The Faculty Benefits Committee reviews and makes recommendations with regard to faculty benefits.
Committee Chair: Mary Ann Jones
Visit the Benefits website for more information on faculty benefits.
Tax Assistance for Same-Sex Couples Legally Married or in Civil Unions
The FSC is delighted to announce that it has encouraged the University to extend tax assistance to legally married same-sex couples or those in a civil union. The plan will begin in 2013 and is modeled after those recently put in place at Columbia and Yale universities.
Until December of last year, legally married same-sex couples were required to pay both state and federal tax on the imputed income for spousal benefits, including health benefits. Passage of the New York State Marriage Equality Act ended that practice for state taxes, but left unchanged the requirement to pay federal tax. There are no signs that the federal government will pass a similar act. The University’s decision will effectively offset the federal tax on the value of NYU health benefits.
Account Based Health Plans (ABHP)
The Committee met with member of the HR and the HR consulting firm: Towers Watson. They discussed a new health plan that may be offered as an option during Open Enrollment this fall. The new plan, called an Account Based Health Plan (ABHP), may be offered in addition to the existing Point of Service plans and HMOs. An ABHP combines a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and a Health Savings Account (HSA). The HDHP operates much like the current POS plans and includes the following features:
- Deductible–Amount the member is required to pay prior to any plan reimbursement. In an HDHP, all services except preventive care must be subject to the deductible.
- Preventive care–Deductible does not apply and is reimbursed at 100% (in-network)
- Coinsurance–Percentage of the incurred plan cost after the deductible has been met, up to the out-of-pocket maximum
- Out-of-Pocket maximum–Total amount a member pays during a single plan year, after which the plan pays 100%
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are voluntary tax favored accounts that can be used to pay out of pocket costs (depending on funds available) or saved for the future. The employee must be covered only by an HDHP in order to contribute to an HSA (although they can access funds even when no longer covered). The majority of employers now offer an ABHP. In 2011 53% of employers offer an ABHP —with another 13% planning to offer one in 2012 —a 27% increase. In addition, ABHPs are usually offered at a lower premium than other options, providing an opportunity for employees to contribute to their HAS. More information about this option will be distributed.
Retiree Wellness Screenings
After the Committee's suggestion in the fall, the Benefits Office included retirees in the cholesterol, derma scan, and bone density screenings for the Spring.
Network Utilization Report
The Benefits Office prepared a report on the in-network and out-of-network utilization of various physician types by full-time faculty. Read more
Carebridge Employee Assistance Program
The Benefits Office conducted a re-education/training program in January and is coordinating additional line management training. BenComm commented that faculty need targeted information on this program and suggested that information be sent directly to those in charge of faculty personnel issues at each school.
The Benefits Committee met with members of the Benefits Office: Katie Casey, Linda Woodruff, Trish Halley, and Jeanette Nardella in November.
The Committee requested that the Benefits Office look into extending wellness benefits to retirees, in addition to the recently offered flu shots, including the walking program, cholesterol/PSA screenings, and LiveSmart classes offered through i-Learn.
The Benefits Office reported on changes to flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Users now have the option of using a dedicated debit card to pay for FSA-eligible expenditures (cards for each dependent are provided) in addition to paying the provider directly and requesting reimbursement. The Benefits Office also noted the new federal regulation in 2013, which will reduce the maximum annual contribution from $15,000 to $2,500.
The Benefits Office discussed the Carebridge: Employee Assistance Program and is looking to better advertise this program and increase utilization. They are also working with Carebridge to address issues relating to emergency incidents and will gather specific information on how these situations will be handed.
In early fall, the Benefits Committee reported on the improved retiree health and wellness benefits. Last year, the Committee advocated for a retiree dental plan and access to on-campus wellness programs such as free flu shots.In June, the Provost announced changes to retiree medical benefits. In this memo, the Provost announced that effective January 1, 2012 access to a new group dental plan option for both current and future retirees will be offered. Also, free seasonal flu shots are now being offered to NYU retirees and one household member over age 18 at convenient locations on campus. Read more on retiree benefits