All employees should have received their annual enrollment packet for the Medical and Dependent Flexible Benefits Plan and the new Transportation and Parking Flexible Benefits Plan for calendar year 2011. Plan packets were sent to faculty and staff campus mail addresses in the last two weeks.
The Transportation and Parking Flexible Benefits Plan is a new benefit for regular UT employees.
Enrollment in the plans is required every year regardless of current or previous enrollment, and all forms are due to the UT Payroll Office by Dec. 15. Separate forms are required to enroll in medical and dependent care and transportation and parking.
Transportation and Parking Benefits
This new benefit allows employees to use pre-tax dollars to pay for public transportation and parking expenses that are not already deducted from their university paychecks.
Faculty and staff who pay monthly parking fees to the university cannot participate in the parking plan. Parking deductions for university lots are already deducted pre-tax. This benefit will be helpful to regular employees and medical residents who pay fees to park in lots or garages not owned or operated by UT in order to perform their jobs.
UT employees who use mass transit or a qualified van pool to commute from home to work can now submit their costs through the flexible benefits plan and exempt those expenses from federal taxes.
Medical and Dependent Care Benefits
A few changes have been made to this long-standing benefit plan. Effective Jan. 1, 2011, over-the-counter drugs will no longer be reimbursable through the plan unless the drugs are prescribed by a physician.
This change is part of the new Affordable Care Act, which established a new uniform standard for medical expenses. This new rule does not apply to reimbursements for the cost of insulin, which will continue to be eligible even if it is purchased without a prescription. The new rule also does not apply to medical care items such as crutches, bandages and related supplies and diagnostic devices such as blood sugar test kits.
The two plans differ as they relate to specific enrollment requirements as well as the provisions that allow faculty and staff members to recoup funds from their accounts beyond the calendar year for which they are enrolled.
To download the package and required forms, visit http://flexiblebenefits.tennessee.edu This site also provides additional detail and answers to commonly asked questions. You can also call the UT Payroll Office at 865-974-5271.