Employee Plus One Benefits Proposal
President Milliken has proposed an extension of the University of Nebraska employee benefits plan to include an employee’s partner and the partner’s dependent children. The Board of Regents will consider the proposal at an upcoming meeting. Under the proposal, employees would be able to elect health, dental, vision and other insurance for both same-sex and opposite-sex partners, as well as “soft” benefits such as emergency leave to attend to a partner’s illness.
In a letter to all employees, President Milliken stated that the proposal “would put the University in a stronger position to attract and retain talented faculty and staff, address the changing needs of our employees, and help us fulfil our goal to serve Nebraska. Most importantly, I believe that providing equitable benefits is the right thing to do for our employees.”
On this page you will find background information on the proposal.
News release Oct. 28, 2011
Under the proposal to be considered by the Board of Regents, the university would extend eligibility to participate in its health, dental, vision and other insurance plans to an unrelated adult of the same or opposite gender as the university employee who meets the following criteria:
In addition, the employee would be required to sign a sworn statement filed with human resources attesting to the authenticity and truthfulness of the documents provided.
The following individuals would not be eligible for participation as a “plus one” qualifying adult:
State statute provides that the powers of the Board of Regents include the power to equalize and provide uniform benefits for all University of Nebraska employees. The Board determines which benefits to offer university employees as well as the eligibility criteria. In 2000, Nebraska voters amended the state’s constitution to include terminology that same-sex civil unions or domestic partnerships shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska. But according to NU Vice President and General Counsel Joel Pedersen, nothing in the university’s benefits expansion proposal would recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships in violation of the state’s constitution. Furthermore, similar proposals have been adopted in other Defense of Marriage Act states including Michigan and Kentucky among others.
Total costs for the university’s health insurance plan today are more than $120 million. NU officials have estimated the cost of extending health insurance benefits to employees’ partners to be $750,000 to $1.5 million based on an estimated increase in employee enrollment of 1 to 2 percent, or about 100 to 200 new employee sign-ups. This estimate does not include soft benefits.
In accordance with federal law, employees would be taxed on the fair market value of the cost of providing coverage to the other adult and that person’s children unless those individuals qualify as dependents under the Internal Revenue Code.
Every other Big Ten school provides partner benefits, as do a majority of the peers of the NU campuses. Nationally, more than 300 higher education institutions offer partner benefits, including public universities and systems in at least 30 states and most of the highly ranked research institutions. Overall, 56 percent of the institutions responding to the 2011 benefits survey by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources offered health benefits to the same-sex partners of employees, while 43 percent offered such benefits to unmarried opposite-sex partners. In addition, the NCAA offers partner benefits.
Many major employers in Nebraska and nationally provide partner benefits. Nebraska companies include ConAgra Foods, Union Pacific, Ameritas, Mutual of Omaha, Baker’s Supermarkets, HDR, Kutak Rock and Baird Holm law firms and Kiewit.
Basic Retirement 401(a) Plan Enrollment for Newly Eligible Participants
Step 1. Review Basic Retirement 401(a) Plan Information
Dependent Eligibility Audit
We are all aware of how important it is to have adequate health care coverage. We also know how expensive paying for health care can be. What you may not know is that the University of Nebraska is self-insured, which means health claims are paid by the university, not by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska.
As your employer, part of our responsibility is to keep costs down so we can maintain an affordable health care plan for all employees. We must also make sure that only those dependents who are actually eligible are the ones being provided with coverage. National studies show that each dependent’s health care costs average approximately $2,500 each year. Covering people who are not eligible raises our cost for health coverage, which is reflected in the premiums deducted from our pay.
In an effort to control these costs we have retained the services of a highly recommended independent auditor, Chapman Kelly, an HMS Employer Solution, to conduct a Dependent Eligibility Audit of our medical and dental plans. The firm is known for its professionalism, confidentiality and sensitivity to employee needs and concerns. Chapman Kelly has conducted Dependent Eligibility Audits for over 35 Fortune 500 companies and multiple higher education clients such as the University of Michigan, University of Alabama, University of Georgia, University of Akron, and Xavier University. Their dependent audit process has a tremendous record of obtaining substantial savings, which will help keep future premiums as low as possible.
If you have dependents enrolled in the University of Nebraska medical and/or dental plans, you will receive a series of correspondence addressed to your home from Chapman Kelly beginning in early February. If you do not have dependents enrolled in a benefit plan, you will not receive any letters.
It’s important for you to know that neither Chapman Kelly nor the University of Nebraska is interested in personal details. Some employees will however, be asked to provide Social Security Numbers for their dependents (if missing from their university membership record) due to a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requirement. The documents you submit are used solely to verify dependent eligibility so we can be assured that only those who are eligible for coverage under the terms of the university’s medical and dental plans receive those benefits. Further details regarding verification documentation, privacy and security will be provided by Chapman Kelly.
Listed below is the contact information for Chapman Kelly.
Online – www.AuditOS.com
Fax – (888) 938-6161
Mail – P.O. Box 1587, Jeffersonville, IN 47131
Telephone – (877) 478-0448
DEPENDENT ELIGIBILITY AUDIT PROGRAM TIMELINE
General Time Period
The Life Events site provides you with information to consider when major life changes like marriage, birth of a child, divorce, etc. occur. Each section lists your options and describes how to make changes to your benefits.
Divorce, Legal Separation or Annulment
Birth of a Child
Adoption or Legal Guardianship of a Child
Spouse’s Loss of Job/Insurance or Change of Employment
Benefit FormsBenefits Change Form
Dependent Information Request Form
Assurity Life Beneficiary Designation Form (Standard)
Assurity Life Beneficiary Designation Form (Trust)
Make Your Health a Priority - View the Make Your Health a Priority booklet
BlueHealth Advantage (Comprehensive Wellness and Lifestyle Management)
BluePartners Disease Management Caresteps Program
BluePartners Educational Programs
Wellness and Preventive Services (available through the university's Blue Cross Blue Shield medical plan)
Campus Wellness Web Sites
NUFlex 2012 Annual Enrollment
Employee Benefits Information
COBRA Benefits Information
CVS Caremark Nebraska Pharmacy Directory
The listing is alphabetical by city. Use the links below to find the city or town of the pharmacy in your area:
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Insurance and Benefit Provider Information
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska
Web Link: http://www.nebraskablue.com
Customer Service Number: (888) 592-8963
Web Link: http://www.caremark.com
Customer Service Number: (888) 202-1654
EyeMed Vision Care
Web Link: http://www.eyemedvisioncare.com
Customer Service Number: (877) 226-1115
Web Link: http://www.unum.com
Assurity Life Insurance
Web Link: http://www.assurity.com
Web Link: http://www.cna.com
Customer Service Number: (877) 895-6759
Web Link: http://www.tiaa-cref.org
Customer Service Number: (800) 842-2776
Web Link: http://www.fidelity.com
Customer Service Number: (800) 343-0860