2020 News Archive

Social Security and Medicare Taxes for 2021

The Social Security wage base will rise to $142,800 in 2021 from $137,700 in 2020. This means that the first $142,800 of an employee's taxable wages are subject to Social Security taxes. An employee and the UW will each pay 6.2% on taxable wages up to $142,800.

An employee's entire taxable salary is subject to Medicare tax. Both the UW and the employee pay 1.45% on all taxable compensation. Further, any taxable wages that exceed $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) are subject to an additional 0.9% tax. There is no employer match for additional Medicare tax.

Source: UW-Shared Services

University Insurance Association (UIA) Life Insurance Annual Premium Deduction

The University Insurance Association (UIA) Life Insurance annual premium of $24.00 will be deducted from October monthly earnings, paid October 30, 2020.

Participation in the UIA Life Insurance plan is a condition of employment for UW System Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointment (FA/AS/LI) employees. Additionally, eligible employees must meet the minimum monthly salary threshold which is $2,822 for the 2020-2021 plan year. The minimum monthly salary threshold is determined each year and is based on 45% of the average instructor's salary for the previous year.

Once an employee becomes eligible for coverage, eligibility will continue for the full plan year. Employees must re-qualify for eligibility each year.

Note: The plan is moving to a calendar year. To make this transition, the 2021 plan year will run from October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021. Beginning in 2022, the policy year will be January 1 to December 31, with coverage effective January 1 of each year.

For more information about the plan, including coverage levels, visit the UW System Employee Benefits website.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Individual & Family Life Insurance Enrollees Can Increase Coverage, September 28 - October 23, 2020

If you are enrolled in the Individual & Family Life Insurance plan as of September 28, 2020, you may increase your coverage during the Annual Increase Option (AIO) period from September 28 - October 23, 2020. Coverage increases are effective January 1, 2021 with new premiums deducted from December earnings.

Making the Decision to Increase Your Coverage
To review your current coverage or your 2021 premiums if you decide to increase your coverage, use the personalized Individual & Family Annual Increase calculator: https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/indfam-increase-calculator/

You may increase your current coverage during the AIO period by the following amounts:

    • Employee coverage: $5,000; $10,000; $15,000 or $20,000
    • Spouse/Domestic Partner coverage: $5,000 or $10,000
    • Child(ren) coverage: $2,500

As you consider increasing your coverage, note the maximum coverage levels:

    • Employee coverage: $300,000
    • Spouse/Domestic Partner coverage: $150,000
    • Child(ren) coverage: $25,000

Reminder: Spouse/Domestic Partner or Child(ren) life insurance coverage may not exceed your total (employee amount) coverage.

Application Information and Deadline
To increase your coverage during the AIO period, submit your election via Self Service:

  1. Log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison.
  2. Go to the 'Benefit Information' module.
  3. Click on the 'Enroll' link.

You will receive a Confirmation Statement via email after you have submitted your election.

All elections to increase coverage must be submitted online or received by your human resources office by 4:30 p.m. on October 23, 2020. If you mail your Annual Increase Option Form, it must be received by October 23, 2020. For more information: Individual & Family Life insurance.

Decreasing or Canceling Coverage
If you decide to decrease or cancel your coverage, you must complete the Individual & Family Life Insurance application and submit it to your human resources office. It is not possible to decrease or cancel coverage through Self Service. You may decrease or cancel coverage any time during the year. Coverage decreases or cancellations are effective the first of the month following receipt of your application.

Questions?
Visit the Annual Benefits Enrollment website for more information about the Individual & Family Life Insurance plan and other benefits enrollment opportunities available this year. If you have questions after reviewing these resources, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Annual Benefits Enrollment: September 28 - October 23, 2020

The Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period, September 28 - October 23, is the annual opportunity for eligible employees to enroll in or make changes to most benefits unless an employee has a qualifying life event. Changes made during ABE are effective January 1, 2021.

Eligible employees will receive emails in September and October about ABE.

Find the resources listed below on the ABE website.

Prepare

  • Review your current benefit enrollments in Self Service.
  • Review the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) It's Your Choice Decision Guide.
  • Attend Virtual Benefit Fair Sessions.
  • Use ETF’s Health Plan Search tool to confirm that your doctors, clinics and hospitals will be in-network in 2021 for the health insurance plan carrier you select by.

Decide

  • Use ALEX, to help with your ABE decisions. ALEX suggests benefit plans based on your personal situation.
  • Do you want to enroll or make changes to your insurance coverage? You may be eligible to enroll in, change, increase, decrease or cancel coverage for the plans listed below. For some plans you can add or remove dependents.
    • State Group Health Insurance
    • State Group Health Insurance Opt-Out Incentive (re-enrollment required)
    • Uniform, Preventive and Supplemental Dental Insurance
    • Vision Insurance
    • Individual & Family Life Insurance (current enrollees only)
    • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance
    • Accident Insurance
  • Do you want to contribute pre-tax dollars to help pay for medical, dental, vision and/or dependent day care out-of-pocket expenses? To participate in any of the following plans, you will need to enroll/re-enroll through Self Service: 
    • Flexible Spending Account (FSAs): Health Care FSA, Limited Purpose FSA, Dependent Day Care
    • Health Savings Account (HSA) is required if you enroll in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

Act

  • How to Make Your Benefit Elections
    Beginning September 28th, use Self Service to make your elections online 
  1. Log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison.
  2. Go to the 'Benefit Information' module.
  3. Click on the 'Enroll' link.
  • All elections must be submitted by 4:30 p.m., Friday, October 23, 2020.
    You will receive an e-mail within 24 - 48 hours with instructions on viewing your Confirmation Statement for elections effective January 1, 2021. Review your statement for accuracy.

For more information on benefit plans and premiums, visit the ABE website. If you have questions after reviewing the available information, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Take Action Now: Submit Leave Reports to Avoid Sick Leave Reduction

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited appointees (who have or had an active leave-eligible appointment) are required to submit a leave report for each appointment, each month, whether or not leave is used.

Employees on a consecutive day furlough are required to enter leave reports while they are on furlough. If no leave was taken for a month a “No Leave Taken” entry should be made.

Failure to submit any leave report(s) will result in a reduction of your sick leave hours.

For the July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 fiscal year leave reports were due June 30, 2020. While June 30, 2020 is the preferred submission date, failure to submit all leave for the July 2019 through June 2020 fiscal year by September 30, 2020 will result in a reduction of employee sick leave hours. Even one unsubmitted leave report may reduce an employee’s sick leave balance.

Leave reports may be submitted electronically via the MyUW portal. To check for missing leave reports, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison
  2. Go to the "Time and Absence" module
  3. Click on the "Leave Reports" link

Paper leave reports may also be submitted.

Employees with missing leave reports receive monthly email reminders that lists their missing reports.

Visit the Time and Absence Help Pages for assistance with reporting leave. If you have questions or are unable to report your leave at the link above, contact your Institutional Leave Administrator.

To review the sick leave policies:

Source: UW System Human Resources

Which Health Insurance Plan is Right for You?

During the Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period (September 28 - October 23, 2020), you will have an opportunity to select your health insurance plan for coverage effective January 1, 2021. It is important to select the plan design and health insurance carrier that best fits the needs of you and your family. To help you prepare for ABE, this article highlights what is the same and what is different between High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) and Non-HDHP health plans.

What is the same for the HDHP and the Non-HDHP Health Plans?

    • In-network preventive services are covered at 100%.
    • Both cover telehealth services at 100% without cost-sharing.
    • Coverage for federally required preventive drugs at 100%.
    • Both have a deductible (the amount you pay before the plan pays).
    • In-network coinsurance is 10% (the amount you pay after the deductible for specific services; the plan pays the remaining 90%).
    • In-network providers will provide lower out-of-pocket expenses than out-of-network providers.
    • Both allow participation in the Well Wisconsin program to earn $150 wellness incentive.
    • Both provide an opportunity to enroll in Uniform Dental Benefits.
    • Both offer out-of-network coverage through the Access HDHP and Access Non-HDHP Health Plans. Due to out-of-network coverage, Access plans are more expensive.
    • Premiums for all plans are required regardless of whether you use your health insurance.

What is different between the HDHP and the Non-HDHP Health Plans?

    • HDHPs have lower premiums (the amount deducted from your paycheck).
    • HDHPs include a Health Savings Account (HSA) to help you prepare for out-of-pocket expenses. An HSA provides three separate tax benefits:
      • Contributions are tax-deductible.
      • HSA assets may grow tax-free (through interest or investing).
      • Withdrawals for qualified medical, dental and/or vision expenses are not taxed.
    • HDHPs include an employer contribution to the HSA (up to $750 for single coverage, $1,500 for family) which remains in your HSA until you use it.
    • Non-HDHP Health Plans have a deductible for medical services and a separate deductible for pharmacy benefits; HDHPs have a deductible that includes medical services and pharmacy benefits.
    • Non-HDHP Health Plans have an out-of-pocket limit for medical services and a separate out-of-pocket limit for pharmacy benefits; HDHPs have a combined out-of-pocket limit that includes medical services and pharmacy benefits.
    • Non-HDHP Health Plans have lower deductibles.

How prepared are you and your family for expected/unexpected out-of-pocket health, dental and/or vision expenses?

Review the expenses you have incurred so far in 2020 for health, dental and vision services to help you prepare for 2021. Some of the ways you can save for expected and/or unexpected health, dental and vision out-of-pocket expenses include:

    • With a HDHP you may use the HSA (medical, dental and/or vision expenses) or Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account (FSA) (dental, vision and post-medical deductible expenses) to set aside pre-tax earnings to help pay for qualifying out-of-pocket expenses.
    • With a Non-HDHP Health Plan you may set aside pre-tax earnings in a Health Care FSA (pre-tax) or after-tax earnings in a personal account for out-of-pocket expenses.

Resources

Source: UW System Human Resources

New Mental Health Resource Available

A new mental health resource offered through SilverCloud is available to employees. SilverCloud is an online platform that offers self-guided, interactive programs and skill-building tools to help manage anxiety, depression, stress, resilience and insomnia. It is available to all employees and students at no cost. If you are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms for any one of the above conditions, this may be an effective way for you to help manage these conditions.

What does each SilverCloud module contain?
Each module takes an average of 40 minutes and automatically saves your progress so you can come back later if you get interrupted. A typical module contains seven parts:

    1. Introduction: Helps you decide which module to get started with.
    2. Quiz: Helps gauge your knowledge and absorption of new information.
    3. Main Content: Displays the most important information and activities about the topic.
    4. Personal Stories: Based on real-life people, clinical knowledge and experiences to help you realize you are not alone.
    5. Tools: Activities that reinforce the information you learned throughout the module.
    6. Staying in the Present: Many topics discuss living in the past or thinking about the future. This activity uses mindfulness principles to bring you back to the present.
    7. Review: Allows you to reflect, set goals and incorporate what you learned into your life.

How should I use SilverCloud for my well-being?
Studies have shown that online cognitive behavioral therapy can provide an effective form of care for motivated individuals experiencing mild to moderate symptoms. SilverCloud may supplement traditional therapy or appointments with a counselor or you may use it without needing a counselor. A referral from a mental health or medical professional is not necessary to use this free online program.

Where should I go to get started?

For additional information on SilverCloud, go to the Mental Health Resources page.

What is the main difference between SilverCloud and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?
The main difference between SilverCloud and the EAP is that Silver Cloud is self-guided whereas the EAP allows you to speak with a counselor for help on a much broader range of services (e.g. work/life balance, will preparation, financial concerns, etc).
Note: Both programs are free and confidential.

For additional information on the EAP, go to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) page.

Source: UW System Human Resources

2021 Benefit Change Highlights

The Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period is September 28 – October 23, 2020. This is the annual opportunity for eligible employees to make benefit plan changes, consider new enrollments and/or drop coverage. Changes made during ABE are effective January 1, 2021.

Benefit plan changes for 2021 are listed below.

Health Insurance
All current health insurance plan carriers will continue to participate in the State Group Health Insurance Program for 2021. Additionally, the health insurance plan design components will remain the same (e.g. deductibles, copayments, coinsurance). The minor changes to the plans are:

    • Coverage will be added for biofeedback services for urinary incontinence.
    • Health insurance plan carriers will no longer offer a wellness incentive component as a part of their plans. Note: The $150 incentive offered through StayWell will continue (see below).

Finally, telehealth services will continue to be covered without cost-sharing (unless they would have normally been provided in an office visit setting but have moved virtual due to the pandemic).

Well Wisconsin Program: Wellness Incentive
The $150 wellness incentive will continue to be offered to employees and their spouses enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance Program. To earn the incentive, employees are required to complete a health assessment, complete one well-being activity and a screening. The screening requirement can be met by completing one of the following: a biometric screening, health care provider form, preventive dental exam (new option) or participate in a health coaching call (new option).

Vision Insurance
The vision insurance plan will be administered by Delta Vision in 2021 (using the EyeMed network). The plan will continue to offer an allowance of up to $150 toward frames or contact lenses. The monthly premiums will decrease slightly. Participants enrolled in 2021 will receive a vision insurance ID card to help eye doctors/clinics to verify eligibility/benefits and process claims.

Pre-tax Spending and Savings Accounts

    • Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts:
      • Annual contribution limit will increase by $50 to $2,750.
      • Carryover limit will increase by $50 to $550.
    • Health Savings Accounts:
      • Single HDHP Coverage: Annual contribution limit will increase by $50 to $3,600.
      • Family HDHP Coverage: Annual contribution limit will increase by $100 to $7,200.
    • Parking & Transit Accounts: These accounts will again be available for new enrollees effective January 1, 2021. These accounts cover work-related parking and/or commuting expenses.

Accident Insurance
The Accident Insurance plan will continue to be offered in 2021. This plan is designed to protect employees and their families in the event of an accident. It includes an accidental death & dismemberment component which will be enhanced for the 2021 plan year ($100,000 vs $25,000). Monthly premiums will increase slightly.

Note: The Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance plan will continue to be offered by the UW System (coverage levels range from $25,000 to $500,000). Employees may enroll in both the Accident Insurance plan and the AD&D Insurance plan.

Watch for emails in September and October regarding ABE and your enrollment opportunities!

Source: UW System Human Resources

Human Resources System Outage on September 6 Will Affect Employee Access

Employees will not have access to online timesheets, earnings statements and other related documents and services during a UW Human Resources System (HRS) outage on Sunday, September 6 from 6 a.m. through 3 p.m. The outage is due to HRS System maintenance.

The following self-service features that employees access through the MyUW portals, UW System institutions and UW-Madison, will be unavailable during this outage:

    • Online timesheet
    • Absence reporting
    • Benefits Self Service
    • Updates to personal information
    • Access to electronic earnings statements, tax statements (W-2, 1042-S, etc.), leave statements and other HR, Payroll and Benefits documents
    • Access to TAM job application service

The rest of the MyUW portal, with the exception of the HRS System related features and documents, will be available during the HRS outage.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Reminder: Earn Your $150 Well Wisconsin Incentive

Before you know it, the October 9, 2020 deadline to earn your $150 Well Wisconsin incentive will be here!

Reach your well-being goals with the help of the Well Wisconsin Program, administered by StayWell. Earn $150 by completing the below three requirements by October 9, 2020.

  1. Complete the health assessment*
    Log into the StayWell portal to answer health assessment questions online. The assessment takes 10-15 minutes.
  2. Complete a StayWell well-being activity
    Review the well-being activities and select one to complete.
  3. Complete one of the below screening options:
      • Complete a Biometric Screening
        Log into the StayWell portal to sign-up for a screening.
      • Request an At-home Screening Test Kit (new option)
        Log into the StayWell portal or contact StayWell at 1-800-821-6591. Kits must be requested by September 25, 2020.
      • Submit a Health Care Provider Form*
        Report your height, weight and blood pressure from a visit with your health care provider. Your health care provider does not need to sign this form.
      • Get a Preventive Dental Exam (new option)
        Get your exam between January 1 and September 25, 2020 to meet this requirement and self-report the information in the StayWell portal.
      • Complete a Health Coaching Call (new option)
        Discuss your current health with a StayWell health coach, set attainable goals and work with a health coach to help you reach them.

* To request a paper copy of the Health Assessment or Health Care Provider Form, contact StayWell at 1-800-821-6591.

To learn more, review the Well Wisconsin Program page.

Health information, including responses to the health assessment, are protected by federal law and will never be shared with WI Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF), the Group Health Insurance Program or your employer.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Register for your Flu Shot

Protect yourself this flu season by registering for your annual flu shot!

The Well Wisconsin Program offers workplace flu shot clinics because a quick needle stick now is better than a nasty illness later. Flu shots are free and voluntary for all employees and spouses enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance Program.

To receive a flu shot you must:

    • Pre-register.
    • Wear a mask to your appointment.
    • Present your health insurance ID card at the flu shot clinic.
    • Complete the Flu Shot Consent Form and bring it to your appointment. This form will be available for download from your appointment confirmation email.

The shot will vaccinate against the four most likely causes of flu illness during the upcoming season, including the H1N1- strain of influenza. The vaccine is not preservative-free and is not recommended if you are:

    • Allergic to eggs or egg products.
    • Sensitive to the mercury-based preservative thimerosal.
    • Have an active neurological disorder.
    • Have a fever, acute respiratory or other active infection or illness.
    • Pregnant (you should receive the vaccine directly from your physician).

To register for your flu shot:

    • If you already have an account, log into the StayWell portal at wellwisconsin.staywell.com. Then, from the dashboard, click on the Register Now button on the Flu Shot Clinics slider.
    • If you do not already have an account, go to the StayWell portal at wellwisconsin.staywell.com, click the Sign Up button and follow the instructions.

For more information:

Source: UW System Human Resources

Health Savings Account: Why is this the right account for you?

With Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) just around the corner, you may be wondering why a Health Savings Account (HSA) is right for you.

Take a look at this ninety second video to help you understand why you should consider an HSA for 2021. Or use ALEX, your personalized benefits counselor, to help you determine why the HSA may be right for you. Remember, you must be enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) in order to be enrolled in the HSA. Check your HDHP/HSA eligibility too!

If you’re already enrolled in the HDHP/HSA, this may be an appropriate time to make sure you’re getting the most out of your HSA. Review the series of HSA articles released within the last several months to help you make this determination:

Note: Annual Benefits Enrollment will occur September 28 through October 23, 2020.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Life Insurance Benefits

The UW System offers several life insurance plans to help protect you and your family in the event of death. You may enroll in one or more of the following plans if you are eligible:

  • State Group Life Insurance – Provides coverage of up to five times your eligible earnings. You may also elect up to $20,000 coverage for your spouse and up to $10,000 for dependent child(ren).
  • Individual & Family Life Insurance – Provides coverage of up to $20,000 for you, up to $10,000 for your spouse/domestic partner and up to $5,000 for dependent child(ren). If enrolled, you have an annual opportunity to increase coverage without providing proof of good health. Coverage levels can be increased in $5,000 increments up to $300,000 for employee coverage, $150,000 for spouse/domestic partner coverage and $25,000 for child(ren) coverage.
  • UW Employees Inc. Life Insurance – Provides decreasing term life insurance ranging from $7,000 to $33,000 based on your age. Coverage is not available for family members.
  • University Insurance Association Life Insurance – Provides decreasing life insurance from $3,400 to $101,000 based on your age. Coverage is not available for family members.

See the UW System Life Insurance Comparison chart for more information about who is eligible, the amount of available coverage and additional plan features.

How much life insurance do you need?

Life insurance needs vary based on your unique situation. To estimate the amount of coverage you might need, check out the Life Insurance Needs Calculator.

When can you enroll in coverage?

You may enroll within 30 days from your date of employment or newly benefits-eligible job. This is considered your initial enrollment period. If you do not enroll during your initial enrollment period, you may apply for coverage at any time through evidence of insurability by providing proof of good health (approval is not guaranteed). You may also apply for coverage within 30 days of a qualifying life event. Refer to the Life Events webpage for more details.

How to enroll in coverage.

To enroll or make changes following a qualifying life event, complete the life insurance plan’s paper application and return it to your human resources office within 30 days of the event. To apply for coverage through evidence of insurability, complete the applicable evidence of insurability form and forward it to Securian Financial. The applications and evidence of insurability forms can be found in the Forms & Resources section on each Life Insurance Plan webpage.

No application is required for enrollment in the University Insurance Association Life Insurance. Coverage is a condition of employment (for eligible employees) and you are automatically enrolled in the plan.

How much do I pay for life insurance?

Life insurance premiums vary by plan and depend on your age and the amount of coverage you elect. UW System contributes towards the cost of State Group Life Insurance and you pay the total cost of the premium for any other life insurance plan you may be enrolled in. To review the premiums for each plan, visit the Benefit Premiums webpage.

How do I pay for life insurance?

Most life insurance premiums are deducted from your pay once a month and are for coverage for the upcoming month. See the payroll deduction schedule for more information.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Are You Enrolled In A Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

The Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and the Limited Purpose Health Care FSA provide you with an opportunity to pay certain out-of-pocket expenses with tax-free dollars. Since these are spending accounts, the funds in the accounts are intended to be spent on eligible expenses. This article is a reminder for you to use your FSA funds.

Health Care FSA Eligible Expenses include:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision

Limited Purpose Health Care FSA Eligible Expenses include:

  • Medical (post-deductible only)
  • Dental
  • Vision

Once you have incurred your eligible expenses, determine how to pay for them. In most situations, your Health Care FSA payment card (from the Health Care FSA administrator, CYC) will suffice at the point of sale or service. However, there are a few options if you need to submit your FSA claims manually or substantiate a claim made using your Health Care payment card:

  • 2020 Mobile App Flyer: Allows you to access your account information wherever you are, 24/7/365. To download, visit the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace and search for "myCYC mobile app."
  • CYC Portal: Follow the instructions on the main page to file your claim.
  • Complete the 2020 FSA Reimbursement Claim Form and submit it with substantiation to:
    • Mail: CYC Claims Department, PO Box 622317, Orlando, FL 32862-2317
    • Fax: (443) 681-4602

For efficient processing, remember to include the appropriate IRS required supporting documentation with your claim(s) submission. If CYC needs more information to substantiate your claim(s), CYC will contact you directly.

Carry Over Reminder: Up to $550 of unused funds in your Health Care or Limited Purpose FSA will carry over into the following year (even if you do not enroll in the FSA for the following year). Unused funds greater than $550 on March 31 will be forfeited. Note: A change in the carryover amount from $500 to $550 was approved by the Group Insurance Board effective January 1, 2021.

For questions, contact CYC at 1-833-881-8158 or service@connectyourcare.com.
Additional resources may also be found on the UW System Employee Benefits website.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Benefits Resources during COVID-19

Many UW System employees and their families are working through change to their daily routines due to COVID-19. Watch these brief videos to help you understand why this change is necessary:

If you are covered by the State Group Health Insurance Program, you may have questions on if or how your doctor’s visit will be covered if you or a covered dependent shows symptoms of COVID-19. To answer your questions regarding testing, telehealth, biometric screening cancellations and more, visit the Department of Employee Trust Fund’s (ETF) COVID-19 webpage. ETF’s webpage includes information about using telehealth and nurse line services as an alternative to an office visit.

We realize that the current situation may cause stress and worry for you and your family. Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to UW System employees, their spouses or significant others, and their dependents. Services available may include a consultation on legal or financial concerns or help with how to handle an unexpected day care situation (e.g., child day care or adult/elder care). Visit the EAP webpage to determine how to contact the EAP provided at your institution.

For additional information see: Benefits during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This document provides a summary of benefit plan changes you may be able to make during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as links to valuable pandemic-related resources.

Source: UW System Human Resources

What is an Explanation of Benefits (EOB)?

An Explanation of Benefits (EOB) is a statement that provides details about your health and dental insurance claim(s). An EOB is created by your insurance carrier to show you how much services cost, what portion of your claim was paid by insurance, any amount(s) “written off” as a discount for obtaining services within an approved network of providers and the amount that is your responsibility to pay. Your EOB will also show how much of your deductible and out-of-pocket has been met for the calendar year.

Review the following samples for what to expect on an EOB:

When should I expect an EOB?

You should expect an EOB every time you visit your doctor or dentist. It’s important that you show your health or dental insurance ID card at each visit. It may take a few weeks for your doctor or dentist to send your claim to your insurance carrier. It typically then takes a few weeks for your insurance carrier to process your claim(s) and send you your EOB.

Do I need to submit payment to my doctor’s office or dentist’s office when I receive my EOB?

No. You should not submit payment when you receive an EOB. An EOB is not a bill. Your doctor or dentist will send you an invoice after they have receive payment from your insurance.

What should I do with my EOB?

Review your EOB upon receipt for accuracy and save it in a secure place as it contains personal health information. Additionally, EOBs may be used as follows:

  • If you are enrolled in a Health Savings Account (HSA), your EOB is an ideal document to:
    • Estimate how much to contribute to your HSA from your paycheck. Since an HSA is a component of your High Deductible Health Plan, it is important to be financially prepared to pay 100% of most services* before you meet your deductible. If unforeseen circumstances arise, you may increase or decrease your HSA contribution at any time.
      * Preventive and telehealth services are covered at 100% by your insurance even if you have not met your deductible.
  • If you are enrolled in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), a copy your EOB is an ideal document to use to:
    • Substantiate your claims. An EOB may be submitted to the FSA administrator to show the money is being used for eligible expenses per IRS regulations.
    • Estimate how much to put into your FSA on an annual basis. Since the FSA is a “use it or lose it” account** it’s important that what you put into your FSA, you plan to use.
      **The Health Care FSA allows for up to $550 to carryover from 2020 to 2021.

How do I access my EOBs?

You may access your EOBs by logging into your account online. The website information is provided on your health or dental insurance ID card.

Who should I call with questions regarding my EOBs?

You should contact your health or dental insurance plan carrier if you have questions regarding the information on your EOBs. Contact information may be found on your EOBs and on your insurance ID card(s).

Source: UW System Human Resources

WRS Contribution Rates for 2021 to Remain Stable

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) recently announced the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee and employer contribution rates effective January 1, 2021. WRS rates are evaluated and adjusted annually.

Positive investment returns in 2019 were offset by the effect of salary and demographic experience resulting in no change in rates for the general, executive, and elected category. There will be a small increase in rates for the protective categories.

Contribution increase and decrease fluctuations are considered normal for retirement systems like the WRS that pre-fund retirement benefits.

UW System employee contribution rates are determined by employment category. Most UW System employees are in the General/Teacher/Executive category. Employees with law enforcement or public protection duties (police officers, fire fighters) are in the Protective category.

WRS Contribution Rates
Employee Category General, Teacher and Executive Protectives with Social Security
Year 2020 2021 2020 2021
Employer Contribution 6.75% 6.75% 11.75% 11.65%
Employee Contribution 6.75% 6.75% 6.75% 6.75%
Total Contribution 13.5% 13.5% 18.5% 18.4%

The 2021 rates will apply to all paychecks paid in 2021; beginning January 4, 2021 for Faculty/Academic Staff and Limited Appointees paid monthly, and January 14, 2021 for University Staff paid bi-weekly. As a reminder, WRS contributions are taken on a pre-tax basis for state and federal tax purposes.

For more information visit the WRS webpage on the UW System Employee Benefits website.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Well Wisconsin Program

How are you progressing with the completion of the three requirements to earn your $150 incentive through the Well Wisconsin Program administered by StayWell?

Remember, the following must be completed by October 9, 2020:

  • Answer the health assessment and
  • Complete one of StayWell’s well-being activities and
  • Complete one of the following:
    • Get a biometric screening (modified option to include at-home test kits),
    • Submit a health care provider form,
    • Get your preventive dental exam (new option if you are enrolled in State Group Health with Uniform Dental),
    • Talk with a health coach (new option)!

Health Assessment*: Log into the StayWell portal and answer the health assessment questions online. The assessment will take approximately 10-15 minutes.

Well-being Activities: Review the well-being activities, select the one that interests you and get it done! If you want some friendly competition and motivation to help you get your steps in, you may enjoy the Million Steps Challenge. This activity allows you to report your activity through the StayWell portal and requires you to obtain one million steps (e.g. biking, yoga, walking, running). UW-Whitewater took the lead for the 1st quarter of 2020! Which institution will take the lead for future quarters?

Screening, Provider Form, Dental Exam or Health Coach: This requirement gives you options since many onsite biometric screening clinics have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Biometric Screening: Screenings may be held depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. Check the StayWell portal for future clinics located near you. Or, request an at-home screening test kit by logging into the StayWell portal or contacting StayWell via phone. Test kits must be requested by September 25, 2020.
  • Health Care Provider Form*: This form requires you to report your height, weight and blood pressure from a visit with your health care provider. Your health care provider does not need to sign this form.
  • Preventive Dental Exam: Get a dental cleaning between January 1, 2020 and September 25, 2020 to meet this requirement.
  • Health Coach Call: Discuss your current health with a health coach at StayWell, set well-being goals and explore solutions to help you attain your goals.

*Note: To request a paper copy of the Health Assessment or Health Care Provider Form, contact StayWell at 1-800-821-6591.

To learn more, review the Well Wisconsin Program page.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Long-Term Care Insurance

Effective July 8, 2020, all WRS eligible employees, an employee’s spouse, an employee’s parents and an employee’s spouse’s parents are eligible for long-term care insurance. Participants must live in Wisconsin to be eligible. This insurance plan is offered by Mutual of Omaha through HealthChoice (the designated agent for State employees).

What is long-term care insurance?

Long-term care insurance typically covers care not covered by health insurance (or Medicare/Medicaid). It may include coverage for assisted living, adult day care, hospice care, nursing homes, Alzheimer’s facilities and/or home modification to accommodate disabilities.

How much does long-term care insurance cost?

Each policy is individually underwritten with premiums based on age, gender and your individual health at the time of enrollment. Your premiums are also based on the length of your selected waiting period, policy limit and other components of your customized plan. Each policy may include various discounts for the life of the policy.

How do I pay the premiums for long-term care insurance?

Since this is an individually underwritten insurance policy, you are responsible for paying your premiums directly to HealthChoice. Payroll deduction is not an option.

When can I enroll in long-term care insurance?

You may enroll in long-term care insurance at any time. Your premiums will be partially based on your health at the time of your enrollment.

How do I enroll in long-term care insurance?

To enroll in long-term care insurance, contact HealthChoice directly at 1-800-833-5823 or info@healthchoice.com. Or visit www.healthchoice.com for additional information.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Changes: Flexible Spending Accounts and Dependent Day Care Accounts

Mid-Year Changes

Typically, outside of Annual Benefits Enrollment, the IRS requires a qualifying life event (e.g. marriage, birth of a child, etc.) to make a change to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Dependent Day Care Accounts.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group Insurance Board has approved the flexibility granted by the IRS to allow a mid-year change to either of these accounts without a qualifying life event.

From July 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020, if you are currently enrolled in a FSA and/or Dependent Day Care Account, you have a one-time opportunity to increase or decrease your annual contribution.

    • Increases: Allowed up to the maximum of $2,700 for health care FSA and $5,000 for dependent day care. The increased amount may be used for any eligible expense(s) incurred in 2020, even those that occurred prior to your new election.
    • Decreases: You may only decrease your annual contribution amount to no less than what you have already contributed or spent year-to-date, whichever is greater.

Any change made is effective the first of the month following receipt of your change request form.

Increased Healthcare FSA Carryover

Additionally, the Group Insurance Board approved a $50 increase to the amount you may carryover for healthcare FSA effective January 1, 2021. You may carryover up to $550 from the 2020 plan year to the 2021 plan year. No action is necessary on your part to take advantage of the increased healthcare FSA carryover amount.

How to Make a Mid-Year Change

To make a change to your FSA and/or Dependent Day Care Account, complete an Election Change Request Form. On the form, in step 3, check “COVID-19” as the reason for your change. Then, submit the form by September 1, 2020 to UW-Shared Services, Service Operations:

Email: serviceoperations@uwss.wisconsin.edu
Fax: (608) 890-2327
Mail: 660 W. Washington Ave, Ste 201, Madison, WI 53703

Additional Information

There were items discussed during the June 29, 2020 Group Insurance Board meeting that allowed additional flexibility for benefit plans offered through the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF). Some of these items are:

    • health plan enrollment changes,
    • an extended timeframe to submit 2019 FSA claims and
    • extended timeframes for COBRA continuation administration.

ETF did not recommend proceeding with these additional items due to low interest and the administrative challenges and complexities with the vendor change from TASC to ConnectYourCare.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Health Savings Account: Growth Estimator Tool

What could your Health Savings Account (HSA) amount to over time?

An HSA is a savings account that allows individuals enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to pay for qualifying health care expenses with pre-tax money. Your HSA can provide you a triple tax advantage by allowing:

    • Tax-free contributions
    • Tax-free distributions
    • Investment earnings

Try the HSA Growth Estimator to help you determine the potential value of your HSA over time.

A few items to keep in mind:

    • You may change your per paycheck contributions at any time throughout the year.
    • Money remaining in your account at the end of the year will automatically rollover into the next calendar year.
    • Your HSA is portable. If you leave the UW System, you take your account with you.

Reminder: In case you missed it, review the HSA Contributions and Investment Options article.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Protect Yourself from Phishing Attempts

Phishing is the use of email and fraudulent websites to lure people into disclosing personal identity information such as user names, passwords, Social Security numbers credit card and other financial information.

Although most “phishes” arrive via email, phishing attempts can also be in the form of phone calls, text messages and even in-person, such as in the case of someone engaging in face-to-face impersonation.

There are many ways that you can protect yourself from phishing attempts. It starts with awareness and following some simple strategies:

  1. Never disclose personal information, especially your usernames and passwords.
  2. Hover your cursor over hyperlinks to check the URL. Do not click a hyperlink until you verify that the URL is legitimate.
  3. Verify organizations, addresses and phone numbers by doing an internet search to confirm the validity of the sender.
  4. Look for these common signs of phishing attempts:
    • The message is unsolicited and asks you to take action revealing personal information.
    • The message has a “from” address that you don’t recognize.
    • The message has misspelled words or grammatical errors.
    • Messages that present a sense of urgency for your response should alert you.
    • A web site doesn’t have an “s” after “http//:” indicating it is not a secure site.

What to do if you Suspect a Phishing Attempt
If you suspect that you are on the receiving end of a phishing attempt, do not respond, open any links, or forward the message. Contact your local IT staff or Help Desk immediately for assistance.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

ALEX and Annual Benefits Enrollment Dates

Have you used ALEX, your personalized benefits counselor to help you make the most of your benefits?

ALEX is an interactive benefits decision support tool that helps you understand the benefit plans offered to you and your family. Whether you are a new employee or have worked for the UW System for many years, ALEX is available to you at any time!

ALEX includes all benefit plans available to eligible employees:

  • Health Insurance
  • Well-being Resources
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D)
  • Accident Insurance
  • Income Continuation Insurance (ICI)
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
  • Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)
  • Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b)
  • Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) 457

ALEX currently reflects the 2020 benefit plans and premiums. The tool will be updated this fall to reflect any benefit changes for 2021.

The 2021 Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period will be September 28, 2020 – October 23, 2020. As we get closer to the ABE additional information will be provided.

We hope you will make it a habit to visit ALEX with your benefit questions!

Source: UW System Human Resources

Human Resources System Outage 8 a.m., June 27 through 8 a.m., June 29, 2020 Will Affect Employee Access

Employees will not have access to online timesheets, earnings statements and other related documents and services during a UW Human Resources System (HRS) outage beginning Saturday, June 27 at 8 a.m through Monday, June 29 at 8 a.m. The outage is due to HRS System maintenance.

The following self-service features that employees access through the MyUW portals, UW System institutions and UW-Madison, will be unavailable during this outage:

  • Online timesheet
  • Absence reporting
  • Benefits Self Service
  • Updates to personal information
  • Access to electronic earnings statements, tax statements (W-2, 1042-S, etc.), leave statements and other HR, Payroll and Benefits documents
  • Access to TAM job application service

The rest of the MyUW portal, with the exception of the HRS System related features and documents, will be available during the HRS outage.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Human Resources System Outage 8 a.m., June 27 through 8 a.m., June 29, 2020 Will Affect Employee Access

Employees will not have access to online timesheets, earnings statements and other related documents and services during a UW Human Resources System (HRS) outage beginning Saturday, June 27 at 8 a.m through Monday, June 29 at 8 a.m. The outage is due to HRS System maintenance.

The following self-service features that employees access through the MyUW portals, UW System institutions and UW-Madison, will be unavailable during this outage:

  • Online timesheet
  • Absence reporting
  • Benefits Self Service
  • Updates to personal information
  • Access to electronic earnings statements, tax statements (W-2, 1042-S, etc.), leave statements and other HR, Payroll and Benefits documents
  • Access to TAM job application service

The rest of the MyUW portal, with the exception of the HRS System related features and documents, will be available during the HRS outage.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees May Bank Unused Vacation for Future Use

Twelve-month Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees (FAASLI) are eligible to bank unused vacation after they have completed 10 fiscal years (July 1 through June 30) of employment.

Twelve-month FAASLI are allocated vacation on a fiscal year basis. While they can carry unused vacation into the following fiscal year, the vacation must be used by the end of that fiscal year, or it will be lost. The option to bank unused vacation is a way to save vacation for future use.

How Much Vacation Can I Bank?
Twelve-month FAASLI are eligible to bank up to 40 hours of vacation per fiscal year after completing 10 fiscal years of employment, and up to 80 hours of vacation per fiscal year after completing 25 years of employment. 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 Banked Leave and the hours do not expire.

As of June 30th, any remaining vacation or vacation carryover is eligible to convert to banked leave. HRS will convert the vacation carryover first then convert the remaining vacation.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to COVID-19, an interim policy allows leave eligible FAASLI to extend the carryover of unused vacation from fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019) for one additional year. Unused Personal Holiday from fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020) may also be carried forward. All Vacation and Personal Holiday hours carried over under this temporary extension must be used by June 30, 2021. Read More.

When Can I Use my Banked Leave?
With your supervisor's approval, you may use the Banked Leave Balance at any time, and it can be used in any circumstance in which you are allowed to use paid leave.

What If I Terminate Employment?
If you terminate employment any unused banked leave will be paid to you at your current wage rate.

To View Eligible Banked Leave Hours
If you have a Banked Leave balance, you may view your balance:

To Review the Vacation Policies

If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW System Human Resources and UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Summer Prepay Deductions: Continuing Insurance Coverage While on Summer Break

This spring, summer prepay insurance premium deductions were deducted from paychecks along with regular monthly insurance premium deductions for the following employees:

  • Academic (9-month) employees who will return to UW System employment in the fall of 2020
  • Academic (9-month) employees with a summer service/summer session appointment
  • Academic (non-exempt employees paid biweekly)

Summer prepay deductions were taken to continue insurance coverage through the summer months. Eligible employees were sent an email prior to these paychecks with an estimated summer prepay deduction amount. Deductions were taken for State Group Health Insurance and any other insurance programs in which the employee is enrolled.

Opt-Out Incentive and Health Savings Account (HSA) employer contributions will continue during the summer months. Summer prepay deductions are not taken for the following:

  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) deductions which are calculated based on a 9-month schedule for academic (9-month) employees.
  • UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) (403b) or Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) 457 program deductions.

Confirming Summer Prepay Deductions
Employees should check their spring 2020 earnings statements to verify if they had summer prepay deductions taken from their paychecks. Summer prepay deductions appeared as a lump sum on earnings statements on the following paychecks:

  • Monthly paychecks: April 1, May 1 and June 1
  • Bi-weekly paychecks: March 26, April 9, April 23, May 7, May 21, June 4

Deductions taken pre-tax (most medical-related premiums and a portion of State Group Life Insurance premiums) will be added together under ‘Prebtx.’ Deductions taken post-tax (most life insurance premiums) will be added together under ‘Preatx.’ Regular benefit deductions for the month will continue to be listed under the plan name.

In the fall, 9-month employees’ regular insurance premium deductions will resume on the October 1, 2020 paycheck. Regular insurance premium deductions for 12-month employees will resume upon return from their summer work break.

What if an Employee does not Have Summer Prepay Insurance Premiums Deducted?
If an employee does not have summer prepay deductions taken in the spring, and then has a summer session/summer service appointment, they will be billed directly for payment of the additional premiums due to provide them with insurance coverage during the summer months.

Payment must be made by the billing invoice due date to ensure that insurance benefits are not canceled due to non-payment. If benefits are canceled due to nonpayment, the next opportunity to add insurance benefits may be during the fall Annual Benefits Enrollment period with an effective insurance coverage date of January 1, 2021. Some insurances can be applied for through evidence of insurability.

What if an Employee’s Employment Status Changes?
If an employee’s summer 2020 or fall 2020 employment status changes after they have had summer prepay deductions, they may receive deduction refunds. If an employee will not be returning in the fall, they should contact their human resources office to determine their insurance coverage ending dates.

Employees who anticipate any other status change; marriage, adoption, birth, divorce, etc., should contact their human resources office to understand the impacts to their insurance benefits.

Questions
If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Health Savings Account: Contributions and Investment Options

Your Contributions
If you are enrolled in a high deductible health plan (HDHP) through the UW System, your annual maximum contribution amount* to your Health Savings Account (HSA) differs based on your level of coverage (single vs. family), your age (younger or older than age 55) and how many months of the year you are eligible for the HSA.

Reminder: You may change your per paycheck contributions at any time throughout the year!

*If you are unsure what your annual maximum contribution amount is, contact your tax advisor. Penalties may apply if you contribute more than the calendar year maximum to your HSA.

Your Investment Options
Once you have a minimum balance of $1,000 in your HSA, you can invest contributions above that minimum balance. There are several investment options available. Take advantage of the investment options to use your HSA as another vehicle to save for retirement and earn a higher rate of return. The minimum balance of $1,000 ensures that you always have access to a cash balance to pay for qualifying medical, dental and/or vision out-of-pocket expenses.

To get started, log into your myCYC mobile app or online portal and indicate how much you would like to transfer to the available investment options.

Note: You may set-up your account so that money greater than the minimum balance requirement will automatically transfer into your investment account. You determine the amount that you would like to invest vs the amount that you have access to with your HSA debit card.

Reminder: Review the HSA frequently asked questions to help you get the most out of your account!

Source: UW System Human Resources

Reminder: Submit Leave Reports

All Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited appointees (who have an active leave-eligible appointment) are required to submit a leave report each month, even when leave is not used.

Employees on a consecutive day furlough are required to enter leave reports while they are on furlough. If no leave was taken for a month a “No Leave Taken” entry should be made.

With the fiscal year-end quickly approaching (June 30), now is the time to make sure you have submitted all your leave reports since July 1, 2019. To check if you are missing any leave reports, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the MyUW portal for UW System Institutions or for UW-Madison.
  2. Go to the Time and Absence module and click Launch full app.
  3. Click on Leave Reports.
  4. Review the “Missing Leave Report Between July 2019 and May 2020.
  5. To submit any missing leave reports, click on Request Absence and follow the prompts.

If you are missing any leave reports, you will receive a reminder email indicating the month(s) you are missing. Failure to submit any leave report(s) by the September 30 deadline following the fiscal year end (July – June) will result in a reduction of your sick leave hours. If possible, submit your leave reports monthly to avoid any issues.

For more detailed information on the sick leave policies review:

Visit the Time and Absence Help Pages for assistance with reporting leave. If you have questions or are unable to report your leave at the link above, contact your Institutional Leave Administrator.

Reminders:

  • Consecutive Day Furlough – For employees who may be on a consecutive day furlough, leave reports are still required. If no leave is taken during the month, you are required to submit a No Leave Taken entry.
  • Intermittent Day Furlough – For weeks in which intermittent furlough is taken, the entry of furlough time taken does not satisfy the monthly leave reporting requirement. If no leave is taken during the month, you are required to submit a No Leave Taken entry.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Vacation/Personal Holiday Carryover Extended

Due to the disruptive effect of COVID-19 on employee’s schedules, an interim policy was approved that allows all leave eligible Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees to extend the carryover of unused vacation from fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019) for one additional year. Unused Personal Holiday from fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020) may also be carried forward.

All Vacation and Personal Holiday hours carried over under this temporary extension must be used by June 30, 2021. You are encouraged to plan ahead and schedule your paid leave in advance to avoid losing any vacation and/or personal holiday hours.

Employees who extend vacation and/or personal holiday carry over are still required to submit monthly leave reports.

For more detailed information:

Source: UW System Human Resources

Consider Opening an Edvest Account on 529 Day

Edvest is Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan. It is a convenient way for families to save for higher education costs. On May 29, celebrate 529 Day by enrolling!

Benefits to opening an Edvest account include:

  • Flexible investment choices
  • 100% tax-free compound earnings
  • Money can be used at any accredited school
  • State income tax deduction (limitations apply)

For accounts opened with a $50 contribution between May 26, 2020 and May 31, 2020, Edvest will match $50 on or before January 31, 2021. Visit Edvest.com/529Day for official Terms and Conditions.

For more information and to get started visit the Edvest website.

Source: UW System Human Resources

UW TSA 403(b) Program May and June Webinars

It’s important to save for your future, and your UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program is here to help. Learn more about the TSA Program and other financial topics by attending one of the webinars listed below. Visit the UW TSA 403(b) Program website to learn more and register.

Title Date / Time
Select, Sign Up and Save with Your UW TSA 403(b) May 18, 2020 - 3:00 pm
Save Smart, Save Early with Your UW TSA 403(b) May 28, 2020  - 2:00 pm
Learn the Basics of When and How to Claim Social Security June 4, 2020  - 3:00 pm
Save Smart, Save Early with Your UW TSA 403(b) June 9, 2020 - 11:00 am
Select, Sign Up and Save with Your UW TSA 403(b) June 19, 2020 - 11:00 am
Prepare for the Reality of Health Care in Retirement June 25, 2020 - 11:00 am

Source: UW System Human Resources

Health Savings Account: Frequently Asked Questions

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a savings account that allows individuals enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to pay for qualifying health, dental and vision expenses with pre-tax money. An HSA can provide you a triple tax advantage by allowing:

  • tax-free contributions
  • tax-free distributions
  • investment earnings

There is a lot to know about your HSA, such as account basics, eligible expenses, contributions, investment options and how you can use your HSA once you retire. Take some time today to review the HSA frequently asked questions provided by ConnectYourCare (CYC), the administrator of your HSA.

Important: Have you assigned a beneficiary to your HSA? If not, login to the CYC portal to do so online or complete the 2020 HSA Beneficiary Form and send it directly to CYC.

Reminder: Use the CYC resources (myCYC mobile app and account portal) to access your account information anytime anywhere!

Source: UW System Human Resources

Well Wisconsin: 2019 Statistics and 2020 Program Information

UW System Employee 2019 Program Participation
In 2019, 36.7% of UW System employees (and/or their Spouse's) eligible for the Well Wisconsin Program completed a health assessment, biometric screening and well-being activity to earn their $150 incentive. Over 10,000 employees took the necessary steps to become more aware of their current health. The UW System had the highest program participation compared to all other State agencies.

Identified Health Risk in 2019 for UW System Employees
Based on the employees that completed the program, the 2019 health risk report identified weight and its biological consequences (high cholesterol and blood pressure) as the primary risk area for UW System employees. The health risk report provides aggregate data to allow StayWell to further develop well-being activities for future program years.

Program Information for 2020
Visit the UW System Well Wisconsin page for program information. Check out the well-being activity options for 2020 and start earning your $150 incentive today!

To get started, visit the StayWell portal. If you have questions about using or setting up a portal, contact the StayWell HelpLine at 1-800-821-6591, email wellwisconsin@staywell.com, or download the My StayWell mobile app (search for "My StayWell" in the App Store or on Google Play).

Health information is protected by federal law and will never be shared with the WI Dept. of Employee Trust Funds, the group health insurance program or employers. Review StayWell's Privacy Statement or view this short video for additional information.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Update Address/Personal Information Before End of Spring Semester

With so many people’s situations disrupted by the current health crisis, it is especially important that your personal information on file in the MyUW portal is up to date. This includes your addresses, phone numbers, name, emergency contacts and disability/veteran status. You are strongly encouraged to review and update your Address/Personal Information in the MyUW portal before the spring semester ends, or any time you know your contact information is changing:

  • To make sure you receive important notices regarding benefits, paychecks, or UW employment.
  • To make sure your W-2 Tax Form is sent each January to the correct address (if you do not choose electronic only distribution).
  • To make sure your employer may contact you if the need arises.

Employees Who are Moving or Terminating UW Employment

It is important to update your information if you have relocated, plan to move OR if you will terminate UW employment at the end of the semester. If you terminate employment, you will no longer have access to the UW Human Resource System to access documents such as your tax statements. Having your current information on file is extremely important so your UW institution can contact you when needed, such as mailing your tax forms to the correct address.

To Review and Update Your Address/Personal Information

  1. UW-Madison employees log into the MyUW-Madison portal.
  2. For all other institutions, log into MyUW System portal.
  3. Click on the portal Personal Information tile.
  4. Review your information on the Personal Information page.
  5. Click on the Update My Personal Information link to update your information.

Note: Updating information in the portal will update information for many but not all of your benefit plans. See instructions for changing your name or address for your benefits plans.

Paycheck Direct Deposit

If you currently participate in direct deposit, and you will be terminating employment at the end of the semester, it is important that you do not close your local bank account BEFORE you last check is direct deposited. Please make sure you have received all payments from the UW before you close your account.

Questions?

Review the instructions on updating your personal information or contact your human resources office.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Reviewing Your Beneficiary Designations

When was the last time you reviewed your beneficiary designations?

Naming a beneficiary allows you to pass a financial interest on after you have passed away. If you do not recall who you have listed as your beneficiary, or you have experienced a life event such as a marriage, divorce or birth of a child, review your designations and submit new forms if necessary. The most recently dated form on file at the time of your death is binding for the payment of all proceeds.

Here is a list of the plans that have benefits payable to beneficiaries:

  • State Group Life Insurance,
  • Individual & Family Life Insurance,
  • UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance,
  • University Insurance Association Life Insurance,
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance,
  • Accident Insurance,
  • Health Savings Account (HSA),
  • Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS),
  • UW Tax-Sheltered (TSA) Annuity 403(b),
  • Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) 457.

To see which benefit plans you are enrolled in, log into the portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison and follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Benefit Information module and click Launch full app.
  2. On the Summary page, review the Coverage column to see which plans you’re enrolled in (Waive indicates you are not enrolled).
  3. Click Next to see additional plans.
  4. Compare the plans you are enrolled in to the plans that have benefits payable to beneficiaries.

Some plans allow you to update your beneficiary designations online while others require a signed designation form. The UW System Beneficiary Information page provides information on how to designate a beneficiary for each benefit plan. If a plan you are enrolled in requires a paper form, you may print the applicable beneficiary form(s) from the Beneficiary Information page.

Once you have completed the appropriate forms, mail them directly to the address listed on the form (not to your human resources office).

Source: UW System Human Resources

How To Get Medical Care When You Need It Fast

Would you like the ability to seek basic medical care from the comfort of your own home?
If so, the telemedicine services in the State Group Health Insurance Program may allow you to do so.

Take these steps now to prepare for the unexpected:

What is telemedicine/telehealth (used interchangeably)?
The remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of electronic communication. This means that for non-urgent medical care, you may be able to access care through video chat or a virtual house call. Through telemedicine, a doctor may recommend treatment, prescribe medication, refer you to a specialist or tell you, based on your symptoms, if you should see a doctor in-person.

Why should you consider telemedicine services?
You may receive care quicker and it may be more convenient than going to your doctor’s office or to urgent care. They are also typically less expensive than an office visit or urgent care visit.

How will your telemedicine service be covered by the State Group Health Insurance plan?
Due to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, effective March 27 through December 31, 2020, telemedicine services are covered at 100%. Any follow-up care may be subject to the copayment, deductible and/or coinsurance as described on the Comparison of Health and Pharmacy Benefits.

How can you obtain additional information regarding telemedicine services?
Generally, health plans offer telemedicine services through their online portals and/or through a mobile app. If you’re unable to find telemedicine information through your health insurance plans online portal, contact your health insurance plan directly by calling the toll-free number on your health insurance ID card. Otherwise, go to ETF's Telehealth Options web page for more information.

Source: UW System Human Resources

CARES Act Offers Financial Relief/Flexibility to Retirement Plan Participants

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act" or "Act") was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act includes provisions related to retirement plans that offer both financial relief and flexibility to plan participants. The UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program has adopted the following CARES Act provisions.

Coronavirus Related Distributions
The CARES Act allows for distributions of up to $100,000 (aggregated across all plans and IRAs) for an individual who has a COVID-19 event, defined as a person:

  • who is diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • who experiences adverse financial consequences resulting from COVID-19, including being quarantined, furloughed, laid off, having work hours reduced, experiencing COVID-19-related child care issues that impede one’s ability to work, or the closing or reduction of hours of a business owned or operated by an individual impacted by COVID-19.

Participants self-certify that they qualify for the distribution as an "affected individual." Distributions must be made before December 31, 2020. These distributions are not subject to early withdrawal penalties or mandatory withholding when taken.

The legislation permits participants to:

  • Spread out the income taxes that would be due on the distribution ratably over 3-years
  • Repay the amounts back into the retirement plan or IRA over next 3-year period if that plan accepts roll-in contributions (the repayments are not subject to retirement plan contribution limits). The repayment does not need to be made to the same plan or IRA from which the distribution was made.

Participant Loan Changes
The Act includes specific relief for participant loans from retirement accounts. A participant must have a COVID-19 related event (as noted above) to be eligible.

  • Plan Loan Dollar Limits Increased. The Act temporarily increases the maximum amount available that participants can borrow from $50,000 to $100,000 (less any outstanding loan amounts) from their plan account balance. The Act also allows participants to borrow up to the lesser of $100,000 or 100 percent of their account balance (subject to provider requirements), rather than the 50 percent limit under current rules. These loan limit increases are in effect for 180 days following the signing of the bill into law (March 27, 2020).

    The participant is still limited to only having two open loans across all providers at one time. If the participant already has two open loans, one loan must be paid off before applying for a new loan.
  • Extension for Loan Due Dates. The Act provides a one-year extension for any loan payment due between March 27 and December 31, 2020. Remaining payments, plus applicable interest, can be re-amortized over the extended period.

Temporary Waiver of Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Rules

  • The CARES Act waives required minimum distributions (RMDs) for calendar year 2020 for defined contribution plans, including 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), as well as IRAs, allowing individuals to keep funds in their retirement plans. This includes payments to beneficiaries required under RMD rules. Participants who have already taken a 2020 RMD may now transfer the distribution amount back into the account within a 60-day rollover period of taking the withdrawal.
  • The waiver applies to 2019 RMDs due by April 1, 2020 and for 2020 RMDs due by December 31, 2020.

Contact your TSA provider for more information. TSA provider contact information can be accessed on the TSA Program web page.

Please remember that taking a loan or distribution from your retirement account could have a long-term negative effect on your account.

Source: UW System Human Resources

ConnectYourCare: Portal and Mobile App

ConnectYourCare (CYC) is the administrator of the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) available to UW employees as of January 1, 2020. Participants can log into the CYC portal from their desktop. The myCYC mobile app can be downloaded to provide participants with quick access to account information.

The online portal and myCYC mobile app allows participants to check account balances, submit claims, upload supporting documentation and more. Check out this brief video to get a better feel for how these resources may be useful.

Download the myCYC mobile app today!

Source: UW System Human Resources

Technology Offers One-on-One Meetings with TSA Providers During Covid-19 Crisis

Participants in the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program can still meet one-on-one with TSA providers even during the Covid-19 crisis. TSA providers are available via telephone calls and through video conferencing to answer questions, review investments, discuss the market, and more.

To schedule an appointment, contact your provider as you normally would. Providers will facilitate meetings with the type of technology they are using and the technology available to participants.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Employee Well-being Webinars

In March, UW System Human Resources launched a new web page that lists upcoming webinars. The web page is dedicated to well-being education. Here are just several of the webinars available in April:

  • Preparing for Your Retirement by ETF on April 14 at 1:00 pm
  • Mindful Stress Management: In the Workplace and Beyond by FEI on April 15 at 11:00 am
  • Managing Financial Stress by Summit Credit Union on April 16 at 11:00 am
  • Navigating Market Volatility by Fidelity on April 17 at 11:00 am
  • Understanding Your Annual WRS Statement of Benefits by ETF on April 30 at 11:30 am

There is also a special on-demand webinar recording available through FEI titled: How to Handle Change During COVID-19.

Take the time to manage your well-being! Visit the Well-being Webinars website to get started today.

Source: UW System Human Resources

WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Available in the MyUW Portal

UW employees covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2019 can now view their January 1, 2020 WRS Annual Statement of Benefits on the MyUW portal.

To access your statement, Log into the portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Launch the Benefit Information module and click on the Statements tab. Choose “ETF Annual Statement of Benefits (WRS) Issued 2020”.

Understanding Your Statement

Your Statement includes your:

    • 2019 earnings and service
    • Years of creditable service as of January 1, 2020
    • Retirement benefit projections, separation benefit, death benefit
    • Primary beneficiary designation(s) for your WRS account

The UW System contributes to your WRS. For the 2019 plan year, the UW System contributed 6.55% of your eligible earnings (for Protectives w/ Social Security the UW System contributes 10.55%). Your WRS Annual Statement of Benefits shows your contributions as well as the UW System contributions to the plan. For the 2020 plan year the UW System contributes 6.75% of your eligible earnings (for Protectives w/ Social Security the UW System contributes 11.65%).

Resources

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has resources available to assist you in understanding your Statement of Benefits. Review and verify each section of your statement using these resources as a guide.

    • An Introductory Letter which highlights important information on the statement.
    • The Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefits.
    • The ETF Statement of Benefits web page which includes many resources including a sample statement.
    • Live Webinar: Topics include WRS contributions, vesting status, years of service, and what happens to your account if you die before taking a benefit. Registration is required for the webinar dates below:
      • Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. CDT
      • Thursday, June 25, 2020, 12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. CDT
      • Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. CDT

Review Your Beneficiaries

It is important to review the primary beneficiary(ies) listed on your WRS statement. If there are no beneficiaries listed, you either don’t have a beneficiary designation on file, or your designation was made before 1998 (beneficiaries added before 1998 are not listed on your statement). It is recommended that you complete a Beneficiary Designation Form if a beneficiary is not listed on your statement.

Death benefits are paid according to the most recent valid beneficiary designation form on file with ETF prior to your death. If no beneficiary designation is on file, death benefits will be paid according to the statutory standard sequence in effect on the date of death. Your beneficiary information does not automatically change when a significant life event occurs, such as a divorce or a marriage. To add, change or remove beneficiaries complete a Beneficiary Designation form (ET-2320) or Beneficiary Designation-Alternate form (ET-2321). Mail your completed beneficiary designation directly to ETF at the address listed at the top of the form.

Questions?

If you have questions about your statement, contact your institution’s human resources office.

General information on the WRS can be found on the UW System Employee Benefits WRS web page.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

State of Wisconsin Investment Board Response to COVID-19

To WRS participants and other stakeholders:

The recent market movement has been volatile and significant. Over the past several weeks, the spread of COVID-19 has had a major impact on global financial markets. SWIB is continuing to monitor, analyze, and respond to market conditions. Our investment and trading operations continue as usual, and we can operate remotely during the public health crisis.

It is important to remember that SWIB is a long-term investor. Although no investment strategy can prevent losses, our goal is to generate returns over the long-term to help ensure the WRS remains strong. SWIB is positioning to take opportunities now and for the eventual market rebound. It is still early in the year. Governments around the globe are taking unprecedented efforts to both contain the virus and help stabilize the economy. As many of our stakeholders know, market gains and losses for the Core Trust Fund are smoothed over five years. Last year's net return of 19.33% and SWIB's highly diversified portfolio put us in a strong position to weather this current downturn.

This is not the first time we have had to deal with stresses in the markets, and it will not be the last. These are unprecedented economic times that create uncertainty around what might happen next. But, just as we did through previous market challenges, we will continue to adapt, work hard, monitor our investments, and take opportunities where we see them on behalf of the trust funds that we manage.

On behalf of the SWIB Board of Trustees and our committed staff, stay safe as we navigate through the days ahead.

David Villa
Executive Director/Chief Investment Officer

https://www.swib.state.wi.us

Source: State of Wisconsin Investment Board

Benefits Resources during COVID-19

Many UW System employees and their families are working through changes to their daily routines due to COVID-19. Watch these brief videos to help you understand why this change is necessary:

If you are covered by the State Group Health Insurance Program, you may have questions on if or how your doctor’s visit will be covered if you or a covered dependent shows symptoms of COVID-19. To answer your questions regarding testing, telehealth, biometric screening cancellations and more, visit the Department of Employee Trust Fund’s (ETF) COVID-19 webpage. ETF’s webpage includes information about using telehealth and nurse line services as an alternative to an office visit.

If you are enrolled in the Dependent Day Care Account and have experienced a change in the cost of your day care provider (e.g., your day care has closed), you may be able to decrease your contribution amount. Per IRS guidelines, changes due to qualifying life events must be made within 30 days. To make a change, submit a change form to your human resources office.

Finally, we realize that the current situation may cause stress and worry for you and your family. Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to UW System employees, their spouses or significant others, and their dependents. Services available may include a consultation on legal or financial concerns or help with how to handle an unexpected day care situation (e.g., child day care or adult/elder care). Visit the EAP webpage to determine how to contact the EAP provided at your institution.

For additional information see: Benefits during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This document provides a summary of benefit plan changes you may be able to make during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as links to valuable pandemic-related resources.

Source: UW System Human Resources

New Form W-4 Designed to Better Estimate Accurate Tax Withholding

In December 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a new Form W-4 designed to help employees better estimate accurate tax withholding throughout the year. Too little tax withheld can result in a tax bill when taxes are filed. Too much tax withheld means you will receive a tax refund, and your money will not be available to spend or invest until your tax refund is received.

Online Self-Service Form W-4

To facilitate the completion of the new Form W-4, the UW now offers an online self-service Form W-4. Completion of this new form is not required, but all employees are encouraged to review the new form and their individual tax situation.

To access the new form, log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. In the Payroll Information tile, click on the Update W-4 button.

The Update Federal and/or State Form W-4 tip sheet is a resource available to help you use self-service to complete Form W-4.

How do I Determine How Much Tax I Should Have Withheld?

The Tax Withholding Estimator is a tool on the IRS website designed to help you determine how to have the correct amount of tax withheld from your paychecks so you don't have too much or too little federal income tax withheld.

Before you use the tax withholding estimator:

  • Gather the most recent earnings statements for yourself, and if you are married filing jointly, for your spouse.
  • Gather information for other sources of income.
  • Have your most recent income tax return available.
  • Use whole dollar amounts in the estimator.

Keep in mind that the tax withholding estimator’s results will only be as accurate as the information you enter. If you have questions about the new Form W-4 or the available resources, please contact your Payroll office. Please note that the UW is not authorized to provide tax advice.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Accident Insurance - For When the Unexpected Happens

What is Accident Insurance?
Accident Insurance is an affordable way to protect your wallet when the unexpected happens. Unlike disability insurance which replaces income, or health insurance which pays for medical bills, Accident Insurance provides a cash payment directly to you if you experience a covered accident and may be used to pay for any out-of-pocket expenses. The plan also provides an accidental death and dismemberment benefit.

Who can enroll and When?
If you are eligible for the State Group Health Insurance Program, you are eligible to enroll in the Accident Insurance Plan within 30 days of hire or becoming eligible for benefits. Coverage for your spouse and dependent child(ren) is also available.

If you choose not to enroll during your initial 30-day enrollment period, you may have an opportunity to enroll if you have a qualifying life event such as a birth or marriage. Otherwise an enrollment opportunity may be available during an Annual Benefits Enrollment period offered each October.

What to do When Injured from an Accident?
If you are enrolled in the Accident Insurance Plan and are injured in an accident, follow these steps to determine if you may be eligible for a benefit:

  1. Check the Plan Certificate for a list of covered injuries.
  2. If your injury is listed, medical treatment may have to be provided within a set number of hours or days after the accident occurs. For example, if you sustain a second or third degree burn, you must receive treatment from a physician within 72 hours of the accident to be eligible for a benefit.
  3. Provide written notice of your claim within 20 days of the date of loss resulting from a covered accident.

There are limits to the number of payments per covered accident, and the number of covered injuries that can be claimed per calendar year. For example, the concussion benefit is limited to one payment per person per covered accident per calendar year.

How to File a Claim
You (not your health care providers) are responsible for filing claims with Securian. To initiate a claim, contact the plan carrier, Securian:

Visit the Accident Insurance Plan webpage for additional information.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Duplicate Tax Statements

Tax statements (Form W-2, 1042-S*, Fellowship Letters) for the current and previous four years are available for active employees in the MyUW portal.

To print duplicate tax statements, log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Launch the Payroll Information app and choose the Tax Statements tab. Statements for 2016 through 2019 are available. You must be logged into a UW network (either connected directly to a UW network, or remotely by using VPN) in order to be able to access 2018 and 2019 W-2 Forms.

Please note that tax statements from 2017 and prior do not include Social Security numbers. If you require a tax document that displays your Social Security number, or you need a statement from a year prior to 2016, you may request a duplicate tax statement by completing a Duplicate Tax Statement Request.

*1042-S Requests: If you have a Glacier account, your 2019 1042-S Form is available in Glacier. For those without a Glacier account, 1042-S Forms were mailed in early March and will be available on the MyUW portal in late March.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

State Group Life Insurance Annual Premium Update

Each year, State Group Life Insurance premiums are updated on April 1. For University Staff and Academic Staff non-exempt employees (paid bi-weekly), the premium update will be reflected on the April 9, 2020 paycheck. For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (paid monthly), the premium update will be reflected on the April 1, 2020 paycheck.

Current enrollees in the State Group Life insurance program can review their updated premiums at: State Group Life Premium Notice. Current enrollees were sent an email March 13 with a link to this customized web page.

State Group Life Insurance premium and coverage levels are based on:

  • An employee’s highest calendar year of eligible earnings
  • An employee’s age as of April 1 each year
  • The coverage level the employee has elected

Employees who have changed age categories, or have had a salary change since April 1, 2019, will have a premium change effective April 1, 2020.

Premium Increase
Effective April 1, 2020, in addition to the annual premium update, State Group Life Insurance premiums will increase for most age categories. Premiums for spouse and dependent coverage will decrease slightly. Review the 2020 State Group Life Insurance premiums.

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

The benefit premium changes were approved by the Group Insurance Board which oversees the administration of the State Group Life Insurance program.

Questions?
For general information about the State Group Life insurance plan, visit the State Group Life Insurance plan page or visit ALEX. If you have questions about the premium update or increase, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Using Telemedicine For Medical Care When You Need It Fast

Would you like the ability to seek basic medical care from the comfort of your own home?
If so, the telemedicine services in the State Group Health Insurance Program may allow you to do so. With the flu and virus season, now may be a good time to prepare for the unexpected. Take these steps to get you started:

What is telemedicine/telehealth (used interchangeably)?
The remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of electronic communication. This means that for non-urgent medical care, you may be able to access care through video chat or a virtual house call. Through telemedicine, a doctor may be able to recommend treatment, prescribe medication, refer you to a specialist or tell you, based on your symptoms, if you should see a doctor in-person.
Note: These services vary among insurance carriers in the State Group Health Insurance Program.

Why should you consider telemedicine services?
You may receive care quicker and it may be more convenient than going to your doctor’s office or to urgent care. They are also typically less expensive than an office visit or urgent care visit.

How will your telemedicine service be covered by your State Group Health Insurance?
This will depend on which plan design you are enrolled in.

  • Health Plan: Telemedicine services are covered at 100%.
  • High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP): Telemedicine services are covered at 100% after you meet your deductible. This is necessary to comply with Health Savings Account (HSA) eligibility requirements as well as coverage mandates per the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

How can you obtain additional information regarding telemedicine services?
Generally, health plans offer telemedicine services through their online portals and/or through a mobile app. If you’re unable to find telemedicine information through your health insurance plan online portal, contact your health plan directly by calling the toll-free number on your health insurance ID card.

Source: UW System Human Resources

State Treasurer Godlewski Attends UW System’s America Saves Week Event

America Saves Week (held February 24-28, 2020) is a national campaign encouraging individuals to save money and build personal wealth. For the past five years, UW System has worked with financial companies and institutions to hold free on-site workshops and individual counseling sessions for UW employees statewide.

On February 25, UW System had the honor of welcoming State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski to the “Women and Retirement” workshop at UW-Extension Research Park. As chair of the Wisconsin Retirement Task Force, she spoke to attendees about her focus on finding retirement security solutions for Wisconsin residents.

She also asked attendees why they chose to attend the workshop, opening an honest and insightful dialogue. Reasons participants shared for attending included:

  • A desire to be financially independent before getting married and having children.
  • Not wanting to be a burden to their children in retirement.
  • Learning how they compared to other participants in their retirement planning.

Across the UW System, America Saves Week 2020 included 23 on-site workshops, 11 days of individual counseling sessions, 6 days of credit check-ups, and 15 webinars.

UW System thanks this year’s 450 participants for their participation and ongoing feedback making a successful America Saves Week possible.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Summer Prepay Insurance Premium Deductions

Summer prepay insurance premiums deductions will be deducted from spring paychecks along with regular monthly insurance premium deductions for the following employee groups.

  • Academic (9-month) employees who will return to UW employment in the fall of 2020 will have April 1, May 1 and June 1 deductions.
  • Academic (9-month) employees with a summer service/summer session appointment will have April 1, May 1 and June 1 deductions.
  • Academic (biweekly non-exempt employees) will have March 26, April 9 and 23, May 7 and 21 and June 4 deductions

Affected employees will receive an email prior to these paychecks with an estimated Summer prepay deduction amount. Deductions will be taken for State Group Health and any other insurance programs in which the employee is enrolled.*

Why are Summer Prepay Insurance Premiums Deducted in the Spring?
The additional summer prepay insurance premium deductions are taken to continue an employee’s insurance coverage through the summer (contract break) months. The Summer prepay deductions must be taken in the spring since these insurance premiums cannot be taken during a contract break and cannot be deducted from summer service/summer session earnings.

What if an Employee’s Employment Status Changes?
If an employee’s summer 2020 or fall 2020 employment status changes after they have had summer prepay deductions, they may receive deduction refunds. If an employee will be terminating employment, and will not return in the fall, they should contact their human resources office to determine their employment termination and insurance coverage end dates.

Employees who anticipate that they will experience any other status change; marriage, adoption, birth, divorce, etc., should contact their human resources office so they understand the impacts to their insurance benefits.

What if an Employee does not Have Summer Prepay Insurance Premiums Deducted?
If an employee does not have summer prepay deductions taken in the spring, and then has a summer session/summer service appointment, they will be billed directly for payment of the additional premiums due to provide them with insurance coverage during the summer months.

Payment must be made by the billing invoice due date to insure that insurance benefits are not canceled due to non-payment. If benefits are canceled due to nonpayment, the next opportunity to add the insurance benefits may be during the fall 2020 Annual Benefits Enrollment period with an effective insurance coverage date of January 1, 2021.

For questions, contact your human resources office.

* Does not include Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) deductions which are calculated based on a 9-month schedule for academic (19-month) employees.

* Does not include Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) deductions.

* Opt-Out Incentive and Health Savings Account (HSA) employer contributions will be processed in the summer months.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

UW System Human Resource Website Updates

The UW System Human Resources website layout is being enhanced and changes will be live in early March. You can expect to see an improved navigation menu with easier access to links that you may use.

Enhancements include:

  • Aligning the top and left-hand navigation menus
  • Adding a dropdown menu so you can access your institution’s human resources website
  • Linking to the MyUW Portal in the top navigation

One goal of the enhancements is to make it easier for UW System employees and prospective employees to easily find the information they are looking for. The improved navigation menu and easier access to links will help to accomplish this goal.

Also changing is the way information on benefits and compensation is organized. The Benefits link will be replaced with a Total Rewards link and will include pages on compensation, benefits, well-being resources, and system-wide events.

Your UW System total rewards package includes your base pay, paid time off, health, dental, vision and life insurance, retirement contributions and well-being resources. The UW System offers you a comprehensive total rewards package to help retain top talent and attract new talent.

Source: UW System Human Resources

America Saves Week, February 24 - 28: Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically.

America Saves Week – February 24 to February 28, 2020 – is here! The University of Wisconsin is promoting the America Saves Week campaign and is dedicated to helping you set a savings goal and make a plan to reach that goal.

Visit the UW System America Saves Week website to register for events, including over a dozen live webinars on topics like retirement, savings, budgeting. All events are free – but you must register!

Are you motivated to start saving for your retirement now? An easy and effective way to save is automatically is through the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program. The TSA can help you invest for your long-term retirement goals. If you already participate in the program, consider increasing your contributions. If you are not a TSA Program participant, sign up today. Through the TSA Program you can invest a portion of your income for retirement on either a pre-tax basis, an after-tax basis (Roth), or a combination of both.

Start Small, Think Big. Remember, when you are getting started, no contribution is too small. Even if you set aside one percent of your salary in the UW TSA 403(b) Program, that’s an important start. You can start with only $8 per biweekly pay period or $20 per monthly pay period. Over time, your contributions will add up. Even small amounts of savings can help you in the future. Save automatically in the UW TSA 403(b) Program.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Reminder: March 31 Deadline to Submit 2019 Flexible Spending Account Claims

Health Care and Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to pay certain out-of-pocket expenses with tax-free dollars. Since these are spending accounts, the money is intended to be spent. As a reminder, you must submit and substantiate your eligible expenses for your 2019 FSA no later than March 31, 2020. Unused Health Care funds greater than $500 after March 31 will be forfeited.

Eligible Expenses
Health Care FSA eligible expenses include: medical, dental and vision.

Limited Purpose Health Care FSA eligible expenses include: medical (post-deductible only), dental and vision.

How to Submit Eligible Expenses for 2019 Claims
You will need to submit your 2019 FSA claims using one of the following methods:

For efficient processing, include the appropriate IRS required supporting documentation with your claim(s) submission. TASC will contact participants directly when additional information is needed.

Review your TASC online account to see if you have claims that require documentation.

Health Care FSA Carry Over Reminders
Up to $500 of unused funds in a Health Care or Limited Purpose FSA will carry over into the following plan year (even if you do not enroll in the FSA for the following plan year). However, due to the administrator change effective January 1, 2020, you will not be able to access your carry over funds with the new administrator until May 1, 2020.

Note: The carry over provision does not apply to the Dependent Day Care Account.

FSA Administrator Change
Effective January 1, 2020, the FSA administrator changed from TASC to ConnectYourCare (CYC). Claims incurred January 1 - December 31, 2019 should be submitted to TASC by March 31st. Claims incurred in 2020 should be submitted to CYC. For more information on this change see the Flexible Spending Account – 2020 Vendor Change page.

For additional resources: UW System Employee Benefits website.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Register Now for America Saves Week Events: February 24-28

America Saves Week, a national campaign encouraging savings and financial planning, is February 24 - 28, 2020. Register for over a dozen live webinars on budgeting, saving, retirement and much more by visiting the UW System America Saves Week website.

Webinars are presented by the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) providers - Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, TIAA, and Lincoln - along with UW Credit Union. All events are offered at no cost to you - but you must register!

The website also includes links to interactive webinars, videos, planning and budgeting resources, and handy tips and information on saving and financial wellness. Take control of your financial future now!

Source: UW System Human Resources

Form 1095-C Now Available Online

Electronic copies of the 2019 Form 1095-C are now available online in the MyUW portal. Employees will receive a paper copy of Form 1095-C via U.S. mail by mid-February. Paper copies are mailed to all employees except those who elected to receive an electronic only 1095-C by January 15, 2020.

Form 1095-C is provided to all employees who were full-time, as defined by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), for all or some months of 2019. Employees should retain Form 1095-C with their tax records.

For more information regarding Form 1095-C and the ACA: Affordable Care Act.

If you have questions, contact your Payroll office.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Register Now for America Saves Week Events: February 24 - 28

America Saves Week, a national campaign encouraging savings and financial planning, is February 24 –28, 2020. Register for over a dozen live webinars on budgeting, saving, retirement and much more by visiting the UW System America Saves Week website.

Webinars are presented by the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) providers - Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, TIAA, and Lincoln - along with UW Credit Union. All events are offered at no cost to you - but you must register!

America Saves Week will keep you motivated with information, tips, and reminders to help you reach your financial goals. The America Saves Week campaign is an opportunity to commit—or recommit—to saving for today and for the future.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Updated Income Continuation Insurance Premiums Effective February 1, 2020

Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) premiums are updated annually on February 1. Updated premiums for University Staff (paid bi-weekly) will be reflected on the February 13, 2020 paycheck. Updated ICI premiums for Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (paid monthly) will be reflected on the February 28, 2020 paycheck.

If you are currently enrolled in the ICI program, visit the ICI Premium Notice web page for your personalized updated premium amount. Current enrollees were sent an email January 25 directing them to this customized web page.

Several factors determine your premium amount:

  • For University Staff: the ICI premium is based on 2019 earnings reported to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), sick leave balance/usage as of December 21, 2019 and current ICI category.
  • For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees: the ICI premium is based on 2019 WRS-reported earnings and the selected ICI elimination period.

Please note: The ICI annual premium update effective February 1 is based on 2019 earnings and does not reflect any enrollments made during the ICI Deferred Enrollment period which began in January and ends March 2, 2020. Employees who are eligible to participate in the ICI Deferred Enrollment period received notification about their opportunity via an email sent January 18.

A complete list of ICI premiums and plan information is available on the ICI plan page. If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Employee Assistance Program Offers Resources and Webinars

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides UW employees and members of their household with confidential resources to address personal and/or work-related concerns. EAP services are offered at no cost to employees. FEI is the administrator of the EAP program for most institutions. Click here to verify if FEI is your EAP administrator.

2020 Monthly Webinar Series
The FEI monthly webinar series is open for registration for eligible employees. Registration is required. Note: Employees must attend a webinar on their own time or consult with their supervisor for approval to attend.

Click here for webinar information and registration. Follow the individual links on each webinar for registration.

October 2020 Webinar: Relationships 101

Time: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:00pm CDT

Description: What is the foundation of a good relationship? Whether you're building a relationship with a co-worker, significant other or someone you just clicked with online, we'll explore the fundamentals good relationships, discuss strategies for improving them and how you can make positive connections.

November 2020 Webinar: Cultivating Digital Wellness: Digital Declutter

Time: Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:00pm CDT

Description: Electronic devices. Apps. Social media. It seems like everything digital is designed to steal your time and attention. We'll discuss how social media and digital devices are designed to distract us. You'll also learn how to clear your digital clutter, set achievable goals and regain your focus-both "IRL" (in real life) and online.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Save the Date: America Saves Week February 24-28, 2020

UW System is promoting financial well-being through the America Saves Week campaign, which encourages individuals and families to save for their financial goals. Visit the UW System America Saves Week website for more information. Registration for these free events opens Monday, February 3.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Income Continuation Insurance Deferred Enrollment Available Through March 2, 2020 for Eligible Employees

You may be eligible to participate in the annual Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) Deferred Enrollment opportunity now through March 2, 2020. ICI is an ‘income replacement’ benefit plan that replaces up to 75% of your gross salary if you are unable to work due to a short or long-term disability. Employees who are eligible to participate in the ICI Deferred Enrollment opportunity were notified by email on January 18.

Eligibility

If you are currently enrolled in the ICI plan and have Standard ICI coverage, you may be eligible to enroll in Supplemental ICI coverage during the ICI Deferred Enrollment opportunity.

If you are not currently enrolled in the ICI plan, you may be eligible to enroll during the ICI Deferred Enrollment opportunity which is the only time during the year that you may enroll in the ICI plan without evidence of insurability.

For More Information
Read more about the ICI program or visit ALEX. To participate in the ICI Deferred Enrollment, submit an application to your human resources office by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 2, 2020. If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

W-2 Forms (Wage and Tax Statements) Now Available Online

Electronic copies of the 2019 W-2 Forms (Wage and Tax Statements) are now available online in the MyUW portal. Employees will receive a paper copy of the W-2 Form via U.S. mail by January 31, 2020. Note: Paper copies are mailed to all employees except those who elected to receive an electronic only W-2 by 10 a.m. on January 15, 2020.

Instructions to View/print 2019 W-2 Form. Note: You must be logged into a UW network (either connected directly to a UW network, or remotely by using VPN) in order to be able to access your W-2.

Availability of Other Tax Forms

Some employees will receive one or more additional tax forms from the University of Wisconsin. Note: These additional forms are not applicable to all employees.

Examples of additional forms an employee may receive include:

    • Form 1095-C - An email communication will be sent to employees who will receive this form.
    • The Fellowship Letter is typically available in February.
    • The 1042-S Forms are typically available online in the MyUW portal in March. Employees who have chosen electronic delivery through the Glacier System may have access to their forms earlier; others will have them mailed to their home address. Instructions to View/print 1042-S Form and Fellowship Letter.

Resources

Filing Taxes

Employees should use their W-2 Form, not their final 2019 earnings statement, to file taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2019 taxable earnings since the last 2019 payroll was paid and may have an additional earnings statement generated reflecting these adjustments. These adjustments will already be reflected on the W-2 Form that the employee receives.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin accepting returns on January 27, 2020 for the 2019 tax filing season. Employees may want to consider filing their return as soon as all tax forms are received to minimize the chance of a fraudulent return being processed using their Social Security number, or Individual Tax Payer Identification number. More information is available on the IRS website.

If you have questions, contact your Payroll office.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Make Your Well-Being a Resolution!

It’s that time of year again – the time when we make New Year’s resolutions to be healthier versions of ourselves. We all have great intentions at the beginning of January, but sometimes our goals are so overwhelming, or too vague, and follow through can be difficult. But what if you focused on setting small goals that would help your overall well-being throughout the year?

Many times we think of well-being as physical and mental health. Both physical and mental, or emotional, well-being are very important to your overall health, but according to the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), there are six others to also consider: environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, purpose and social. Listed below are a few ideas of resolutions you can make to get started on your journey to better overall well-being.

Emotional

  • Keep a daily journal
  • Practice yoga

Environmental

  • Make recycling a priority
  • Use a reusable BPA-free water bottle

Financial

Intellectual

  • Choose books to read in the new year
  • Start a hobby

Occupational

  • Research topics in your field
  • Enroll in a course at a community college

Physical

  • Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night
  • Take a short walk every day

Purpose

  • Volunteer for a cause important to you
  • Work on a hobby

Social

  • Plan a gathering with family or friends
  • Join a group based on one of your hobbies

You can also access Well Wisconsin, administered by StayWell, which offers a variety of wellness programs that can help you achieve your health and well-being goals.

There are many small steps you can take to make a large impact on your well-being in 2020!

Source: UW System Human Resources

Tax Law Changes for Parking Fees, Vanpool, and Bus Passes

On December 20, 2019, H.R. 1865 The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020 was signed into law by the Federal Government. As a result, parking, vanpool, and bus passes for all UW System employees will change from a post-tax to a pre-tax deduction.

  • If you are paid monthly, you will see the pre-tax deduction on your January 31 paycheck (for the pay period of January 1 - January 31).
  • If you are paid biweekly, you will see the pre-tax deduction on your January 30 paycheck (for the pay period of January 5 - January 18).

In addition, UW System is working with the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) on approval and potential re-implementation of the Parking & Transit Accounts through ConnectYourCare. As we learn more, information on the Parking & Transit Accounts will be shared with employees.

If you have additional questions, please contact human resources.

Source: UW System Human Resources

What You Need to Know About Telemedicine

Would you like the ability to seek basic medical care from the comfort of your own home?

If so, the telemedicine services in the State Group Health Insurance Program may allow you to do so. With the arrival of flu season, now may be a good time to learn about telemedicine. Watch the Get Medical Care When You Need It Fast video to help you determine if telemedicine may meet your needs.

What is telemedicine/telehealth (used interchangeably)?

The remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of electronic communication. This means that for non-urgent medical care, you may be able to access care through video chat or a virtual house call. Through telemedicine, a doctor may be able to recommend treatment, prescribe medication, refer you to a specialist or tell you, based on your symptoms, if you should see a doctor in-person.

Note: These services vary among insurance carriers in the State Group Health Insurance Program.

Why should you consider telemedicine services?

You may receive care quicker and it may be more convenient than going to your doctor’s office or to urgent care. They are also typically less expensive than an office visit or urgent care visit.

How will your telemedicine service be covered by your State Group Health Insurance?

This will depend on which plan design you are enrolled in.

    • Health Plan: Telemedicine services are covered at 100%.
    • High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP): Telemedicine services are covered at 100% after you meet your deductible. This is necessary to comply with Health Savings Account (HSA) eligibility requirements as well as coverage mandates per the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

How can you obtain additional information regarding telemedicine services?

Generally, health plans offer telemedicine services through their online portals. If you’re unable to find telemedicine information through your health insurance plans online portal, contact your health insurance plan directly by calling the toll-free number on your health insurance ID card.

Source: UW System Human Resources

StayWell Portal Update

StayWell, the administrator for the Well Wisconsin Program, has a new employee portal. Remember, the Well Wisconsin Program is available to you and your spouse in 2020 if you have enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance Program. To get started, you and your covered spouse will need to create a new account through the StayWell portal. Once logged in, explore the site and become familiar with the new features:

  • Coach chat and virtual visits
  • Guided meditation app
  • Access to games, workout videos and recipes

StayWell will be sending you direct communications making you aware of the new portal. The intent is to help you get the most out of the Well Wisconsin Program.

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

Source: UW System Human Resources