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Human Resource Services

Thursday, 05/01/2014

CMS - FY2015 Annual Benefit Choice Period, May 1 - June 2, 2014

You will receive an informational flyer at your home address from the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) regarding this year’s Benefit Choice Period. This flyer is a subset of the Benefit Choice Options Booklet and summarizes the changes for FY15. The booklet is available at the link below and the changes are provided on page 4 and 5:

As the information will indicate, the Benefit Choice period will extend from May 1, 2014, through June 2, 2014, with benefit elections effective July 1, 2014.

During the annual Benefit Choice Period, members may change health plans, add or drop dental coverage or dependent coverage, make changes in life insurance coverage, and other changes as noted on page 2 of the Benefit Choice Options Booklet. Employees are reminded that they must re-enroll each year in the MCAP or DCAP programs and may enroll in the Sick Leave Bank during the Benefit Choice Period.

Employees wishing to make changes can use the forms listed below:

CMS has also indicated that they plan to perform an audit of dependent coverage in early fall. The audit is being conducted to ensure only eligible dependents are covered under the State Employees Group Insurance Program. All State employees with dependent coverage who receive health insurance through the State are being audited. Additional information is available in the Benefit Choice Options Booklet on pages 5 and 30.

Faculty and Staff not in Pay Status during the Summer:

As a reminder, Faculty and SPS employees on 9 or 10 month contracts can elect the 12-month payroll option prior to August 1, 2014. This option avoids the requirement of paying CMS insurance bills (after-tax) during the summer and assures eligibility for MCAP and DCAP participation on a continuous basis.

If you know you will be away for an extended period of time during the summer, contact the CMS Premium Collection Unit (800-442-1300) to discuss how to make your summer premium payments.

Employees who will be off pay status during the summer may make certain changes to their insurance benefits. Details regarding benefit options, payment of insurance premiums, and the required forms to request benefit changes are available on the Human Resource Services Web site at www.hr.niu.edu.

Sick Leave Bank Donation for Regular Faculty, SPS, and Civil Service:

The university has established a Sick Leave Bank program in which regularly appointed faculty, supportive professional staff, and civil service employees are eligible to participate.

Regularly appointed employees may elect to join the Sick Leave Bank during the Benefit Choice period May 1 through June 2, 2014.

For FY15, there will be no requirement for current participants to donate additional sick days to maintain participation due to the adequacy of donated sick days remaining on balance as of this date.

Otherwise, participation in the Sick Leave Bank program requires an employee (who was not enrolled during FY14) to annually donate at least one day of accrued sick leave prior to the end of the annual Benefit Choice period. Consistent with the Illinois Sick Leave Bank Act, the Sick Leave Bank program is designed to assist NIU employees who face major health crises and who have exhausted all other available benefits.

To register for the Sick Leave Bank program for FY15, please complete the enrollment form, which must be received in the Payroll Department by June 2, 2014. If you have any questions regarding the Sick Leave Bank program, please feel free to contact Human Resource Services at 753-6000.

Sick Leave Bank Donation for Temporary Faculty and SPS:

Employees on temporary appointments have separate sick leave banks and their donation period is August 16 through October 31, 2014. Additional information will be distributed in August.

Questions may be directed to Human Resource Services at 753-6000.

Human Resource Services provides this information as guidance to employees. All procedures, terms and conditions of the State benefit program are as provided by CMS and the State of Illinois. While we make every effort to assure the accuracy and completeness of this information, we recommend that employees directly access the information provided by CMS and the designated care providers who establish and maintain the official policies and procedures. Where possible, we have provided links to relevant websites for your convenience in accessing additional information and clarification.

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