ERAC September 6, 2013 Minutes
Executive Summary of Minutes
Fall Benefits Initiatives
Very close to have this finalized. The campus should be receiving an email from Pat Farrell the week of September 9th regarding retirement plan changes. Things are moving at break-neck speed. The system should be open November 1st for folks to go online to make their changes for this year.
Healthcare: there is really nothing very different from what was discussed in the spring. Except that the mandate for people working 30 hours for 3 months or more was delayed for a year. We have a one year reprieve in responding to how we are going to handle adjuncts and wage employees who are going to work 30 hours or more a week.
Wellness program: Human Resources has selected a vendor for the wellness program. The group involved in selecting the vendor included folks from Human Resources, Catherine Headman, Doug Strange, and Matt Malone. It is hoped that the system will be available by mid-November. Human Resources would like to use the wellness vendor for the upcoming blood screening instead of Healthscan. If we can get it up and running by then, then we can start wellness credits meaning cash will be given via paychecks for those participating in the different health screenings. We were originally talking about having it offset healthcare premiums. The problem with that is that it is then only available to those people receiving healthcare and there would be no way to get it to the people who are not in our medical plan. This is all preliminary. No one has given a definite of what the dollar amounts will be, etc. We will be starting with the Health Risk assessments. Participation is all on a volunteer basis. There will not be punishments if someone doesn’t participate. The wellness vendor also offers other programs that credits can be given for. Things like financial counseling – learning about retirement planning, planning for kids’ futures, etc. Results from blood tests, etc. through your doctor can be submitted to the wellness vendor and they will accept it and include it as part of the credits an employee receives.
Healthcare: Toni Lee will be sending a notice by the end of the month explaining the marketplace. There are changes to the plan that will be mandated next year because we have a grandfathered status. We are giving up that status which means premiums will go up in 2014. But you will receive benefits that weren’t available under the grandfather program. Preventative services that weren’t previously 100% covered include: mammograms, cholesterol screen, colonoscopies, etc. In 2014, those services will be covered.
Adult children: Right now we cover only adult children who don’t have access through their own employer. Starting in January, even if they have coverage elsewhere, Lehigh employees can cover them under their plan. This is a huge hit to the premium costs for everyone. There are currently several hundred adult children within the Lehigh community who don’t currently qualify for coverage that will be eligible for benefits in January. It doesn’t matter if they are married, are parents themselves, making $150K a year, they can be covered on mom and dad’s plan – until the day they turn 26. Then they are no longer covered.
Other Changes: There are always changes that we don’t usually know about in advance. They just show up. Medical policies are always evaluated. Changes are communicated in the newsletters that are sent to our homes. There is a lot of press regarding employers who are refusing to cover spouses on their medical insurance. Some employees who aren’t currently on our medical plan, could potentially come back. There are approximately 250 employees who aren’t on our plan. If they come back to our plan, we have no money budgeted to pay for their care. We take the budget and allocate it according to those that are in the plan. We also need to make sure that our spousal surcharge is high enough so that spouses are encouraged to stay on their own plan. Right now it is $100 per month for spouses to be on our plan. The employer mandate has been delayed for one year so we are good with wage employees until then. Nothing else has been approved yet for next year. If we don’t make plan design changes, our costs are going up 7.45%. Lehigh’s contribution is going up by 5%. So employee premiums are going up $11 to $60 per month depending on what you pay. They have been artificially low because we have been maintaining the grandfather status. The only thing that could be done is increase out of pocket costs which will hold down the premiums.
Toni Lee shared information about possible plan design changes that were recommended by Mercer and other that were proposed by Human Resources. All of the possible changes would result in high copayments or out-of-pocket costs but would hold down the monthly premium costs. The proposed changes are currently being reviewed by the senior officers. As of our meeting date, no decisions have been made.
Retirement changes will be communicated throughout the Fall. Existing programs cannot take any new money. TIAA-Cref is not changing. Only mutual funds will need to be switched to new funds.
Counselors will be on campus 3 to 4 days a week from the middle of October through the end of the year for individual meetings to discuss investments planning.
Committee Member Introductions
Members were asked to introduce themselves and state any ideas for things that ERAC could possibly look into. Those suggestions include:
• Put unused vacation days into a pool for either themselves to use at a later date or perhaps someone else could use them
• How to get the whole of the employees more involved with feedback
• How ERAC can work for the community
• Understanding university events – how we are doing them, getting better participation, rewarding employees
• Ramp up the REACH program – employee onboarding, getting employees involved
• Tuition benefits
• How ERAC gets on the radar screen of Senior Officers
• Getting better communications on campus
ERAC will continue the successful REACH program. Last year we had approximately 20 people participate with two cohorts. Cohorts should plan to meet starting in October. Need to incorporate time for networking. The committees were asked to get together to start planning for this coming year.
The communications committee will be responsible for having each of the ERAC members highlighted with a write-up and picture in spotlight. One ERAC member each month.
150th anniversary – Communication will be coming out soon. It is strongly suggested that people get onto the portal and contribute opinions and ideas.
Brown Bags – suggestions are one on 150th and one to recap ipad usage.
Bylaws – need to revisit for this coming year. Any questions should be brought to the next ERAC meeting.
GPS: The platform is changing. What you’re being evaluated on is not changing. Training will begin in October.
Meeting was adjourned at 11:42 am. Vicki Ruggiero made the motion to adjourn the meeting and Tom Yencho seconded the motion.
Brenda K. Bachman
NEXT ERAC MEETING will be October 9 in the
Human Resources Conference Room