Benefit Updates Announced for Flexible Spending, Flu Shot Reimbursements, Retirement Plan Salary

Posted November 14th, 2013 at 9:59 am.

The following email was sent to faculty and staff by Assistant Director of Human Resources Martin Mastascusa on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Flexible Spending Account Open Enrollment 

A memorandum will be mailed on Friday advising that Open Enrollment for the 2014 Flexible Spending Account has begun and will run through Friday, December 13th . You may obtain information through the following link on the Human Resources web site:

A reminder to Personal Choice HDHP participants with an HSA: You should not enroll in a medical care spending FSA. There is no HSA Open Enrollment period, for HSA participants can change their election at the start of any given month. The HSA Election Form is available on the Human Resources web site.

Retirement Plan Salary Reduction Maximum 

The IRS did not change the the maximum limit on annual retirement plan salary reduction contributions for 2014.

If it is your intent to reach the 2013 maximum and are not already set up to do so, please complete a Salary Reduction Agreement (accessed through the above link) and return it to Human Resources by December 2, 2013. If you are changing your reduction in January, please complete and return the Salary Reduction Agreement by December 23, 2013.

If you are already at the indicated “per pay” maximum in 2013, then you will not have to complete a new salary reduction agreement to reach the 2014 maximum.  The only exception would be for employees born in 1964, who will reach the higher age 50 maximum in 2014.  Such employees will need to invoke the “catch-up” provision by checking the applicable box and indicating their date of birth.

Employees with over 15 years of service may contribute additional “catch-up” amounts under the 15-Year Rule. If you have been advised that you cannot use the 15-Year Rule due to high historic contributions, that restriction still applies. I find that very few employees who want to maximize qualify under this Rule, as it can only be used by employees whose average annual salary reduction is under $5,000.

Flu Shot Reimbursement 

Independence Blue Cross will reimburse up to $25 for flu shots obtained in a location other than a doctor’s office. In order to claim this reimbursement you should submit the form linked below to the address indicated for either Keystone or Personal Choice. You may submit for this reimbursement even if you have enrolled in the Personal Choice HDHP; it will not be charged against the plan year deductible.  You may also submit for this reimbursement if you are obtaining a flu shot at the Health Center.

Please note that some of the drug store chains are now charging closer to $30 for flu shots, so you may not be reimbursed for the entire cost. If you obtain the shot at a doctor’s office, you cannot submit this form. However, under health care reform guidelines, you should not be charged separately for a flu shot obtained at a doctor’s office because it is considered a preventive service.

Please call or send me an e-mail if you have any questions.

Filed under: Announcements,For Faculty,For Staff Tags: , by Diana Campeggio

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