For Your Benefit News

Reminder to UT Employees Working on Graduate Degrees

Are you using the university’s fee waiver benefit to earn a graduate degree? If so, a new fiscal policy that went into effect July 1 requires you to complete a form to avoid being taxed on a portion of the tuition the university has waived. Employees are able to receive up to $5,250 in non-taxable graduate tuition waivers in a calendar year. Tuition waivers exceeding that amount is taxable, but Fiscal Policy FI0900 allows employees to apply for a tax exemption for hours exceeding this amount as long as their program of study relates to their current job.

New Flexible Spending Program Surprises Skeptic Employees

Last year UT Knoxville Parking and Transit Services Assistant Director Wayne Shannon was skeptical about the university’s new flexible spending account (FSA) program but decided to give it a try. Now he says he’s spent minimal time and effort setting up the account in comparison to the savings and convenience the program has offered his family.

How to Navigate the Partnership Promise

As the deadline for insurance enrollment draws near, UT employees should familiarize themselves with Partnership Promise requirements for 2014. Eligible university employees must enroll or make changes to their state insurance benefits by Friday, November 1. The Partnership PPO and Standard PPO are the state’s two health insurance plans.

Seeing the Benefits of Vision Insurance

For as little as $3.27 a month, university employees can enroll in the state’s new vision insurance program. First introduced last year, the vision program provides for an annual routine exam, allowances and discounts toward eyeglass frames and lenses or contact lenses, and a discount on Lasik/refractive surgery.

Reminder to Complete Partnership Promise Wellness Requirement by July 15

Employees and covered spouses participating in the state’s Partnership PPO health insurance plan must complete one Partnership Promise wellness requirement by July 15 to remain in the plan for 2014. Participants agreed to the terms of the Partnership Promise during annual enrollment and at other times during the year, and by doing so, receive the benefits of lower monthly premiums, a lower annual deductible, lower pharmacy co-pays and coinsurance, and a lower out-of-pocket maximum.

Employee Self-services Now Available in IRIS

IRIS Administrative Support, in cooperation with the university system’s Payroll and Human Resources offices, has been working for several months to develop additional employee self-services similar to the online pay statement and benefits statement. Today these new services are available. All employees, including regular, term, students, full time, and part time employees, have immediate access to this information by using your NetID and password to log in to the IRIS portal. The new services include a personal profile, leave balances, time statements, and a personalized benefits statement.

Open Enrollment for New Optional Group Term Life Insurance

As part of the new contract between the state of Tennessee and Minnesota Life, employees are being offered a one-time open enrollment opportunity now to enroll or increase coverage in the Optional Group Term Life Insurance program. Everyone who previously had Unum coverage has been transferred to Minnesota Life and can take advantage of this opportunity to increase coverage. Online enrollment will be available between April 15 and 28.

Healthways Well-Being Assessment is March 15

The university has been notified of employees and covered spouses that have not yet completed the Healthways Well-Being Assessment. It is a requirement of the 2013 Partnership Promise. All members and covered spouses enrolled in the Partnership PPO must complete the assessment by Friday, March 15. If you do not complete the requirement by the deadline, you and your covered spouse, if applicable, will be transferred to the Standard PPO in 2014. Participation in the Standard PPO Plan will increase your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses substantially.

New Student Health Center Pharmacy to Hold Open House on Tuesday

Ashley Young, left, and Pharmacist Peyton Roberts

Join the campus in celebrating the opening of the new Student Health Center Pharmacy on Tuesday, February 5. The event will introduce services to the campus community. The facility is a big benefit to students, faculty, and staff, who will no longer need to leave campus to have prescriptions filled.

Federal Tax Changes

For Your Benefit

Legislation passed earlier this week by the US Congress will affect taxes deducted from paychecks beginning this month. It’s important to know how these tax changes will affect your pay. Paychecks issued on Tuesday, January 8, to employees paid biweekly will reflect the changes, and employees paid monthly will notice the changes in paychecks issued on January 31. Read on for a summary of the changes passed by Congress.