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Benefits

Insurance Eligibility

A full time permanent employee at WIU is entitled to certain basic insurance benefits through the State Employee Group Insurance Plan. These benefits include term life insurance and comprehensive health insurance (includes prescription & vision coverage). Group coverage begins on the first day of eligible employment and terminates on the last active day of employment. Required participation in the group health/prescription/vision coverage may be waived with approved proof of other comprehensive coverage. For part-time employees (.99 to .50 FTE) participation in the Group Health Insurance Plan is optional. Basic life insurance is provided for all eligible full-time and part-time employees working half-time or more, for 9 months or more. Part-time employees are required to pay a portion of basic cost if they elect to participate in the health/prescription/vision plan.  Dental coverage is also an option an employee may choose. For example, a half-time employee would pay 50% of the basic cost and a 75%-time employee would pay 25% of the basic cost. An eligible part-time employee who initially refuses coverage may elect coverage when they experience a qualifying change in family circumstance or during a Benefit Choice period, with coverage effective the following July 1.

The civil union law in Illinois has created opportunity to enroll civil union partners and their children in health, dental and life coverage.  Documentation of a civil union/same-sex marriage in the state of Illinois or in other states and supportive documentation for dependents is required to enroll in this benefit.

An updated benefits handbook for active employees and a separate edition for retirees is available on the CMS website.

Temporary Faculty

Available benefits vary based on the percentage and length of employment. Call to schedule a benefits appointment within one week from the first date of employment (or earlier) to enroll for eligible benefits.

Employees on Leave or Layoff

Employees are eligible for qualified leaves that allow them to purchase benefits at the employee cost.  If the employee is on an unpaid or other non- qualfiied leave, then they may have to pay CMS directly and pay the state portion as well.  If you are aware that you are going on a leave, you must contact the HR Benefits office regarding arrangement of payment of premiums.

Health, Dental, Prescription and Vision Insurance

An eligible employee currently has a choice of three health plan options and dental coverage. Vision and prescription coverage are provided with health coverage. Dental coverage has three tiers of coverage available dependent on the dental provider chosen.  Eligible dependents may also be covered under health or dental plans. Pre-existing condition exclusions from coverage are no longer allowed by federal law.
For more information regarding these plans, please visit www.benefitschoice.il.gov

Benefits Choice FY14 Presentation

Life Insurance

An eligible employee is insured for a basic life benefit in the amount of the annual salary for free and may purchase the following options: 1) Additional term life insurance up to 8 times their base annual salary 2) Term life insurance for spouse (maximum $10,000) and/or eligible children (maximum $10,000) 3) Accidental death and dismemberment insurance equal to 1, 2, 3 or 4 times your basic life benefit.
For more information regarding the State Life insurances, visit www.lifebenefits.com
or here to access life insurance change forms and information.

Employee Assistance Program (Quick Reference Guide)

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential service free to all University employees eligible for benefits and their families. The EAP provides professional assistance to individuals experiencing some type of personal problem, e.g. marital or family problems, emotional stress or depression, alcohol or drug dependencies. An eligible person can see an EAP counselor up to 3 times for any one problem with no cost to the employee.  Additionally, the EAP offers financial counseling and one legal counseling session per issue as part of the coverage.

If you are not in the union, to contact the EAP, call 1-866-659-3848. Tell the operator if you have an emergency and a counselor will return your call. For more detailed information about the program, contact EAP or Human Resources.

Retirement

An eligible employee has a choice of three State Universities Retirement System (SURS) plans upon initial employment – Traditional Plan (defined benefit), Portable Plan (defined benefit) and the Self Managed Plan (defined contribution).

An employee's eligibility is determined by the University and participation is mandatory if an employee meets university criteria. The employee will receive information from SURS and will have to choose, within six months from the date of employment, which plan to contribute too. If no choice is made by the employee they will default to participation in the Traditional Plan. This choice or defaulting is a LIFETIME CHOICE AND ONCE MADE CANNOT BE REVOKED OR CHANGED even upon re-employment in participating organizations. An updated benefits handbook for active employees and a separate edition for retirees is available on the CMS website.  Go to the SURS website to get more information to compare plan options and how they fit your long-term retirement goals.

Eligible employees will pay Medicare costs and build credits toward Medicare eligibility but will not pay into nor build credit with Social Security while participating in SURS. Employees who are ineligible for SURS participation will pay into Medicare and Social Security and build credit in those systems.

Benefits for participants hired before 1/1/2011 can be found under the different plans available at the SURS website.

Legislation has affected the benefits available to employees based on date of hire. If you were hired after 1/1/2011 go to the SURS plan benefits chart to examine plan benefits.

SURS Disability Benefits

Accident - You qualify for benefits the first day of your contract.

Illness - You qualify for benefits after you establish two years of service credit.

Voluntary Supplemental Long-Term Disability Benefits

Long Term Disability

If you are unable to work, LTD benefits help replace a portion of your salary. Each active full-time employee who is a) a participant in the SURS; b) is a permanent employee with an appointment of 50% time or more; or a temporary employee with an appointment of 50% time or more for at least nine months is eligible to purchase a supplemental long term disability plan. You must be actively at work on the effective date of your coverage; otherwise, your coverage becomes effective the day you return to work at your normal schedule. Your benefit will be equal to 66.67% of your basic monthly gross earnings to a maximum of $12,000 per month. Your benefit may be reduced if you are receiving other forms of disability income. See the attached Certificate of Coverage for specific information about the benefit.

AD&D - Accidental Death and Dismemberment

This optional coverage for "accidental" death or dismemberment is made available by the university to staff who wish to purchase additional coverage beyond that available through the state.  It is underwritten by ACE.  The staff member pays the full premium which is sent to the provider by the university.

Flexible Spending Accounts

These plans allow you to use pre -tax dollars for qualifying expenses. You will be able to pay for some charges with the plan Visa card or be reimbursed with pre -tax dollars from your account when you submit receipts with a claim form. Enrollment in these plans is limited to the Benefit Choice period, within 60 days of employment or within 60 days of a qualifying change. NOTE: Government regulations require that you forfeit any unused money in your MCAP or DCAP accounts at the end of the plan year “grace” and “ runout ” periods so it is wise to budget conservatively. Call Human Resources to request current information about the following programs and visit the CMS website for forms.

Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP) - PDF Enrollment Form

This plan allows you to use pre -tax dollars to be reimbursed for eligible expenses for the care of a qualified dependent. The plan year limit is $5000.00 for an individual or couple. You are encouraged to consult your tax adviser before enrolling in this plan.

Medical Care Assistance Plan (MCAP) - PDF Enrollment Form

This plan allows you to use pre -tax dollars to pay for certain medical, dental,  medication and related expenses that are not paid by insurance. The plan year limit is $2500.00 for an individual. Participants may also use MCAP funds to be reimbursed for allowable, dependent expenses not covered by insurance. A list of eligible expenses may be seen in IRS Publication, Medical and Dental Expenses (Section 213, Publication 502).

Tax Deferred Options

Contributing to a tax deferred supplemental retirement plan reduces your current taxable gross income. Such plans allow you to defer tax until the money is withdrawn (i.e., at retirement when your taxable income may be less than current income). There are two voluntary plans that offer a variety of investment options: Western Illinois University 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Plan and the State Employees Deferred Compensation Program. Within each plan there are several types of tax deferred investment options available. You may elect to invest in one or more annuities or mutual funds offered by the respective plans.

Universal Availability

Any employee of the university who earns income from the university and contributes to SURS or Social Security (FICA) is eligible to participate in the 403b supplemental retirement program.

How to Set Up a Tax Deferred Account

The names of the representatives of the vendors for the 403(b) plan currently approved by the Board of Trustees are available from Human Resources Benefits Office. If you wish to participate in the WIU 403(b) plan or the State Employees Deferred Compensation Program, call the Benefits Office (Sherman Hall 312) at 309-298-1853 for enrollment assistance.

Western Illinois University 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Plan Document

Use the following link to review the Plan document which governs the operation of the WIU 403(b) plan – 403(b) plan documentAmendment OneAmendment TwoAmendment Three

Deferred Compensation (457)

Use the following link to access more information about the deferred compensation program. - Deferred Compensation at Illinois Department of Central Management Services

Workers Compensation

An employee who suffers from a job related injury or disablement should immediately seek medical attention and notify both their supervisor and the Workers Compensation Coordinators in Human Resources. An employee who is unable to work due to an injury arising out of and in the course of employment will be considered for workers compensation benefits. These payments are initiated at the employee's request and are payable only after proper documentation is submitted to, and approved by, the Illinois Department of Central Management Services.

The Board of Trustees Tuition Reduction and Educational Assistant Plan

The Board Regulations establishes tuition and fee waivers for eligible employees up to 6 hours per semester for undergraduate classes. Employees may obtain further information and a copy of the Board of Trustees Tuition Reduction and Educational Assistance Plan from Human Resources or the Provost's Office.

50% Tuition Waiver for Children of Public University Employee

50% tuition waivers for undergraduate education at Illinois public universities shall be made available for eligible children of employees who have 7 or more years of total Illinois university employment. Contact Human Resources, (309) 298-1853, or Financial Aid, 309/298-2446, for additional information.