All full-time and part-time benefited employees are eligible for a health insurance plan administered through the Group Insurance Commission that covers the employee, their spouse and dependent children (under the age of 19). Coverage is effective on the first of the month following 60 calendar days of employment.
Employees are eligible to join a health plan during their first 10 working days of employment. Changes to health plans may also be made during annual enrollment in April-May each year. There are other qualifying events (i.e. birth/adoption of a child, marriage, divorce, loss of spouse's benefits, etc.) that allow for enrollment in health plans outside of the annual enrollment period. Please contact the Benefits Office for more information.
Employees with a hire date on or before June 30, 2003, pay 20% of the premium.
Employees with a hire date after June 30, 2003, pay 25% of the premium
Use the form below to add your dependent ages 19-26 during the GIC’s Annual Enrollment, when your dependent changes to a full-time student living outside of the plan’s service area, or is no longer a full-time student. You will need to offer proof of loss of other health coverage. If you have a child already on your insurance who then turns age19 but has no changes (or is not a student) you do not need to make any changes.
Please keep in mind the following:
The insured must have family plan coverage.
The GIC will determine eligibility and effective dates
You MUST notify the GIC when your dependent age 19 to 26 is no longer a full-time student or has moved out of the health plan’s service area.
Dental coverage is available to all non-unit benefited employees, their spouses, and dependents up to age 26. Coverage is effective on the first of the month following 60 calendar days of employment. The premiums are as follows:
The Dental benefits are provided through a group policy issued to the BHE Non-Unit Health and Welfare Fund by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife). Group Number is 105385. For more information, go to: www.healthplansinc.com/bhe or call Health Plans, Inc. at 877-906-5939.
All health insurance plans include $5,000 of basic life insurance. Coverage is also available to employees not enrolled in a health insurance plan. This term life and accidental death and dismemberment policy is provided at a cost of $1.63 per month.
Optional Life Insurance
Employees may also purchase optional life insurance in amounts up to 8 (eight) times their annual base salary. New hires may enroll in optional life insurance without proof of good health within 10 working days from their date of hire. Late enrollment is dependent on proof of good health.
The GIC sponsors a pre-tax benefit program that includes two tax-saving reimbursement accounts. The Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) and the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) allow you to set aside pre-tax money from your paycheck to be used for certain health care and dependent care expenses.
Through the GIC's Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), administered by Benefit Strategies, active employees can pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses on a pre-tax basis. Examples of qualified HCSA expenses: physician office visits; prescription drug copayments; medical deductibles and co-insurance. For Fiscal year 2020, participants can contribute from $250 to a maximum of $2,700 through payroll deduction on a pre-tax basis.
New for FY2020 - HCSA Debit Cards
Current ASIFLex FSA members will have a claim and debit card blackout period, June 17 - June 30, 2019
Benefit Strategies will handle all claims starting on July 1, 2019. This includes the FY2019 2.5 month grace period and the FY2020 plan year.
All FY202 HCSA enrollees will receive a free set of 2 debit cards. These cards can also be used for any FY2019 balance remaining for use during the grace period dates.
The Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), also administered by Benefit Strategies, allows state employees to pay for qualified dependent care expenses for a child under age 13 and/or an adult dependent - including day care, after-school programs, elder day care, and day camp - on a pretax basis. You may elect a tax year DCAP contribution of up to $2,500 if married and fling separately or $5,000 per household.
Full and part-time employees are eligible to purchase long-term disability insurance, administered by Unum. Under this policy, if you are disabled for an extended period of time you will receive 55% of your basic monthly salary (tax free) up to a maximum monthly benefit. Benefits are reduced by other income sources, such as Social Security disability, Workers' Compensation, accumulated sick leave and retirement benefits, but the benefit will be at least $100 or 10% of your gross monthly benefit amount, whichever is greater.
Premiums are based on your age and current salary and the premium will be adjusted as your age and salary increase.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Human Resources Division - Workers' Compensation Section is the worker's compensation insurer for all state employees. Eligibility for coverage begins immediately upon your employment with the University.
All work-related injuries, serious or otherwise, must be reported to your immediate supervisor and to Human Resources on the day they occur. The supervisor arranges for any immediate medical attention required. Within 48 hours of the injury, the supervisor and employee must complete, sign and forward to Human Resources the Notice of Injury Report.
Workers' Compensation insurance pays for medical expenses associated with job-related injuries and may also provide a weekly income if you are unable to work due to such an injury for five (5) days or more. If the employee is out of work for more than five (5) calendar days, the supervisor must complete and submit to Human Resources Form 101, Employer's First Report of Injury or Fatality.
UMass Human Resources
Attn: Jacquie Kittler
333 South Street, Suite 400
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
4.7 Employee Assistance Program
Employee Assistance Programs
ComPsych is a provider of GuidanceResource services. Your GuidanceResources benefits will give you and your dependents confidential support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues. These services are provided at no charge to employees of the President's Office.
Dealing with stress; preparing for retirement; finding a balance between your work and personal life. Sometimes it's the small things that are the most important-and the hardest to accomplish. If you could use help, information, or just a little encouragement, the ComPsych program can give you the support you need. Whether you're coping with a family problem or personal issue, trying to get out of debt, or just dealing with life's everyday ups and downs. ComPsych can help you and your family with a wide range of issues, including:
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for Confidential Counseling
GuidanceResources is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
These are two ways to access your GuidanceResource benefits:
Call 844.393.4983. You'll speak to a counseling professional who will listen to your concerns and can guide you to the appropriate services you require.
Access critical incident debriefing services at no cost. Managers and supervisors can also receive confidential supervisory training, resource recommendations, and customized seminars for dealing with work place issues.
Membership in Massachusetts State Employee Retirement System (MSERS) is automatic and mandatory for all benefited full time employees or those working at least half-time with benefits. However, in lieu of MSERS, employees who are in a non-unit professional position also have the option of enrolling into an Optional Retirement Program (ORP) which is a defined contribution plan, administered by the Department of Higher Education. Upon hire, you will automatically be entered into MSERS during your 180 Election Period. If you then chose to enroll in the ORP, your monies will be rolled over from MSERS to the ORP plan. You can find the ORP enrollment instructions under the Optional Forms section below. Your selection of retirement plans, either membership in the State Employees’ Retirement System or participation in the Optional Retirement Program is irrevocable. Consequently, it is very important that you use the 180-day Election Period to learn about the features and benefits of both plans, and how well they match your personal financial and professional plans.
4.8.1 State Retirement Plans - MSERS, ORP, and OBRA
State Retirement Plans - MSERS, ORP, and OBRA
Massachusetts State Employee Retirement System (MSERS)
The Massachusetts State Employees Retirement System (MSERS) is a defined benefit plan in lieu of Social Security. Membership in MSERS is mandatory for all full time employees with benefits or those working at least half-time with benefits. New employees contribute 9% of gross salary, and 11% on salary over $30,000. These employee contributions are Federal tax-deferred. 1.45% is deducted for the Medicare portion of Social Security. State employees who entered state service before April 2, 2012 are eligible for a pension upon retirement at age 55 with 10 years of creditable service. Those who entered state service after April 2, 2012 are eligible for a pension at age 60 with 10 years of creditable service. State employees are eligible for a pension at any age with 20 years of creditable service.
For further information regarding pension estimates, please call the Retirement Board at (617) 367-7770; 1-800-392-6014 (In MA Only)
Optional Retirement Program (ORP)
Professional benefitted employees have the option to contribute to an Optional Retirement Program which is administered by the Department of Higher Education. The ORP program is a defined contribution plan.
The Optional Retirement Program (ORP) is an alternative to the State Employees' Retirement System (MSERS) that provides flexible and portable pension benefits for Faculty and Professional Staff at the Commonwealth's public institutions of higher education.
To be eligible for the ORP Program:
Participants must meet the minimum workload requirement: The workload for eligibility is the standard "Chapter 32" definition: generally, 50% FTE. This is the same as the workload requirement for the State Employees' Retirement System (SERS).
Participants must not be vested in SERS (fewer than ten Years of Creditable Service).
Certain part-time, seasonal or temporary employees of the University are required to participate in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Deferred Compensation Plan ("OBRA Plan") as an alternative to the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Income portion of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. The OBRA Plan is permitted by the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. As an OBRA employee, you must contribute 7.5% of your gross compensation per pay period to the plan. These mandatory contributions must be invested in the income fund. You may also make additional voluntary contributions to the plan. Voluntary contributions may be invested in any of the plan's available investment options.
For information on the OBRA plan please contact your benefits office or call the Smart Plan at 877-457-1900 or visit http://www.mass-smart.com.
4.9 Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
The documents below, frequently asked questions and answers, provide additional information about the 1095-C and the 1095-B to provide a better understanding of the forms and what to do if/when you receive one.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Individuals are required to report on their health insurance coverage when filing their tax returns. To assist with this reporting requirement, large employers such as UMass are required to issue 1095 tax forms to certain employees, defined under the ACA as those regularly working 30 hours or more a week or 130 hours or more a month (ACA full time employees).
UMass/Commonwealth employees that meet the definition of a full time employee under the ACA regulations will receive the below described 1095 tax forms for 2018. If you have worked in more than one Commonwealth department/agency (including UMass) during 2018 you will receive only one instance of each applicable form.
2) Form 1095-B, Health Coverage- This form will be sent from the Group Insurance Commission (GIC), or directly from the GIC Health Care Provider, and will contain information indicating that the employee had health insurance coverage considered Minimum Essential Coverage during the 2018 tax year. If you were not enrolled in a GIC health plan at any point during the year, you will not receive a 1095-B form from the GIC/Health Care Provider.
The 1095-C form uses a set of codes to determine what kind of coverage was offered and whether it was affordable. The following are the codes generally used by the Commonwealth:
Minimum essential coverage providing minimum value offered to you and minimum essential coverage offered to your dependent(s) and spouse.
Employee enrolled in coverage offered
Section 4980H affordability rate of pay safe harbor.
No offer of coverage (you were NOT offered any health coverage or you were offered coverage that is NOT minimum essential coverage).
All months are populated including months prior to hire or after termination.
Employee Not Employed during the month
Employee not a full-time employee
Employee is a section 4980H(b) Limited Non-Assessment Period.
For box 15, ACA requires that the value listed will be the Employee Share of Lowest Cost Monthly Premium, for Self-Only Minimum Value Coverage, and that amount is displayed from the plans offered to you, based on your home Zip Code, whether or not it was the plan you chose.
Part III of the 1095-C form will be blank for all employees. Proof of Enrollment will be on separate form 1095-B issued by GIC or Health Care Provider.
If you have questions about your 1095-C or believe you should have received one but did not, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your campus HR office. If you have questions regarding the 1095-B you may have received, please call the Group Insurance Commission at 617.727.2310 ext. 1. However, if you were a member of the GIC’s Fallon Health, Health New England or Neighborhood Health Plans, you should call those plans directly with any questions.
Please note that the 1095 forms do not replace the MA 1099-HC, which has very similar information to that of the federal Form-1095-B, but is used for Massachusetts state taxes. You will still receive the MA 1099-HC form from your health insurance carrier and should contact them if you have questions about it.
About this Handbook
This Employee Handbook is provided as a guide for Non-Unit Employees at University of Massachusetts President's Office and is not to be considered a contract of employment. Only written statements signed by an appropriate officer of the University are valid and binding employment contracts.