Important Benefits Information for 2014

Each year, employees are given the opportunity to make changes to their benefits. 2014 Open Enrollment was October 1-24, 2013. During that time all employees were encouraged to re-evaluate their benefit needs.  All changes that were made during Open Enrollment will be effective January 1, 2014.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) and How it Affects You

The Affordable Care Act will impact our Medical insurance for 2014 and could affect your income taxes as well. Beginning January 1, 2014, when an employee pays their copay for medical or prescription usage, that copayment will now be counted toward the annual out-of-pocket maximum for the year. In addition, ACA is requiring all insurance carriers to designate which specific contraceptive devices and prescriptions are to be covered without a copay or coinsurance. If an item is not listed on the insurance company’s contraception list, it will be covered; however, a copay or coinsurance will be charged.

As a result of the ACA, a tax will be levied on all medical plans to fund the Patient Center Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). This tax is expected to be $2.00 per person per month. The reinsurance fee for the ACA is an additional $5.25 per month. These fees have already been included in your monthly premium.

Please be aware that at the time you file your 2014 income tax you will be subject to a new tax if someone on your return is not covered by medical insurance. It will be the greater of a $95 per person fee or 1% of your income. The rate increases in 2015 to $325 per person or 2% of your income and by 2016 the rate is projected to $695 per person or 2.5% of your income. The ACA tax on all medical plans will be used to fund the medical exchange and future medical research.

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Changes to the Medical Plan

The cost of our BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) insurance has increased approximately 7.5% this year. In an effort to keep our plans affordable, a few changes were needed.

BCBS High Plan Changes  (Per Person)

 BCBS Basic Option Changes  (Per Person)
Deductible $1,000 $500 (No Change)
Medical Out of Pocket Max $3,300 $5,500
Prescription Out of Pocket Max $2,500 $2,500

One way to help with the increase in the deductible is to take the BCBS Health Assessment. For 2014 only, BCBS will give all employees and spouses covered by our medical plan an opportunity to take the Health Assessment online. If you take the assessment before you incur any medical expenses, BCBS will credit your deductible with a one-time $250 credit; thus reducing your deductible to $750 for the BCBS High Plan and $250 for the BCBS Basic Plan. The key is that you must complete the assessment before you have a claim. The $250 credit is available to spouses; however, it is not available to dependent children.

To recap, there will be no plan changes to the BCBS Basic Plan. The plan changes for the BCBS High Plan will be a $1,000 deductible per person/per year, $3,300 out-of-pocket per person/per year on the medical plan. If the Health Assessment is taken prior to incurring a claim, the deductible is reduced by $250. The 2014 rates are as follows:

Medical Plan


(UCO Paid)


+ One Child



BCBS High Plan






BCBS Basic Plan







There will be no changes to the Dental Plan for 2014 and the Vision Plan has added a $20 benefit for specialty frames.






Dental Plan






Vision Plan






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New Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Vendor

We are excited to announce that UCO has secured a new flexible spending account vendor with Chard Snyder. They offer additional flexibility for both UCO and our employees. You will have the opportunity to submit your claims by mail, e-mail, online or with your smart phone and your reimbursement can be by check or direct deposit.

How does an FSA work?

FSAs are money-saving ways to pay for qualified Medical and Dependent Care expenses because the accounts are funded with pre-tax dollars. Employees may enroll in either the Medical Spending Account and/or Dependent Care Spending Account. When you enroll in the FSA, you authorize pre-tax deductions from your pay to be put into an account for you. The Medical Spending Account provides tax-free reimbursement of eligible expenses such as copays, deductibles, coinsurance, etc., that are not covered by your medical, dental or vision plan. The Dependent Care Spending Account allows you to reimburse yourself for child or elder care expenses that are incurred to enable you and your spouse to be employed outside of the home. Eligible expenses are only those incurred for the care of a child under 13 years of age, who qualifies as a dependent for tax purposes or for a dependent who is physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself, including your spouse, disabled child or parent as long as the person normally spends at least eight hours per day in your home.

Please note the following about the FSA: FSA’s have a “Use-it or Lose-it" Rule. Simply stated, if you have money left in your account after March 15th of the following year, that money will be forfeited. But with a little planning, you can take advantage of this tax-reducing benefit without losing any money.Over-the-counter drugs and health products require a prescription to be eligible for reimbursement with the FSA.

Experience the Convenience of the FSA “Benny” Debit Card! It’s fast, flexible and free! The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) “Benny” debit card can be used at hundreds of merchants. Simply present the FSA “Benny” debit card to pay for medical and dependent care expenses. The money is taken directly from your FSA account, resulting in fewer paper claims to file. When using the FSA “Benny” debit card, some charges may require proof after purchase. SAVE YOUR RECEIPTS!

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Want to save more on your taxes?

Here’s how the average person, contributing just $100 per month, can increase their take-home pay by using an FSA:

Without FSA With FSA
Annual Salary $35,000 $35,000
FSA Deposit (annual) $0 $1,200
Taxable Income $35,000 $33,800
Estimated Taxes (30%) $10,500 $10,140
Medical Expenses $1,200 $0
Take Home Pay $23,000 $23,360
Annual Increase in Take Home Pay $0 $360

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How do I make a change to my benefits?

Complete the 2014 Open Enrollment Form. After completing “Section 1. Employee Information,” only complete the sections for which you wish to change effective January 1, 2014. All forms must be turned into the Benefits office before noon October 25, 2013. Remember the IRS requires all employees to re-enroll each year in the Flexible Spending Account.

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What if I want to increase my Life or Dependent Life coverage?

Employees may increase their voluntary life insurance up to $20,000, as long as it does not exceed five times their annual income. An increase of more than $20,000 requires an Evidence of Insurability Form (EOI) to be completed and the employee may be required to get a physical, by a physician chosen by by Lincoln Life Insurance, at the employee's expense.To add or increase the Dependent Life Insurance, an EOI is to be completed and the dependents may be required to get a physical, by a physician chosen by Lincoln Life Insurance, at the employee's expense. What if I do not want to make a change to my medical, dental, or vision coverage, or enroll in the FSA? There is no action required if you do not want to make a change to existing coverage or enroll in the Flexible Spending Account.

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What if I have waived Medical Coverage?

To continue to receive the $150 additional pay each month for waiving medical coverage, a copy of your current medical card is required. Please put your Banner ID on the copy of your medical card and note 1-1-14 effective date. You may send the copy by email (see below), fax to x3827, or mail to Benefits, Box 171. Due to ACA guidelines, if you do not provide us a copy before the end of 2014 Open Enrollment, you will be automatically enrolled in the BCBS High Plan, employee only.

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What if I have a question?

  1. Contact any vendor listed on our vendor's contact numbers on our website. (Human Resources/Benefits/Contact Benefits Companies).
  2. Or you may e-mail Janet Hostetler at or Stephanie Spencer at with any other questions you may have. (Please give them at least 24 hours to respond to your questions.)

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2014 Forms

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