March 17, 2015

31815retirement550

31815InfographicBenefitsinside640
Click on the graphic for a larger view.

Did you know that Texas Children’s is contributing to your retirement right now?

Unlike many other organizations, Texas Children’s offers employees both a fully funded Cash Balance Pension Plan and a 403 (b) plan with match dollars. The organization recently posted its 2014 deposit into the Cash Balance Pension Plan, which Texas Children’s pays the full cost of and you are automatically enrolled in on April 1 or October 1 once you reach 21 years old and have worked 1,000 hours or more during the 12 consecutive months after your initial date of hire.

To see how much your Cash Balance Pension Plan has grown, log in to Mercer’s website at www.ibenefitcenter.com. The website has useful tools that allow you to view your balance, estimate your future pension balance and verify/update your beneficiary information.

To learn more about the Cash Balance Pension Plan, click here to view the summary plan description or call the Texas Children’s Hospital Pension Plan Support Team at 800-752-8230 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In addition to the Cash Balance Pension Plan, Texas Children’s offers a 403 (b) plan. If you are not already enrolled in the plan, you should consider doing so. You don’t want to miss out on Texas Children’s 50 percent match of the first 6 percent of your pre-tax per paycheck contribution. You can enroll anytime by contacting Fidelity at 800-343-0860 or online at www.fidelity.com/atwork.

It is never too early to start saving for retirement. The Texas Children’s benefits team encourages you to take advantage of all the retirement benefits our organization offers.

“Investing in our people with competitive retirement and other benefits helps Texas Children’s attract, support and retain top talent like you,” said Jim Cuva, assistant director of Human Resources. “That’s why we are committed to your financial well-being.”

December 2, 2014

1231410minutemassage640

Need a few minutes to unwind? We at Texas Children’s have got you covered.

The organization understands that to lead tirelessly, you must be healthy and strong. Therefore, we are committed to supporting your health and well-being by offering opportunities for wellness in the workplace. That’s why the Employee Health and Wellness team has partnered with Integrated Health, Inc., a Houston-based health and wellness company, to offer free 10-minute chair massages to Texas Children’s Hospital badge-holders.

The massages will be performed by licensed massage therapists at different locations throughout the organization. This wellness perk will be offered December 3 through Saturday, December 13. As a courtesy to your co-workers, please sign up for only one massage. Most locations encourage appointments, yet walk-ins might be accepted if a therapist is free. A few select sites and times will be walk-in only, with massages offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

How do I schedule my 10-minute chair massage?

  • Click here to access the Appointment Scheduler and create an account. Please opt to create an account even if you participated last year. The process takes approximately two minutes.
  • Select your preferred site and date on the calendar.
  • Select an appointment time and mark your calendar.
  • You will receive a reminder email 24 hours prior to your massage.
  • Please arrive five minutes prior to your appointment to sign a consent form.

Scheduling details for employees with Texas Children’s Pediatrics, Health Centers and Facilities Operations will be provided by their leadership. Click here for the full schedule of available times and locations as well as Frequently Asked Questions, including how to cancel or reschedule your appointment. For all other questions, please contact Integrated Health, Inc. at therapeutic@ihiwellness.com.

Thank you for leading tirelessly and helping Texas Children’s advance health care. We hope you will accept this small gift and treat yourself to a massage.

November 11, 2014

111214openenrollment550

The enrollment period for 2015 benefits ends Friday, November 14, so you better sign up fast.

If you know what you want, sign up for your 2015 benefits online at My Online Information or MOLI. If you are still debating on which health benefits to sign up for next year, go to our new employee benefits website and use Decision Direct, an interactive tool that gives you tips on which plan works best for you and your family.

When you access Decision Direct, you’ll be guided through a series of questions related to your health care preferences and how much you use and pay for health care during a year’s time. Once you’ve answered the questions, the tool will provide you with advice on which medical plan might be best for you.

Other tools and resources on the employee benefits website can help you estimate the cost of your prescription drugs and find a provider in your network. You also can compare the rates of the different health plans and learn about what each one has to offer.

If you still are unsure about which plan to sign up for or if you need assistance in the enrollment process, representatives from Human Resources will be offering their help from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, November 13, on The Auxiliary Bridge. On the last day of the enrollment period, Friday, November 14, the Total Rewards Main Phone Line at Ext. 4-2421 will be staffed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you want to change plans or coverage levels, or if you want to participate in the Flexible Spending Account, you’ll need to elect your benefits during the enrollment period. If you don’t actively enroll during that time, your current medical, dental and other benefits will automatically carry over next year. Flexible Spending Account participation does not carry over from one year to the next, so you will need to reenroll.

November 4, 2014

11514Benefits640

The clock is ticking on this year’s 2015 benefits enrollment period, and with only 10 days left, it’s time to make a decision about the coverage you want for you and your family.

Enrollment ends on Friday, November 14. If you want to change plans or coverage levels, or if you want to participate in the Flexible Spending Account, you’ll need to elect your benefits during the enrollment period. If you don’t actively enroll during that time, your current medical, dental and other benefits will automatically carry over next year. Flexible Spending Account participation does not carry over from one year to the next, so you will need to reenroll.

Here are some questions and answers that hopefully will help you make the best decisions about your health insurance.

Where do I get more information about benefits?

Visit www.texaschildrens.org/mybenefits to learn more about your 2015 benefit options.

I need help selecting a plan. What resources are available?

You have access to Decision Direct, an interactive tool designed to help guide your decisions around which plan might work best for you and your family. Decision Direct is available at www.decisionsupportsuite.com/texaschildrenshospital.

Is the most expensive medical plan the best plan available?

Not necessarily. What’s “best” is based on the amount of coverage you and your family actually need. For example, if you enroll in the EPO or PPO option next year but don’t use a lot of health care services or take a lot of prescription medications, you may pay for more coverage than you need. The key is to consider your “total” medical plan costs for next year. That’s how much you contribute from your paycheck and how much you anticipate spending throughout the year combined.

Is one medical plan option better than another?

No. One medical plan option isn’t necessarily “better” than another. They’re designed to give you choices so you can find the option that makes sense for your and your family’s situation. Remember to take your total costs into consideration, which includes what you pay out of your paycheck and what you pay out of your pocket when you receive care (deductibles, coinsurance, copays). For example, if you select the EPO or PPO, you’ll pay more up front in payroll contributions and generally pay less during the year when you need care. With the CPP, you’ll pay less up front in payroll contributions and generally pay more when you need care during the year (but can use money in your HRA).

Are the same services covered by all the medical plan options?

The services that the CPP, EPO and PPO cover through BCBS are identical. They are just covered at different levels. You can find specific plan coverage details in your enrollment guide.

How does the CPP work?

The CPP saves you money up front with lower payroll contributions. You must meet an annual deductible for medical and prescription drug expenses before the plan begins to pay benefits. You will have an HRA account you can access to help satisfy out-of-pocket expenses such as the deductible, coinsurance, and/or other eligible expenses. Once you meet the annual deductible, you pay 20 percent of in-network medical and prescription drug costs until you reach the annual out-of-pocket maximum. Then the plan pays 100 percent of eligible expenses for the rest of the plan year. You have the option to open a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) along with your HRA, into which you can deposit $2,500 out of your check to help pay for your expenses. If you do open an FSA, using your debit card will allow those funds to be used first to pay for services to meet your deductible before the funds will be paid out of your HRA.

How does the CPP encourage informed and smart health care behavior?

Low payroll contributions on the front end and higher deductibles on the back end help you think before you use health care services – like deciding whether to go to an Urgent Care Clinic rather than the Emergency Room (ER) for a sinus infection. This type of plan promotes better decision-making around health care use, which in turn drives down costs.

I want to improve my health in 2015. What other programs are being offered?

You can kick-start your healthy 2015 by receiving your annual physical at the Employee Medical Clinic. Preventive care is covered by all three medical plans at no cost to you and subsequent visits are only $10! Employee Health and Wellness can also support you in achieving your well-being goals through various wellness programs including tobacco cessation programs, chronic condition management, health coaching, and engaging wellness activities. An exciting new offering is that tobacco cessation prescriptions and over the counter treatments are now covered at 100 percent with a prescription. Contact the Employee Medical Clinic at Ext. 4-2150 for a same-day appointment and wellness program details.

October 28, 2014

 

102914BenefitsFair640

Preparation is key to making the best decisions about health insurance, life insurance and retirement for you and your family.

To help you plan for annual benefits enrollment, there is a new employee benefits website you can visit to learn about your 2015 benefit options. That website can be found here and includes an interactive tool called Decision Direct that gives you tips on which plan works best for you and your family.

There also will be a Benefits and Wellness Fair from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, October 30 on The Auxiliary Bridge. Representatives from at least 15 vendors, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Fidelity and Prudential, will be present to provide you with information and answer any questions you might have about next year’s benefits package. There also will be prizes and giveaways, so don’t miss out on this exciting event.

Another tool that will aid you in the decision-making process is the newsletter mailed to your home last week. The publication highlights your benefit options and some changes for 2015. It also provides information on tools that can help make the enrollment process simple and successful.

In addition to the benefits fair, there will be several opportunities during the upcoming weeks to ask questions about the 2015 benefits package and to enroll in whatever plan you choose. Human resource representatives will be visiting various departments throughout the organization and will have information and enrollment booths set up in high-traffic areas throughout the enrollment period.

Enrollment this year for 2015 benefits is from Thursday, October 30 through Friday, November 14. If you want to change plans or coverage levels, or if you want to participate in the Flexible Spending Account, you’ll need to elect your benefits during the enrollment period. If you don’t actively enroll during that time, your current medical, dental and other benefits will automatically carry over next year. Flexible Spending Account participation does not carry over from one year to the next, so you will need to reenroll.
Some of the changes to the 2015 benefits package include:

Medical and Prescription Drug Coverage

  • Additional Plan Option: Texas Children’s is introducing the Consumer Plus Plan (CPP), a consumer-directed health plan that includes a health reimbursement account (HRA) funded by Texas Children’s.
  • Increased EPO Expenses: An annual deductible will be introduced for both individual and family coverage under the EPO, and your coinsurance for services will increase to 10 percent.
  • Prescription Drug Coinsurance: Coinsurance will now apply to brand-name prescription drugs purchased under the EPO and PPO plans. All three plans will have a copay for generic drugs.
  • Premium Changes: Some employees with children enrolled in the PPO and EPO plans will see a decrease in premiums. Premiums will increase for employees who are enrolling only themselves in one of the plans.

Dental Plans

  • Reduced Dental Premiums: Dental rates will be 5 percent lower in 2015, regardless of the plan or coverage tier you select.
  • Discounted Orthodontia: Discounted orthodontia will now be available onsite from Dr. John Wirthlin, including traditional braces and Invisalign for adults. These services will be available to all employees, regardless of whether they enroll in dental plan coverage.

Eligible Dependents

  • Domestic partners and their children will be eligible for coverage under our benefits plans. This coverage includes both same-sex and opposite-sex partners, whether under legally married or common-law relationships.
October 21, 2014

102214openenrollment550

Annual benefits enrollment is right around the corner, but now is the time to learn about your options so you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Enrollment this year will be from Thursday, October 30, through Friday, November 14.

A newsletter highlighting your benefit options and some changes for 2015 will be mailed to your home later this week. The newsletter also will provide information on tools that can help make the enrollment process simple and successful.

“Now is the time to learn more about your benefits and make your best choices for 2015,” said Jim Cuva, assistant director of Human Resources. “We have some great tools and resources available this year to help our employees have a successful enrollment.”

What’s new?

Here’s a quick preview of some of the main changes to next year’s benefits package:

Medical and Prescription Drug Coverage

  • Additional Plan Option: Texas Children’s is excited to introduce the Consumer Plus Plan (CPP), a consumer-directed health plan that includes a health reimbursement account (HRA) funded by Texas Children’s.
  • Increased EPO Expenses: An annual deductible will be introduced for both individual and family coverage under the EPO, and your coinsurance for services will now be 10 percent.
  • Prescription Drug Coinsurance: Coinsurance will now apply to brand-name prescription drugs purchased under the EPO and PPO plans. All three plans will have a copay for generic drugs.
  • Premium Changes: Although some employees with children will see a slight reduction in cost, most employee premiums will increase for the EPO and PPO plans. This increase reflects higher trends in medical and prescription drug costs.

Dental Plans

  • Reduced Dental Premiums: Dental rates will decrease by 5 percent in 2015, regardless of the plan or coverage tier you select.
  • Discounted Orthodontia: Discounted orthodontia will now be available onsite from Dr. John Wirthlin, including traditional braces and Invisalign for adults. These services will be available to all employees, regardless of whether they enroll in dental plan coverage.

Eligible Dependents

  • Domestic partners and their children will be eligible for coverage under our benefits plans.
  • This coverage includes both same-sex and opposite-sex partners, whether under legally married or common-law relationships.

Education and Information

  • Texas Children’s will be rolling out a new benefits website soon. Check your newsletter for details.
  • All benefits information will be posted on the new website. No benefits guides will be mailed to employees’ homes.
  • On the website, you’ll have access to Decision Direct, an interactive tool that can help you decide which plan works best for you and your family.

There will be several opportunities during the upcoming weeks to ask questions about the 2015 benefits package and to enroll in whatever plan you choose. Representatives from benefits vendors and Human Resources will be on hand during this year’s Benefits and Wellness Fair from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, October 30, on The Auxiliary Bridge. Human Resources representatives also will be visiting various departments throughout the organization and will have information and enrollment booths set up in high-traffic areas throughout the enrollment period.

Remember, if you want to change plans or coverage levels, or if you want to participate in the Flexible Spending Account, you’ll need to elect your benefits during annual enrollment, which is October 30 through November 14. If you don’t actively enroll during that time, your current medical, dental and other benefits will automatically carry over next year. Flexible Spending Account participation does not carry over from one year to the next, so you will need to reenroll.