Dear VU Employee:
Greetings and well wishes from Human Resources! I hope this letter finds you well and successfully navigating the first half of the fall semester!
Vincennes University’s 2017 Open Enrollment will be held October 24, 2016 through November 4, 2016. Open Enrollment is the only opportunity for employees to make changes to their benefit elections for 2017 without a qualifying life event (e.g. marriage, death, divorce, birth of a child). In addition, the Vincennes University Benefit and Wellness Fair will be held Tuesday, October 25, 2016 in the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center.
The University Primary Care Center continues to provide high-quality care to our employees and their families. This free clinic is an integral part of the VU healthcare package as it saves our members substantial healthcare costs. I would like to thank our providers, Denah Perry N.P., Alan Stewart M.D. and the entire UPCC staff for their daily dedication to the health and wellbeing of Vincennes University families.
Vincennes University continues to offer a cost-effective, competitive and comprehensive healthcare package. Nationally, healthcare costs have risen nearly 20% over the past three years. However, we are pleased to announce there will be no increase to the amount our employees contribute to the cost of our self-funded medical plan for the third consecutive year. There will be no increase to deductibles, co-pays, out-of-pocket maximums or prescription drug copays. The 2017 Summary of Benefits and premiums can be viewed online under the Benefits tab of the VU Human Resources webpage.
The VU Employee Wellness Program has been a life-changing initiative for many members. Our Weight Watchers group has lost over 1,000 pounds, with nine members reaching their lifetime goals. We continue to provide a variety of fitness opportunities including our personal fitness trainer, lunchtime yoga and Zumba classes and exclusive early hours at the REC Center for employees. We encourage you to be your own wellness advocate and take advantage of the many programs offered through the Living Well program. Enclosed is a flyer regarding the 2017 Wellness Program with a convenient calendar of screening dates.
Effective January 1, 2017, VU will adopt a limited Working Spouse Provision. Spouses who can obtain health care coverage through an employer that has a Working Spouse Provision will be ineligible for coverage under Vincennes University’s health care plan. If you elect to cover your spouse on your VU plan, you must complete the enclosed Working Spouse Affidavit and return it in the pre-addressed, postage paid envelope provided. This form ONLY needs to be returned if spousal coverage is elected. VU is concerned that, as we continue to provide access to quality health care, there will be a fundamental shift of dependent spouses migrating to VU’s health insurance since we offer an extensive provider network allowing more choice for our employees and their families. In effect, this migration will shift the burden of health care costs to Vincennes University.
VU is also taking steps to protect our self-funded health care plan by ensuring that claims arising from self-employment related conditions that are or should be subject to workers’ compensation insurance or commercial liability insurance are not added to the cost of our claims. For example, if an employee is injured at work at VU, their claims are covered under our workers’ compensation insurance policy. In order to mitigate risk for our health care plan, claims will not be paid for conditions incurred as the result of or in connection with any activity pertaining to any act of employment for profit, gain, or compensation subject to W-2 or 1099 income from an employer, or for which you should file a self-employment schedule for federal income taxes; or charges incurred as the result of a disease, illness, or condition for which benefits are payable under any Workers' Compensation Act, regardless of the presence or absence of workers’ compensation coverage. This provision will affect employees who cover self-employed spouses.
The 2017 tobacco-user surcharge will remain $35 bi-weekly. All employees enrolled in VU’s healthcare plan must certify annually whether you and/or your spouse (if the spouse is covered by VU’s plan) use tobacco products or are tobacco-free. Please refer to the enclosed Instructions for Electronic Signature of Tobacco Affidavit for assistance completing your Tobacco Affidavit. Once the Affidavit has been completed, you will receive a confirmation email in your preferred email account. The deadline to complete this Affidavit is Friday, November 4, 2016 by 4pm for the 2017 plan year. If the online certification is not completed, the surcharge will be automatically applied effective January 1, 2017 and will remain in place for the 2017 plan year.
Please plan to attend the Vincennes University Benefit and Wellness Fair on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. In addition to giving a brief overview of their coverages at 11 a.m., representatives from VU’s voluntary benefit programs including Chard Snyder, HRI Dental, VSP Vision and AFLAC Cancer Policy will be available to answer questions and enroll employees in the programs they offer. Again this year, employees who attend will have the opportunity to win some great giveaways! If you have any questions related to Open Enrollment or VU Benefits, or if you cannot attend the Benefit and Wellness Fair, please contact Chris Gardner, VU’s Benefits Coordinator, at 812.888.5847 or email@example.com.
Finally, on behalf of Vincennes University, I would like to thank each of you for your participation in the Employee Wellness Program. We truly appreciate you taking these small steps to improve our overall well-being and to help keep health care costs to a minimum. Thank you for doing your part to ensure a healthier Vincennes University!
Director of Human Resources