Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting Minutes

February 4, 2009, 9:30 – 11:00 AM


Present:   Bettina Cothran (chair), Wayne Book, Clint Demetriou, Chuck Donbaugh, Blair Funderburk, Barbara Henry, Lee Montana, Sharon Ray, Barry Sharp, Teresa Snow

Absent:   None


Minutes from the 1/13/09 Committee Meeting were reviewed and approved.


Old Business

Barbara Henry—Update on Subcommittee to look at Donated Sick Leave

Subcommittee met on 1/14/09.  Among the issues discussed was that the money differential.  There would need to be a decision as to whether the program was based on actual hours or the monetary equivalent of the donation.

Chuck Donbaugh stated that he has spoken to Joel Herschel about doing a cost study to see how it would affect benefit rates to include donated sick leave.

A discussion ensued regarding specific issues of handling sick-leave donations.

Action Item—Chuck Donbaugh will set up meeting with Joel and committee, and provide further updates in March.


Sharon Ray/ Clint Demetriou—Update on Open Enrollment

The cost increase resulted in substantial numbers of changes from the Indemnity to PPO, although there are still over 300 enrolled in the Indemnity (many of the retirees). 

Looking at other plans, the numbers stayed approximately the same.  Kaiser’s enrollment dropped a little (2.24%).

Currently 282 employees have signed up for HDLP plan.  However, only 140 have enrolled in the HSA account.  Benefits will try to reach out to those individuals who have not signed up.

The FSA enrollment numbers increased, perhaps due to individuals who are now in the PPO choosing an FSA to cover expenses.

In a discussion regarding experiences with the new prescription drug program, some problems were noted with people having to wait a long time at the pharmacy, and one person who had to get a non-generic prescription rewritten before it could be filled.

Sharon Ray stated that BC/BS had problems with cards: many people got duplicates. Other issues include problems with signing up on-line for the HAS (resulting in a form which was mailed and had to be returned). These issues are being addressed.


Sharon Ray/Clint Demetriou—Update on 403B

The 2009 enrollment is in compliance with new IRS rules, with no participants enrolled in inactive vendors.  The actual numbers are down from 1682 enrolled in 2008 to 973 currently in Fidelity/TIAA-CREF, which may reflect at least partially elimination of accounts with multiple vendors. The total number of individuals eligible for 403B and 457 accounts is estimated at about 5,000.

Chuck Donbaugh suggested sending a note out to those not currently contributing just in case some people missed the information on the change.


New Business

Kaiser Coverage

Wayne Book brought up a concern that the Kaiser coverage might be dropped in 2010 because they don’t service rural areas.  Chuck, Clint, and Sharon were not aware of any current movement to change, adding that any change would not be undertaken without careful study and consideration.

Faculty Visa’s

A brief discussion on faculty visas was next. Bettina Cothran raised a question as to the timely handling of visa requests for foreign faculty through OHR. In order for visa requests to be handled efficiently, all parties must submit requisite information in its entirety and in a timely fashion. 

Employee Appreciation

Chuck Donbaugh called attention to faculty award programs.  Awards and recognition of all kinds, not restricted to substantial monetary awards, are an effective way to recognize efforts and contributions that go beyond the call of duty. A committee is being called together to study options and make recommendations.

Action Item— Chuck will continue to keep the FBC updated on any new developments.


Schedule of Upcoming Meetings

                        Wednesday, March 4, 9:30 – 11:00

Thursday April 9, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

                        Tuesday May 5

Meetings will be held in the OHR Conference Rm (220)