University Benefits Committee
October 10, 2002
Meeting Minutes
Approved December 12, 2002

Present:     Virginia Cassidy, Abby Chemers, Dennis Davito, Ray Foster, Deborah Haliczer, Scott Mooberry, Mary Munroe


        The meeting was called to order at 10:05 a.m.


        The proposed agenda was approved with one addition:  GroupWise mailbox.


        The minutes were approved as amended.


        Letter from an employee on PPO Coverage
        The employee stated that NIU should contract with Midwest Sports Medicine and Orthopedics to be a PPO.  The committee discussed this letter.  It was
        noted that it is CMS. not NIU, that contracts with PPO’s.  Every couple of years, the university president along with people from HRS and the VP for
        Administration meet with the local health care providers to encourage them to participate in the state health insurance programs.  The currently approved
        PPO listing is provided to employees in the annual benefits book that comes from CMS at the start of the Benefit Choice period.

        After much discussion, it was agreed that there is also an awareness issue and that employees are given the benefits materials but many do not read them.  It
        was suggested that HRS offer brown bag lunches titled something like “Understanding your health care benefits” right before or at the start of the open
        enrollment period.  Also, suggested for a brown bag luncheon, is a workshop on “Understanding Flexible Spending Accounts” as many employees do not
        take advantage of this program that may save them hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending upon their circumstances.  HRS was very receptive to
        holding these types of programs.

        Dennis agreed to respond to write to the Midwest Sports Center asking them to consider being a PPO in the future and copy in the employee.

        GroupWise Mailbox
        Abby received a phone call from Telecommunications to inform her that the University Benefits GroupWise mailbox was not being reviewed.  No current
        committee member had access to the mailbox.  They granted Abby proxy rights so she could view the mail that had been delivered in the last year and a
        half.  Abby reported that all of the mail had been sent to the mailbox in error. Discussion occurred about whether the mailbox should be maintained.  It was
        decided that the mailbox would be deleted for now.


        Letter to President on Prescription Coverage for Contraceptives
        The letter was approved as amended.

        Dental Survey
        The subcommittee decided it is a really bad time to ask people if they want to voluntarily increase their dental premiums.  A motion to table the dental
        survey and revisit it at a later date was made and approved.


        Dennis reported the following.
            ·   Full-time employees were given the opportunity to opt out of State of Illinois health, dental and vision coverage during September 1 through
                September 30, 2002, effective October 1, 2002.  Proof of enrollment in another health plan, not administered by CMS, had to be submitted.  Opting
                out was not offered to part-time employees.

                Twenty-seven full-time employees took advantage of this new option.  In the future, when new full-time employees are hired, they will be given this
                option.  Employees who opt out are not allowed to participate in the flexible spending programs.  Also, if you opt out, COBRA is not available upon
                leaving.  Employees who want to re-enroll in insurance at the annual Benefit Choice period are subject to possible health benefit limitations for
                pre-existing conditions.  A Certificate of Creditable Coverage from the previous insurance carrier must be provided to reduce the pre-existing
                condition waiting period.

            ·   Due to an audit finding, effective January 1, 2003, vacation and sick leave payouts cannot be applied to a 403B or 457B.  HRS has notified persons
                who may be affected by this change.

        Deborah and Mary are members of the Benefit Subcommittee for the NCA self-study.

        It was requested that committee members review the HRS Benefits web site to make suggestions on what should be added.


        The meeting adjourned at approximately 11 a.m.

NEXT MEETING:  December 12, 2002 at 10:00 a.m., Founders Library, Room 55