2019 health insurance rates have been established. Employees who wish to change their health insurance plan for the coming year have until Friday, January 18, 2019. We encourage you to complete and return the option transfer form and return it to Cleveland Hall 410 as soon as possible. The coverage changes will be effective December 27, 2018. The earliest paycheck in which a deduction change will be made is the check of December 12. Based on payroll deadlines, deduction changes related to the option-change request may be made in a future paycheck and will include adjustments retroactive to the beginning of the plan year. This will result in retroactive premium adjustments.
You may want to review the 2019 “Choices” booklet, a comparison of the health insurance plans, and an Empire Plan supplement before you decide whether to change insurance carriers or remain with your current carrier for your health insurance coverage.
No action is required if you wish to keep your current health insurance option.
Please contact the Benefits Office at 878-4821 with any questions.
Eligible adult children of NYSHIP enrollees may enroll in the Young Adult Option, and current Young Adult Option enrollees may switch plans during the Option Transfer Period, December 10, 2018 – January 18, 2019. The Young Adult Option allows unmarried, young adult children under the age of 30 to purchase their own NYSHIP coverage at the full-cost individual rate. Coverage applies only to medical benefits. Enrollment in the NYS dental and vision plan is not available through this benefit.
Additional information is available at Young Adult Option or call the Employee Benefits Division at 1-800-833-4344.
Note: Young adult children of NYSHIP enrollees are eligible to continue coverage as dependents under the enrollees’ family coverage up to age 26.
SUNY released its 2019 Universal Availability Notice. SUNY provides employees with the opportunity to save for their retirement through the SUNY Voluntary 403(b) Savings Plan (the “Plan”). Participation in the SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan is a great way to build your retirement savings through pre-tax and/or post-tax payroll deduction contributions. Whether you want to enroll in the plan for the first time, or you are already enrolled but wish to change the amount of your deferral, you can do so through the SUNY online enrollment and management system at www.retirementatwork.org/suny. For more information, please contact the Benefits Office at 878-4821.
The recently ratified collective bargaining agreement between NYS and UUP discontinued the opt-out option under the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) for UUP employees effective January 1, 2019. Therefore, the final 2018 opt-out reimbursement will be in the paycheck of December 12, 2018.
As noted in the planning for option transfer mailing sent to your home, if you have been a participant in the opt-out program based on "other" employer sponsored health insurance coverage, you need not take any action and may retain the other employer coverage. If however you wish to enroll in a NYSHIP sponsored coverage (Empire Plan or HMO), you must complete a NYS Health Insurance Transaction Form with the Benefits Office, Cleveland Hall 410, or fax to 878-3068, during the established option transfer period that has yet to be determined.
Please note that if you plan on retiring in 2019 or thereafter and are eligible to receive retiree health insurance benefits, you will be required to be enrolled in NYSHIP just prior to your retirement date. Since this may require a 10 week waiting period (absence a qualifying event), depending on when you plan on retiring, you may want to consider enrolling during the pending option transfer period to avoid the extended waiting period.
Effective January 1, 2019, the Paid Family Leave program (PFL) will be implemented for SUNY MC and UUP-represented employees.
PFL provides job-protected, paid leave for eligible employees to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition, and assists with relieving family pressures when a loved one is called to active military service abroad.
The program is funded through contributions taken as payroll deductions. The 2019 contribution is 0.153% of gross wages each pay period, up to and not to exceed an annual maximum employee contribution of $107.97. For SUNY MC and UUP-represented employees, payroll deductions will be biweekly and begin no sooner than January 1, 2019.
For 2019, employees who are on the payroll and have met eligibility requirements will be able to use ten weeks of Paid Family Leave benefits, and will receive 55% of their average weekly wage, capped at 55% of the statewide average weekly wage.
For more information about Paid Family Leave, please visit https://www.ny.gov/paidfamilyleave.
Effective September 4, 2018, a Roth option (after tax) will be added to the 403(b) Voluntary Savings Plan.
The new Roth option will give you the opportunity for a payroll deduction on an after-tax basis with the potential to withdraw earnings on a tax-free basis in retirement. More information is available on the SUNY Benefits website at www.SUNY.edu/Benefits or you can pick up an informational flyer in the Benefits Office, Cleveland Hall 410.
Highlights of the Roth 403(b):
To enroll or make changes to your current account go to www.retirementatwork.org/suny. If you would like to meet with a financial advisor, you can find our campus representatives at hr.buffalostate.edu/orp-one-one-consultations.
Employees enrolled in the SUNY Optional Retirement Program (ORP) and/or the SUNY 403(b) Voluntary Savings Program utilize a retirement and voluntary savings enrollment and management system called Retirement@Work. The easy-to-navigate online system is used to enroll in retirement for those who are not currently enrolled in a retirement plan and to enroll in the SUNY 403(b) Voluntary Savings Program, also called the Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA). Employees can manage their TDA contributions and designate investment providers for the TDA. Current participants in the SUNY ORP will be able to designate investment providers and have access to learn about plan benefits in a central place. For more information, visit hr.buffalostate.edu/tax-deferred-annuities-and-college-savings-program.
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