HR, Payroll and Benefits News

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.

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

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.

April 2020 Webinar: Mindful Stress Management in the Workplace and Beyond

Time: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:00pm CST

Description: Stress is part of everyday life. It can range from minor annoyances, like misplacing our sunglasses, to major life challenges that affect our jobs and relationships. In this session, we'll learn how to recognize internal and external stressors and develop new strategies for responding to them effectively and mindfully.

May 2020 Webinar: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: More Than a Numbers Game

Time: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:00pm CST

Description: The words "equity," "diversity" and "inclusion" (EDI) involve more than having a mixed group of people in your workplace. In this session, we'll discuss the latest strategies for ensuring that everyone in your workforce feels welcome, respected and supported - and has the same opportunities for advancement.

Source: UW System Human Resources

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

State of Wisconsin Investment Board Response to COVID-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

WRS News Online, January 2020

External link: https://etf.wi.gov/news/wrs-news-online/issue/17906

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

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

2020 Tax-Sheltered Annuity and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Contribution Limits

The IRS recently announced the 2020 contribution limits for the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program and the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) 457 Program.

In 2020, employees may contribute a basic maximum of $19,500 to the TSA Program. Employees age 50 and over can contribute an additional $6,500 for a total of $26,000. These same limits apply to WDC. Employees can contribute the maximum to both programs for a total of $39,000 (under age 50) or $52,000 (age 50 or older).

If you have 15 years or more of service with the UW System and have contributed less than an average of $5,000 per year over your UW System employment, you may have an additional "catch-up" opportunity with the TSA Program. Contact your human resources office for more information.

Both pre-tax and Roth (after-tax) contributions count towards the annual limits. Note: Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are a type of retirement account separate from the TSA and WDC Programs and have separate limits.

To increase (or decrease) your TSA deduction for 2020, login to the the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or UW-Madison. Launch the Benefits Information tile. On the bottom of the screen, click on “Update TSA Deductions” to make your change. You can also submit a TSA Salary Reduction Agreement to your human resources office.

If you are enrolling for the first time, you can use the EZ Enrollment Form or set your account up online (or paper application) with the provider(s) of your choice and then fill out the Salary Reduction Agreement.

For questions on the TSA program, visit the TSA website or contact your human resources office.

To change your WDC contribution call the WDC office at (877) 457-9327 or access your account at the WDC website. The WDC website also has information about enrolling in the program. WDC changes must be made with Empower, the third-party WDC plan administrator.

Source: UW System Human Resources