HR, Payroll and Benefits News

Summer Prepay Deductions: Summer Employment / Family Status Changes

If you are an employee who had Summer prepay insurance premiums deducted from your spring, 2022 paychecks, who has since had an employment or family status change, contact your institution benefits contact for information on how your insurance benefits and deductions may be affected.

What are Summer Prepay Deductions?
Summer Prepay premiums are deducted from spring paychecks to maintain insurance coverage between academic years for employees who do not work one or more months during the summer (contract break) and are expected to return in the fall.

These deductions are in addition to regular insurance premium deductions. If you had these deductions in spring, 2022, you would have received an email prior to each deduction with an estimated deduction amount.

For more information, review the Summer Prepay Deductions web page.

What if Your Employment/Family Status Changes Over the Summer?

Employment Status: If your summer or fall 2022 employment status changes after summer prepays are deducted, you may receive deduction refunds. If you will be terminating employment, and will not return in fall 2022, contact your institution benefits contact to determine your employment termination date and insurance coverage end dates.

Family Status: If you will experience any other status change such as a marriage, birth of a child, divorce, contact your institution benefits contact for information on how your insurance benefits may be affected.

Note: 9-month employees’ insurance premium deductions will resume on the September 22, 2022 paycheck.

Resources

Questions
If you have questions, contact your institution benefits contact.

Source: UW System Human Resources

June 30 Deadline to Use Carryover Vacation and Holiday Hours

The deadline for Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees to use carryover vacation, personal and floating legal holiday hours is June 30, 2022. Schedule and use this leave by June 30, 2022, or it will be lost.

Paid leave is granted to Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees in annual basis appointments on a fiscal year basis (July 1 - June 30).

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees

Paid Leave Type Year Granted Deadline to Use
Personal Holiday July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022  (2021-22 Fiscal Year) June 30, 2022
Floating Legal Holiday Hours December 25, 2021
January 1, 2022
June 30, 2022
Vacation Hours July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021  (2020-21 Fiscal Year) June 30, 2022

University Staff Employees

As a reminder, paid leave is granted on a calendar year basis.

  • Personal Holidays granted January 1, 2022, must be used by December 31, 2022.
  • Floating Legal Holidays (January 1, December 24, December 31, 2022) must be used by December 31, 2022.
  • Vacation granted January 1, 2021, must be used by December 31, 2022.

Resources:

WEA Trust To Exit State Group Health Insurance Program

WEA Trust announced on June 1, 2022, they will no longer offer health insurance after this year. In the State Group Health Insurance Program all current WEA Trust network areas and offerings will no longer be available to employees after January 1, 2023.

If you are currently enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance Program and have WEA Trust as your insurance carrier, your health insurance will continue with WEA Trust through the end of 2022. During the Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) this fall you will need to choose a new health insurance carrier effective for January 1, 2023. As the ABE time frame nears you will receive information about available insurance carriers for the coming year.

WEA Trust is one of several health insurance carriers available in the State Group Health Insurance Program for the Health Plan and High Deductible Health Plan. WEA Trust is the carrier available for the Access Health Plan and Access High Deductible Health Plan.

The Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) is responsible for negotiating with insurance carriers to ensure that employees across the state have access to high quality insurance providers and health care options.

WEA Trust includes:

  • WEA Trust East
  • WEA Trust West - Chippewa Valley
  • WEA Trust - Mayo Clinic
  • Access Plan by WEA Trust

Resources:

Source: UW System Human Resources

Submit Leave Reports by June 30, 2022

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited appointees (who have or had an active leave-eligible appointment) are required to submit monthly leave reports for each appointment, whether or not leave is used. Employees are required to report leave on or before the day the leave is taken, or if no leave is taken, to enter a “No Leave Taken” at the end of the month.

Missing leave reports must be entered by June 30, 2022 for fiscal year July 2021 through June 2022.

Failure to submit leave for fiscal year 2022 will result in a permanent reduction of sick leave hours.

Even one unsubmitted leave report will reduce an employee’s sick leave balance resulting in less sick leave available to use if needed. Long term, a reduction of sick leave hours will result in fewer hours available to use for the Sick Leave Credit Conversion Program which allows employees to pay for health insurance in retirement.

How do I Know if I have Missing Leave Reports?

Employees with missing leave reports receive email reminders every two weeks listing their missing reports. Employees may also check for missing leave reports at any time in the MyUW portal.

Resources

If you have questions, contact your Institution Leave Administrator.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Bank Unused Vacation Hours

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees with a 12-month appointment have an annual opportunity to bank unused vacation after completing 10 or more fiscal years (July 1 through June 30) of continuous service. The deadline to bank unused vacation allocated in fiscal year 2021-22 is September 30, 2022.

Instructions for viewing your leave balances and banking unused vacation are available in the Banked Leave Conversion Tipsheet. Vacation and carryover balance hours that are eligible to be banked may be viewed beginning July 1.

How Much Vacation Can You Bank?

Years of Continuous Service Hours That Can be Banked *
First 10 Years 0
10+ to 25 Years 40
25 Years and Over 80
* The amount of vacation that can be banked is prorated for part-time employees.

There is no limit to the total number of hours (balance) that can be retained in your Banked Leave account. Once vacation is banked the hours do not expire.

When Can Banked Leave Be Used?
With your supervisor’s approval, banked leave hours may be used whenever you are allowed to use paid leave.

What If You Terminate Employment?
Unused banked leave hours will be paid to you at your wage rate at termination.

Resources:

If you have questions, contact your Institution Leave Administrator.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Resources for Mental Health Well-Being

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also affects how we manage stress, relate to others, and make decisions. Mental health well-being is important from childhood through adulthood.

Take a moment to think about your mental health well-being. Below are early warning signs that suggest you may benefit from reaching out to a mental health expert.

• Eating or sleeping too little or too much
• Having low or no energy
• Feeling helpless or hopeless
• Experiencing mood swings
• Arguing consistently with family or friends

Improving your mental health well-being may help you realize your full potential, cope effectively with stress, work productively, and make meaningful contributions to your community.

Review the UW System Mental Health Resources to understand the benefits programs available to UW System employees that include mental health support services.

You can get more information about mental health at www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Mental Health Support Available Through Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides employer-paid mental health and other well-being resources for UW System employees and their household family members.

Mental health is a critical part of overall health. Everyone faces challenges in life that may impact their mental health. If life challenges are making it difficult for you to cope, how do you know if what you are experiencing is anxiety or depression? When is it time to get professional help? Are you turning to drugs or alcohol to help you cope?

Don’t wait to reach out for mental health support. Contact the EAP today for help.

The EAP is available twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year to help you connect with a counselor either in-person or virtually to discuss your concerns. Household family members are also eligible for counseling. EAP counseling is confidential and solution-focused with the goal of bringing measurable improvement to the situation.

Grief and Loss Support: Grief and loss are difficult emotions that most everyone experiences. The past few years have been especially difficult. Your EAP can help you work through the emotions that may be causing you distress.

Financial Support: Financial struggles can be a significant source of stress. EAP financial advisors can address your specific concerns and help you determine solutions for managing your financial situation. Take advantage of this free service.

Daily Living Support: Stress associated with daily life can be overwhelming. Whether you’re looking for a cleaning service, realtor, new gym, dog walker, day care options or a moving company, contact the EAP. The EAP will conduct a search and present their findings to you so you can evaluate your options.

Legal Support: Seeking legal advice can be time consuming and expensive. Through the EAP, you have access to creating wills, and a free 30-minute legal consultation with an attorney with expertise in your matter. If you choose to retain the attorney, there will be a 25% reduction in the hourly rate.

Resources: The EAP webpage includes contact information and resources.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Earn Your $150 Well-Being Incentive

If you are enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance program, you may earn a $150 well-being incentive through the Well Wisconsin program, administered by WebMD.

To earn the incentive, complete a health assessment, a health check and one well-being activity by October 14, 2022.

The Well Wisconsin program provides tools and resources to help you set well-being goals, track your progress, and stay motivated toward earning your incentive.

Start Earning Your Incentive with WebMD

  • Login or create an account on the WebMD ONE website or
  • Download the Wellness at Your Side mobile app through the App Store or on Google Play (code: SOWI)

The WebMD ONE website and Wellness at Your Side mobile app is where you will track your progress toward earning the well-being incentive.

Privacy: Your privacy is important. Whether you are completing the health assessment, health check or speaking with a WebMD health coach, WebMD is committed to protecting your privacy. Watch the privacy video for additional information.

Review the Well Wisconsin Program web page to learn more about the program.

Posted: 05/04/2022 Featured Article; Moved to News: June 17,2022

Source: UW System Human Resources

WRS News Online, May 2022

May 2022 Edition
External link: https://etf.wi.gov/news/wrs-news-online/issue/18611

Previous Issue: WRS News Online, January 2022

Source: WI Dept of Employee Trust Funds

Telemedicine: Get Medical Care Fast

Would you like to seek basic medical care from the comfort of your own home? The telemedicine services in the State Group Health Insurance Program may allow this option.

What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine, also known as telehealth, is the remote, virtual diagnosis and treatment of patients. This means you may be able to access non-urgent medical care through video chat or a virtual house call. Through telemedicine, a doctor may recommend treatment, prescribe medication, or tell you to see a doctor in-person (based on your symptoms).

By using telemedicine, you may receive care quicker and it may be less expensive than an office or urgent care visit.

Preparing to Use Telemedicine:

1. Watch the Get Medical Care When You Need It Fast video to help you determine if telemedicine will meet your needs.

2. Review ETF’s Telemedicine Options web page to learn about the different types of telemedicine.

3. Prepare for setting up telemedicine services from your health insurance carrier (such as, downloading a mobile app).

    • Login to your health insurance carrier’s online portal or
    • Contact your health insurance plan carrier by calling the phone number on your health insurance plan ID card.

4. If applicable, download the mobile app.

5. Complete the Get Ready For Care worksheet to help you plan for when telemedicine will not meet your needs (for example: primary care physicians office, urgent care facility).

Source: UW System Human Resources

2022 Benefit ID Cards

Are you using the right benefit ID card when you see your doctor, pick up a prescription, visit the dentist, or get your eyes checked? Make sure you have your ID cards prior to needing them. Then, be sure to use the right ID card to save you time and prevent issues later.

State Group Health Insurance ID Card
Present your health insurance ID card for the following visits including telehealth, virtual, office, urgent care, emergency room, and any other visit/appointment that involves healthcare services.

If you did not receive your ID card or need to request a new one, contact your health insurance carrier directly. The phone numbers for the health insurance carriers are listed in the Health Benefits Decision Guide (page 18).

Pharmacy Benefits ID Card
If you are enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance Program, you will have a separate ID card to use for pharmacy benefits. Navitus administers the pharmacy benefits. Present your Navitus ID card when you:

  • Visit a pharmacy to pick-up your prescriptions or
  • Request prescriptions through mail order

Go to the Navitus website to request or print a new ID card or contact Navitus at (866) 333-2757 to request a new ID card.

Uniform and Supplemental Dental Insurance ID Cards
Delta Dental administers the Uniform Dental and Supplemental Dental Insurance plans. There are separate ID cards for the Uniform Dental and Supplemental Dental Insurance plans. Present both ID cards at your dental appointments if you are enrolled in more than one plan.

Go to the Delta Dental website to print an ID card. If you already have an account with Delta Dental, click the Sign In link. After you login, your ID card will appear on the right. Click the link to download to save an electronic version of your ID card.

If you do not already have an account with Delta Dental, or do not recall your login credentials, contact Delta Dental at (800) 236-3712 to have them mail your ID cards to your home address.

Vision Insurance ID Card
DeltaVision/EyeMed administer the vision insurance. If you are enrolled in vision insurance, present your DeltaVision/EyeMed ID card at your vision appointment.

Go to the DeltaVision/EyeMed website to print a vision insurance plan ID card.

  • If you already have an account, enter your login information, then click Sign In
  • If you do not already have an account, click the Need to Register link

After you login, go to the Account tab and select Print My ID Card. Contact DeltaVision/EyeMed at (855) 544-6035 to have them mail your ID cards to your home address.

Payment Card: Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Limited Purpose FSA, Health Savings Account, Parking Account
Optum Financial administers these accounts. After you enroll, you will be issued a single payment card even if you are enrolled in multiple accounts. Click the links below to review eligible expenses for each account.

Contact Optum Financial at (833) 881-8158 to request a new payment card.

Review Your Cards for Accuracy
Review your ID cards for accuracy. If there are errors, contact your institution benefits contact. If you have not received your ID cards, contact the insurance carrier directly.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Updated State Group Life Insurance Premiums Effective April 1, 2022

State Group Life Insurance premium rates will increase for most age categories effective April 1, 2022. There is no change to the premium rates for spouse and dependent coverage.

View Your Updated Rates
Employees who are currently enrolled in the State Group Life Insurance program can view their updated 2022 premiums at State Group Life Premium Notice. Any change in premium will be reflected on the March 24, 2022, paycheck.

Annual Premium Update
In addition to the premium rate increase, your State Group Life Insurance premiums may also change effective April 1, 2022, if either or both your age category and salary changed since April 1, 2021. Coverage levels are based on:

  • Your highest calendar year of eligible earnings,
  • Your age as of April 1 each year, and
  • Your elected coverage level(s).

The UW System contributes towards the cost of your State Group Life Basic and Supplemental Insurance coverage. You pay the full cost of Additional, Spouse and Dependent coverage.

Questions
Review the 2022 State Group Life Insurance premiums.

For general plan information, review the UW System Employee Benefits State Group Life insurance web page. If you have questions after reviewing the available information, contact your institution benefits contact.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Test Coverage Information

Effective January 15, 2022, UW System employees covered under the State Group Health Insurance Program can purchase over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic test kits at no cost.

If you purchase test kits at a pharmacy in the Navitus network, your tests will be covered without any out-of-pocket costs. To locate an in-network pharmacy, go to https://etf.benefits.navitus.com/, then:

  1. Click the blue box for the health insurance plan you are enrolled in,
  2. Click “pharmacy search” on the left side of your screen,
  3. Select 2022 as the plan year, and
  4. Enter the zip code for the city where you would like to purchase your test kit.

If the pharmacy you are looking for does not appear online after you follow the above steps, or you would like help locating an in-network pharmacy, contact Navitus at (866) 333-2757.

If you purchase test kits at a pharmacy that is not in the Navitus network, from a retail store, online, or at your provider’s office, you can submit a claim form to Navitus for reimbursement.

Note: Coverage limits and exclusions apply.

For more information, review ETF's Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Test Coverage Information web page.

Source: UW System Human Resources