Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting Minutes

October 23, 2007, 9:30 – 11:00 AM


Present:    Chuck Donbaugh, Blair Funderburk, Bettina Cothran, Teresa Snow, Barry Sharp,

Matthew McDowell, Clint Demetriou, Barbara Henry, Dale Atkins,

Absent:     John Grovenstein, Lee Sheiner


Minutes from the 9/25/07 Committee Meeting were reviewed and approved.

Clint Demetriou—clarification of HSA account.

o        HSA contributions are not pretax. However, you can claim a tax advantage at the end of the year which makes it similar to an FSA. Maximum yearly contribution to HSA is $5000.  Contributions roll over each year and continue to accumulate.  HSA account can only be used with HDHP insurance plan, whereas FSA can be used with HDHP and other plans (such as indemnity and PPO).

Further comparisons between HSA and FSA were made by Clint Demetriou and John Grovenstein (via e-mail correspondence)

o        You can submit expenses to HSA for reimbursement which are not covered
by the health plan (like an FSA).  Qualified medical expenses are those expenses that would generally qualify for the medical and dental expenses deduction. These are
explained in IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses. Examples
include amounts paid for doctors' fees, prescription and non-prescription medicines, and necessary hospital services not paid for by insurance.

o        The eligibility is the same as compared to an FSA but with a HSA you self adjudicate/certify the expense and you must retain the backup in case of an audit.  With an FSA a third party adjudicates the expense.

o        Either an FSA or HSA can be used for a HDHP.   In some cases, the HSA maximum contribution limit is lower than the individual’s out of pocket medical expenses.    Since there would be no long term saving advantage and the maximum set aside could be larger, the FSA might be a better choice.   In addition, FSA funds are available prior to deposit. (The whole election amount is available for reimbursement the first day under the plan).

o        Pre-Medicare retirees can have an HSA.  To be an eligible individual and qualify for an HSA, you must have a HDHP and no other general purpose health coverage.  You cannot contribute to HSA at full retirement age (currently 65) if Medicare is your primary insurance.

Updates from Committee Chair Bettina Cothran:

o        Childcare issue

·         Letter sent to Provost-VP Gary Schuster emphasizing growing need for 2nd childcare facility. 

·         Dale Atkins brought up possibility of buying slots from other centers

o        Chuck Donbaugh stated that even if that were possible, supply would most likely exceed demand.  If startup capital can be obtained for opening a second child care center at 10th and Home, the program will be sustainable and meet current demands.

o        Annual Report 2006/07 given at general faculty meeting Oct. 16th

§         Many people came up afterwards and wanted to discuss maternity  benefits

§         Chuck Donbaugh asked if these individuals seemed to have a sense of what was currently offered

§         Bettina stated that the discussions were limited, but perhaps the committee can be proactive and try to ascertain employee awareness of current offerings.

o        Further communication from Christine Gallant at GSU was presented.

§         GSU’s Senate unanimously passed motion to request BOR to add employer-subsidized insurance tier for domestic partners for all USG employees.

§         University Council of the University of Georgia has also voted to support this request

§         Christine Gallant asked to be updated as to Georgia Tech’s progress on issue

§         Benefits for domestic partners will be put on next meetings agenda

o        Communication from Ron Bohlander (Secretary of General Faculty Committee) regarding benefits for GT employees not at home campus—he noted consideration should be made for field offices as well as units abroad

§         Clint Demetriou stated that interim steps had been taken to address currency differences

§         Action Item-Clint Demetriou and Chuck Donbaugh will make presentation at next meeting and talk about what we are doing for staff on foreign assignment

o        Blair Funderburk  updated committee on group long term care offered during GSU open enrollment

§         GSU has had good response primarily from employees. Only a few spouses have been enrolled, but it is expected that this number will increase over time.

§         With respect to GT, Clint Dementriou and others will look at Long Term Care as well as other options over the next year to evaluate where we are with respect to compensation.   GT wants to offer options that are of high value to its employees.


 New Business


o        Maternity Benefits:  Bettina presented committee members with a summary document of benefits offered at other institutions.

·         Summary document was related to correspondence received from Martha White (GSU College of Business) inquiring as to the status of a tenure delay document drafted last year and whether it had been discussed by the committee.

o        Chuck Donbaugh explained that currently at GT, tenure delay is voluntary and dependent on whether the Dean of the College supports it.  Employees can continue to be paid and work on a flexible schedule, but have teaching assignments shifted.

·         Maternity benefits will be placed on next agenda for discussion.

·         Dale Atkins suggested also getting GTRI and non-tenure viewpoints on maternity benefits since they are in a different situation with respect to tenure faculty

·         Chuck Donbaugh also suggested item for next agenda.  A compensation study is currently underway for classified staff & he suggested periodic updates should be presented to committee.

o        Action Item -Clint Demetriou will update committee at next meeting as to what is being done

·         Clint Demetriou updated the committee on 403(B) regulations that are changing as of January, 2009. GT is currently trying to assess what model is sustainable and best for employees to ensure that new regulations will be met.  Possible models include:

o        Using multiple plans and connect them to make sure GT is in compliance with IRS regulations

o        Using one vendor, but allowing multiple fund options so that consumer have numerous choices

§         These models will be evaluated in the future.  It was also noted that there may be a need for an investment committee to help with these decisions long term.

·         Barbara Henry was prompted by individuals to bring up the cost of infertility treatment to the committee—can it be covered under insurance plan?—she stated that she would have more communication to share later about this issue

o        Chuck Donbaugh stated that with the expansion of ORP, plans may become more flexible in the future with respect to coverage.


Next Meeting

·         The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 27, 2007.