS, CSEA, M/c, NYSCOPBA, PEF)

OVERVIEW

Effective January 1, 2013, the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) will again offer the Opt-out Program.  This program allows eligible employees, who have other employer sponsored group health insurance, to opt-out of their NYSHIP coverage in exchange for an incentive payment. 

For the purpose of the Opt-out Program, other employer sponsored group health insurance coverage means coverage through employment other than employment with the Executive, Legislative or Judicial branch of NYS government, including the State University of New York.  If the other coverage is through a NYS retiree, the employee is not eligible for the Opt-out program.

ELIGIBILITY

  • At this time, to be eligible, an employee must be M/C or be an employee represented by APSU/PBANYS, CSEA, NYSCOPBA or PEF.
    Please Note:  This program may become available to other represented groups if union contracts are ratified at a later date.
  • You must be currently participating in the Opt-out Program or be enrolled in NYSHIP since 04/01/2012 or date of hire.
  • You must remain enrolled in NYSHIP through the end of this plan year.
  • The employee must provide information and attest to having other employer sponsored group health insurance coverage in effect as of the Opt-out effective date.

ADDITIONAL ELIGIBILITY RULES FOR EMPLOYEES REPRESENTED BY CSEA

  • A CSEA represented employee who has a spouse or domestic partner who is a State employee, whether that spouse or domestic partner is a CSEA represented employee, represented by another state employee union, an M/C employee, or an employee of the Legislature of the Unified Courts System, and are both covered by NYSHIP (dual enrollment), may elect to opt out and receive $1000 for calendar year 2013 whether the CSEA represented employee is opting out of individiual or family coverage; and
  • Both employees must have been enrolled in a State plan by April 1, 2012 to elect the Opt-out Program for calendar year 2013.

INCENTIVE PAYMENTS

The annual incentive amount for opting out of NYSHIP coverage is $1000 ($38.47 per paycheck) for Individual coverage or $3000 ($115.39) for Family coverage (unless otherwise explained in additional eligibility rules). The incentive payments will be prorated and reimbursed through the employee's biweekly paychecks throughout the year (payable only when an employee is on the payroll and meets the requirements to be eligible for the State to contribute to the cost of NYSHIP coverage). Incentive paytments to employees participating in Opt-out 2013 will begin coincident with the plan year's 2013 rate change.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

Employees Currently Participating in the Opt-out Program:  Employees currently participating in the Opt-out Program will receive a notice from the NYS Employee Benefits Division regarding Opt-out for Plan Year 2013.  Current participating employees will need to submit form PS-404 - Health Insurance Transaction Form to Human Resources, Erwin 219, electing the Opt-out Program and the PS-409 - the Opt-out Attestation FormThese forms will need to be submitted during the Annual Option Transfer Period which ends December 31st, 2012; if the forms are not received timely, employee's payment will end with the last bi-weekly payroll check for plan year 2012.

Opting-out for Employees Currently Enrolled in NYSHIP in a Health Insurance Option:   Employees who are currently enrolled in NYSHIP and wish to participate in the Opt-out Program must elect to opt out during the Annual Option Transfer Period and must complete a PS-409 - Opt-out Attestation Form and a PS-404 - Health Insurance Transaction Form. The actual effective date of the Opt-out (i.e., the date NYSHIP coverage will no longer be in effect) will be January 3, 2013.

 

TAX-DEFERRED CONTRIBUTIONS - 2014/SUNY VOLUNTARY SAVINGS PLAN

OVERVIEW

Participation in the SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan is a great way to build your retirement savings and reduce current taxes. The Tax-Deferred Plans available to enrollees provide a way for you to contribute to a retirement account on a pre-tax basis through payroll deduction. Your contributions, plus earnings are not taxed until you withdraw the funds.  Usually this will be during your retirement, when your income may fall within a lower tax bracket. Based on the IRS 403(b) regulations, an annual notice is required to be provided to all current employees eligible to participate in the SUNY tax-deferred voluntary retirement savings plan to satisfy the "Universal Availability" rule. This notice can be viewed HERE.

The following information will inform and/or assist you with:

  • how to cancel or change your current contribution,
  • continue to participate at your current contribution amount, or
  • enroll into a SUNY Voluntary Savings Program (supplemental tax-deferred annuity 403(b) or 457 plan)
  • 2012 Retirement Plan Limits

ELIGIBILITY

All employees who receive compensation reportable on an IRS Form W-2 are eligible to participate in the plan. Employees who are not currently enrolled in a Voluntary Savings Plan should review plan materials before enrolling.  Once you are enrolled, you can review and change the amount of your contributions as often as once per pay period by submitting a new Salary Reduction Agreement form. The exact date your investment allocations will take effect may vary depending upon the policies of the Investment Provider managing the investment options you chose for Plan contributions.

HOW MUCH CAN I CONTRIBUTE - 2014 RETIREMENT PLAN LIMITS

  • Employees may contribute up to $17,500 tax-deferred in 2014
  • Employees who are age 50 and older may contribute an additional "catch-up" contribution of $5500, up to $23,000
  • Employees who have at least 15 years of full-time service may also contribute an additional $3000 per year ($15,000 lifetime), up to $20,500
NOTE:  To determine if you are eligible for any "catch-up" provisions, you must obtain a calculation from your Investment Plan Provider indicating that you are eligible to defer the additional amount.  You must send the calculation along with a new Salary Reduction Agreement indicating the annual amount to be contributed to the Payroll Services office in Doty 318.  You are responsible for ensuring that the amount of your contributions will not exceed your maximum allowance for the calendar year. 

Please be advised that all state employees are eligible to enroll in both a tax-deferred annuity and the New York State Deferred Compensation (NYSDCP) and contribute up to the limits outlined above.  You can contribute to both plans 4039b) and 457 in calendar year 2014 concurrently.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

CANCEL OR CHANGE YOUR CONTRIBUTION

  • Complete and sign the Salary Reduction Agreement form and return this form to the Payroll Services office.
CONTINUE TO PARTICIPATE
  • If you are eligible for catch up provisions mentioned above and wish to contribute more than $17,500 for the 2014 year, you MUST complete a new Salary Reduction Agreement. Employees who wish to make this change for the first check in 2014 must have the Salary Reduction Agreement to the Payroll Services office by Friday, December 6, 2013. If we do not receive this form increasing your contributions, the Office of the State Comptroller will set your  limits back to the IRS 2014 Plan limit of $17,500. 

    If you have contributed more than the IRS limits in the past, you still MUST submit a new Salary Reduction Agreement form increasing your contributions higher than the $17,500 2014 plan year limits.
ENROLL
  • Open a new account with an approved investment provider: AUTHORIZED INVESTMENT PLAN PROVIDERS - CLICK HERE  Complete necessary forms with the provider.
  • Complete and sign a new Salary Reduction Agreement form; return this form to Payroll Services, Doty 318.

 


NEW CAMPUS REPRESENTATIVE FOR TIAA-CREF

We would like to welcome Richard Brewer as our new campus representative for TIAA-CREF.  Richard will continue to serve our SUNY Optional Retirement Program and TIAA-CREF participants with their retirement enrollments, voluntary savings plans and portfolios. Richard's contact information is as follows:

Richard L. Brewer
Financial Consultant
TIAA-CREF

rbrewer@tiaa-cref.org
716-220-6711 m
716-862-5907 o

 


Covering your young adult children



NYSHIP RESOURCES

Covering Your Young Adult Children

Young Adult Q & A

PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), your young adult children can be covered on your health insurance plan up to age 26. Financial dependency, student status, marital status, employment and residency can no longer be used to determine eligibility. Although the new law extends coverage to married children, it does not apply to their spouse or children.

NYSHIP COVERAGE OF CHILDREN TO AGE 26
Effective January 1, 2011, the eligibility rules for covering dependents under the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) will change to allow an enrollee's child to continue coverage as an eligible dependent up to age 26.

Please Note: 

  • The extension of coverage to age 26 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) does not apply to dental and vision coverage. The same eligiblity rules and required proof of full-time student status is still required for dental and vision benefits.
  • Also, beginning January 1, 2011, dependent children will be eligible for coverage under NYSHIP through the end of the month in which they reach age 26.

SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD
Beginning November 1, 2011 and continuing through the end of the option transfer period, enrollees can add their young adult children who are under the age of 26 as dependents to their NYSHIP coverage. Coverage will be effective on January 1, 2011.

To add a young adult child as a dependent:

  1. Complete and sign the Young Adult Dependent Form found on page 6 of the Covering Your Young Adult Children flier,
  2. attach proper documentation for your young adult dependent (birth certificate, Social Security card, PS 457 if required),
  3. and return your completed form and documentation to Human Resources, Erwin 219. 

Please Note:

  • An adult child under the age of 26 who is currently enrolled as a dependent under their parent's family coverage on January 1, 2011 will continue to be covered to age 26; no action is required by the enrollee.
  • For enrollees requesting to add young adult dependents after the special enrollment period has ended, normal waiting periods apply and the effective date of coverage will be based upon the date of first eligiblity and date of request.
  • Adult children who are currently enrolled in either COBRA continuation coverage or the Young Adult Option through NYSHIP will be required to indicate on the enrollment form if they wish to cancel the current coverage.
    ***Cancellation of coverage is not automatic.****

HEALTH PLAN RATES
When you add your young adult dependent to your family coverage, there is no additional premium cost to you. If you currently have individual coverage, you will need to change to family coverage which does cost more than individual coverage. View the current rates at: 2010 Health Plan Rates. Health Plan Rates for Option Transfer Period 2011 have not yet been issued; this information is usually available in late November.


Young Adult Option - Effective January 1, 2010

A new state law (Chapter 240 of the Laws of 2009) allows young adults through age 29 to be covered through a parent's group health insurance policy under a new "Young Adult Option". .  For informative details, please see the following resources: