7. Benefits

Section 7.  Benefits

 

7-1  Health Insurance
7-2  Dental Insurance
7-3  Health and Dental Insurance and COBRA
7-4  Reimbursement Accounts for Health and Dependent Care
7-5  Life Insurance
7-6  Short Term Disability Insurance
7-7  Long Term Disability Insurance
7-8  Retirement Plans
7-9  Tax Deferred Annuity Retirement Benefits
7-10  Benefits for Families of Deceased Employees
7-11  Long Term Care Insurance

 

This section provides just an overview of insurance benefits. The insurance benefits plan documents are detailed, set forth a number of eligibility requirements, and are controlling and provide the "final word" on the insurance benefits coverage and eligibility. Please contact the Human Resources Office for full details of the College's insurance benefit's plan and a copy of those summary plan descriptions.

7-1 Health Insurance

The College currently offers employees two options:

  1. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care HMO offers a variety of choices for each family member. The Harvard Pilgrim network includes Harvard Vanguard Centers, which offer most services at a single location, Medical Group Practices, which offer many services at a single location, and thousands of independent primary and specialty care physician providers in the traditional private office setting. Each family member can choose the method of care that provides the best arrangement for that individual.
  2. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care PPO is a preferred provider network organization (PPO). The plan provides incentives for you to work with a physician within the network (the same network as the Harvard Pilgrim HMO) but also provides for care outside the network, subject to deductibles and co-payments. Because of the freedom of choice offered by this plan, the premium is significantly higher.

 

Literature outlining specific plan details is available in the Benefits Office, as well as at www.harvardpilgrim.org. Current premium rate information is available on the HR website, as well as in the Benefits Office.

Coverage is effective on the first of the month coincident with or next following your date of employment. There is no waiting period.

Eligibility: All regular administrative employees who work at least 17 1/2 hours per week for at least nine months per year currently are eligible for coverage. You may elect individual coverage for yourself, or family coverage for you, your spouse, and any children up to age 26 (regardless of tax dependent or employment status) are eligible for coverage under the Wellesley College’s medical and/or dental plan. It is your responsibility to notify the Human Resources Office if your child is no longer eligible for the plan(s). 

College Contribution: The College currently contributes 75% of health plan cost. Rates are subject to change at any time although typically rates change January 1st of each year.

Employee Contribution: Employees currently contribute 25% of the cost of their health insurance. The College makes these deductions on a before-tax basis.

Enrollment: If you chose not to enroll in a health plan, you may reverse that decision once each year, during the open-enrollment period.

If you are covered by health insurance through your spouse's employer and lose your eligibility for that coverage (due to spouse's termination of employment, etc.), contact the Benefits Office for information on off-cycle enrollment.

Health Insurance For Special Situations:

  • Health Insurance age 60 with at least ten years of service: For those who have elected to retire at age 60 or more with at least ten years of service and who are enrolled in College health insurance at the time of their retirement, the College will pay the portion of medical premiums it pays for all employees up to the first of the month in which the person reaches age 65, provided such is permitted under applicable law and the College's health insurance plan then in effect.
  • Health Insurance for Administrative Employees Age 65 and Over: Coverage remains the same for active administrative employees age 65 and over as it was prior to age 65. Employees who are 65 should register with Social Security. If you are enrolled in a college sponsored health plan, however, it is not necessary for you to enroll in Medicare B until you terminate employment. (link to ssa.gov and/or Medicare.gov)
  • Health Insurance for Employees on Total Disability: Employees who have been determined to be totally disabled under the College's total disability insurance can remain enrolled in the College's group health insurance during the period of total disability, until such time as they become eligible for Medicare, provided such is permitted under applicable law and the College's insurance plans then in effect.
  • Health Insurance for Families of Deceased Employees: The College allows surviving family members of deceased employees the option of retaining group coverage at the employee cost for five months. After five months the surviving family members may maintain their coverage under COBRA (see below), but the College does not contribute to the cost.

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7-2 Dental Insurance

The College offers dental insurance for eligible administrative staff and faculty. Literature outlining specific plan provisions and current premium rate information is available in the Benefits Office. Coverage is effective on the first of the month coincident with or next following your date of employment. There is no waiting period. Information on dental plans is available in the Benefits Office or through Delta Dental.

Eligibility: All administrative employees who work 17 1/2 hours per week or more for at least nine months per year are eligible for coverage. You may elect individual coverage for yourself, or family coverage for you, your spouse, and any children up to age 26 (regardless of tax dependent or employment status) are eligible for coverage under the Wellesley College’s medical and/or dental plan. It is your responsibility to notify the Human Resources Office if your child is no longer eligible for the plan(s). 

Employees enrolled in the dental plan who retire before age 65 may continue to participate in the dental plan until the first of the month in which they reach age 65. They will be responsible for the full monthly cost of the plan; there is no college contribution.

College Contribution: The College currently contributes 80% of the cost of individual coverage and 50% of the cost of family coverage. Rates are subject to change at any time although typically rates change January 1st of each year.

Employee's Contribution: Employees currently contribute 20% of the cost of individual dental insurance and 50% of the cost of family dental insurance. The College makes these deductions on a before-tax basis.

Enrollment: If you choose not to enroll in the dental plan, you may reverse that decision once each year, during the open-enrollment period.

If you are covered by dental insurance through you spouse's employer and lose your eligibility for that coverage (due to spouse's termination of employment, etc.) contact the Benefits Office for information on off-cycle enrollment.

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7-3 Health and Dental Insurance and Cobra-The Right to Retain Health Insurance

COBRA, The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, is a federal law that requires most employers sponsoring group health plans to offer temporary extension of health coverage at 102% of full group rates under certain circumstances in which the coverage would otherwise end. This is called continuation coverage.

Employees of Wellesley College who lose group coverage because of a reduction in hours or because of termination of employment for reasons other than their gross misconduct are entitled to this continuation coverage for 18 months.

Spouse and Dependent family members of Wellesley College employees are entitled to continuation coverage for 36 months if they lose their coverage:

    Because of the death of the employed family member
    Because of the termination of that family member's employment for reasons other than gross misconduct
    Because of divorce or legal separation
    Because the employed family member becomes entitled to Medicare
    Because a dependent ceases to be a "dependent child" under the plan

Continuation coverage may be cut short if:

    Wellesley College no longer provides any group health/dental plan to any of its employees
    The premium for coverage is not paid on time
    The qualified beneficiary becomes entitled to Medicare after the date he or she elects COBRA coverage
    The qualified beneficiary becomes covered - after the date he or she elects COBRA coverage - under another group health/dental plan
    The qualified beneficiary extends coverage for up to 29 months due to disability and there has been a final determination that the individual is no longer disabled

Crosby Benefit Systems is the third party administrator of the COBRA health/dental plan, will notify you of your eligibility and will issue the invoices for COBRA payments. Invoices must be paid within thirty days of the date of the invoice or COBRA coverage will be terminated.

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7-4 Reimbursement Accounts for Health and Dependent Care

The flexible spending/reimbursement account is administered by Crosby Benefit Systems.

Eligibility: Administrative employees working at least 17 1/2 hours per week, 9 months per year or more may enroll in a redirection agreement which provides a Federal, State and FICA tax shelter for funds used for eligible dependent care expenses or health related expenses that are not covered by health or dental insurance. Further detailed information, including enrollment forms and claim forms, are available in the Benefits Office or through Crosby Benefit Systems.

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7-5 Life Insurance

The College sponsors a group term life insurance plan for eligible employees.

Eligibility: All regular full-time employees are eligible for the group term life insurance coverage. You are eligible to be enrolled on the first of the month coincident with or next following your employment date.

Eligible employees changing from part-time or half-time to full-time status 35 hours per week for a minimum of 9 months per year will be eligible for coverage on the first of the month coincident with or next following the effective date of full-time employment.

Enrollment forms are available in the Benefits Office.

Coverage continues as long as you remain a full-time employee. If you change your status from full-time to half-time or part-time, your life insurance benefits will cease.

Noncontributory Life Insurance: The College provides to all eligible employees noncontributory life insurance equal to 100% of their annual salary rounded to the next highest $1,000.

Contributory Life Insurance: In addition to non-contributory coverage, you may elect to participate in the contributory portion of this plan and receive additional insurance equal to:

    100% of your annual salary rounded to the next highest $1,000 or
    150% of your annual salary rounded to the next highest $1,000 or
    200% of your annual salary rounded to the next highest $1,000. (For this option you must submit evidence of insurability.)

Contributory insurance payments must be made through payroll deductions.

No medical examinations are required to participate in either the noncontributory or contributory plans if you enroll within 30 days of eligibility. However, if you do not enroll within 30 days of eligibility or if you wish to obtain contributory insurance at a later time, or increase existing contributory coverage, you will be required to submit evidence of insurability.

Insurance Amount at Retirement: If you were hired prior to January 1, 1995 and you retire at 65 or later with at least ten years of full-time service (35 hours per week, nine months per year or more), the College will provide $2,500 of life insurance coverage if you were an exempt employee and $1,000 of coverage if you were a non-exempt employee. The College pays the entire cost of this coverage.

Employees hired on or after 1/1/95 are ineligible for this benefit.

Beneficiary: When you enroll in life insurance coverage, you must designate a beneficiary. This beneficiary may be any person or persons, including your estate, but not Wellesley College. You may change your beneficiary at any time.

Conversion Privilege: If your employment with the College terminates, you may exercise your "conversion privilege" and convert to an individual life insurance policy. You must apply within 31 days of termination, and you do not have to submit evidence of insurability. Should you die during this 31-day period, the amount of your life insurance will be paid whether or not you have used the "conversion privilege."

Deductions for Summer Months for Academic Year Employees: The Payroll Office will make additional payroll deductions to cover health, dental, and contributory life insurance for employees who do not work in the summer months of either June, July or August.

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7-6 Short-Term Disability Insurance

Please refer to Section 3-3 of the Administrative Handbook.

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7-7 Long-Term Disability Insurance

Please refer to Section 3-4 of the Administrative Handbook.

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7-8 Retirement Plans

Below appears a brief general summary of retirement benefits. Employees may request a copy of the actual plan documents from the Human Resources Office-Benefits. The plan documents govern the terms of the plan. The descriptions set forth in the Handbook are intended to provide a summary only, and these descriptions do not supersede, modify or replace the terms contained in the plan documents.

TIAA-CREF

Employees working 17.5 hours per week or more are eligible to participate in the College’s retirement plan effective the first day of the month following their date of hire as long as the employee completes a TIAA-CREF Retirement Annuity Contracts Enrollment Form. The College contribution is 9% on compensation up to one-half of the SSWB ($53,400 in 2009) plus 12% on compensation above one-half of the SSWB. The College also offers a match component, as described below. To qualify for the additional match component, employees must open a Tax-Deferred Annuity account with TIAA-CREF, Fidelity or Calvert and complete a Salary Reduction Agreement Form. The match will occur in even increments up to 1% as follows:
Employee Voluntary Contribution to TDA 
College Match to Regular Retirement Account
1%  1/3 of 1%
2%  2/3 of 1%
3%  1%

Vesting: Once eligible, you will become fully vested in TIAA-CREF the first month after you submit the completed application forms. Full vesting means that the contributions by the College to TIAA-CREF are fully owned by you as soon as the contracts are issued.

Retirement Benefits: When you retire you are entitled to receive a monthly or other periodic income under one of the several options available. All options provide for income to a spouse or other beneficiary.

To initiate procedures for receipt of retirement income benefits, you should contact TIAA-CREF directly by calling 1- 800-842-2888, or visit their website at https://www.tiaa-cref.org/public/index.html.

Death Benefits
If you should die before retirement, the full current value of your TIAA-CREF contracts will be payable to your designated beneficiaries.

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7-9 Tax-Deferred Annuity Retirement Benefits (TDA)

Under the IRS Code 403 (b)(7), you are permitted to set aside tax-deferred supplemental retirement funds in addition to the amounts being contributed by the College to the TIAA-CREF regular retirement plan. Currently, the College has TDA arrangements with Calvert, Fidelity, and TIAA-CREF SRA. Employees may request a copy of the plan brochures from the Human Resources Office.

Eligibility: All benefits-eligible employees are eligible to participate in these plans. You may begin, change or discontinue contributions at any time after you have completed the appropriate application forms and a Salary Reduction Agreement.

Plan Contributions: You may choose to participate in more than one TDA. Contributions to a TDA are made entirely by you; there is no College contribution. Any contributions you make are tax-deferred for purposes of federal income tax and beginning in 1998, state taxes also; you will still pay FICA taxes on these funds. You will pay income tax on these funds at the time of withdrawal. Funds withdrawn before you are age 59 1/2 are subject to severe tax penalties.

The minimum contribution is $25.00 per month. The maximum allowable amount may change each calendar year; if you wish to know the maximum amount you may contribute, you may call TIAA-CREF (1-800-842-2733, ext.2929) and ask for a calculation. You may use this service even if your TDA funds are in Calvert or Fidelity. You may change your monthly reduction more than once each calendar year, as long as you do not exceed your maximum allowable amount.

Retirement Benefits: At your retirement, you may begin receiving a monthly annuity or other periodic payments under one of several options available or you may take a lump sum withdrawal.

Social Security (FICA): The College and its employees participate in the Social Security Program. The College matches dollar for dollar the FICA taxes withheld from employees' pay and pays that amount to the employee's account under the Social Security system. Benefits are payable for death, disability, and retirement under Social Security. Descriptive literature is available from the Social Security Office or on-line at www.ssa.gov.

Anyone approaching age 65 should contact the nearest Social Security Office a minimum of three months prior to the 65th birthday to become familiar with the Social Security benefit system.

Wellesley College Pension Plan "Frozen Benefit": The Wellesley College Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan established on June 1, 1952 and is designed to provide monthly income at retirement. There is a five-year vesting requirement in this Plan.

All eligible administrative employees are now enrolled in the TIAA-CREF retirement plan. However, if you were employed prior to June 30, 1982 in a position classified at that time in Grades 10 through 16, however, you may have a vested benefit under the Wellesley College Pension Plan. The following schedule indicates when non-exempt employees became eligible for TIAA-CREF:

Grade 16...7/1/77
Grade 15...7/1/78
Grade 14...7/1/80
Grade 13...7/1/81
Grades 12, 11, 10...7/1/82

At the time you became eligible for TIAA-CREF, the benefit accrued based on a normal retirement age of 65 under this Plan was frozen, and may be payable to you at retirement at age 65 or older or if you meet the "years of service" requirement. Staff members with frozen vested benefits were notified by the Human Resources Office.

Eligibility: As a Classified employee (grades 10-16) you were eligible to participate in the Plan if you met the following requirements:

    You were employed on a regular basis and worked at least 17.5 hours per week
    You were hired prior to your 60th birthday, and
    You were not eligible for the TIAA-CREF plan

Waiting Period: There was no waiting period under the Plan. Eligible employees were automatically enrolled on the 1st day of the month following their date of employment.

Statement of ERISA Rights

Participants in benefit plans are entitled to certain rights and protections under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

ERISA provides that all participants shall be entitled to:

    Examine, without charge, at the Human Resources Office all plan documents, (including collective bargaining agreements) and copies of all documents filed by the plan with the U.S. Department of Labor (such as detailed annual reports and plan descriptions.)
    Obtain copies of all benefit plan documents and other plan information upon written request to the Plan Administrator. The Administrator may make a reasonable charge for the copies.
    Receive a summary of the annual ERISA reports to the Department of Labor. The Administrator of the plans is required by law to furnish each participant with a copy of the summary annual reports.

ERISA sets forth the duties of the people who are responsible for the operation of benefit plans. The people who operate the plans have a duty to do so prudently and in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries. No one, including the employer, may discharge or otherwise discriminate against participants in any way to prevent them from obtaining benefits to which they are entitled under the plans or exercising their rights under ERISA. If an application for benefits under a plan is denied in whole or in part, the participant or beneficiary must receive a written explanation of the reasons for the denial. Participants have the right to have the Administrator review and reconsider denied applications or requests on eligibility, participation, or other aspects of the operation of any plan and to have the insurance company review and reconsider denied claims under a group insurance contract.

Under ERISA, participants may take steps to enforce their rights. For example, if a participant requests materials from a plan and does not receive them within 30 days, he or she may file suit in a federal court. In such a case, the court may require the Plan Administrator to provide the materials and pay the participant up to $110 a day until he or she receives the materials, unless the materials were not sent due to reasons beyond the control of the Administrator. If a claim for benefits is denied or ignored, in whole or in part, the participant may file suit in a state or federal court. If the Plan Administrator's responsibility to remit any plan premiums is not discharged according to the terms of a benefit plan or if a participant is discriminated against for asserting ERISA rights, he or she may seek assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor, or may file suit in a federal court. The court will decide who should pay the court costs and legal fees. If the participant is successful, the court may order the person sued to pay these costs and fees. If the participant loses, the court may order him or her to pay these costs and fees if it finds, for example, that the claim is frivolous.

Contact the Plan Administrator if you have any questions about the benefit plans. If a participant has any questions about this statement or about rights under ERISA, he or she should contact the nearest Area Office of the U.S. Labor-Management Services Administration, Department of Labor.

Summary Plan Descriptions are available in the Benefits Office.

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7-10 Benefits for Families of Deceased Employees

Health Insurance for Families of Deceased Employees: The College allows surviving spouse and dependent family members of deceased employees the option of retaining group coverage at the employee cost for five months. After five months the surviving family members may maintain their coverage under COBRA (see below), but the College does not contribute to the cost.

TIAA-CREF: If you should die before retirement, the full current value of your TIAA-CREF contracts will be payable to your designated beneficiaries.

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7-11 Long Term Care Insurance

Through the sponsorship of The Boston Consortium, Wellesley College is able to offer new employees the opportunity to enroll in a guaranteed issue Long Term Care Insurance policy, regardless of personal health status, provided the employee enrolls within the first thirty days of employment. This benefit is provided by CNA Insurance Company. Group Long-Term Care Insurance covers the costs for long-term nursing home stays and home health care visits that are not covered by group health insurance, other insurance, or government programs. Below appears a brief general summary of benefits available under the Long-Term Care insurance company. Employees may request a copy of the plan brochures from the Human Resources Office. The policy documents govern the terms of this insurance benefit. The descriptions set forth in the Handbook are intended to provide a summary only, and these descriptions do not supersede, modify, or replace the terms contained in the policy documents.

Eligibility: Administrative employees whose regular work schedule is at least half-time for at least nine months per year are eligible to enroll in Long Term Care Insurance, with guaranteed issue, as long as they apply within 30 days of their employment start date. Eligible employees who skip this initial enrollment period, and wait to enroll at any future enrollment opportunity as determined by CNA, will have to provide evidence of insurability to CNA before any coverage would become effective.

Coverage is also available for certain family members of the eligible employee. However, this coverage is not guaranteed. Spouses who wish to apply for coverage must complete a short, simplified application regarding their health status. Coverage is also available for parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandparents-in-law under the age of 80 upon completion of a long form application.

Benefit: The Long -Term Care plan offered by CNA is a tax qualified plan that offers several different options from which to choose. Premiums for Long -Term Care are age-level based, which means that you will be locking into a premium rate based on your age on the effective date of coverage. Please refer to the enrollment brochure for additional information. Employees may also contact a CNA representative directly at 1-877-777-9072.

Employees and other eligible family members who enroll will be billed directly by CNA.

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