Benefits - FAQ
Benefits – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does Stop-Loss Limit mean?
A: The Stop-Loss Limit is the total amount of coinsurance each covered person must pay in a calendar year. When your co-insurance amounts have equaled the Stop-Loss Limit, the coinsurance percentage no longer applies – so you pay nothing more for covered services. Deductibles do not count towards the Stop-Loss Limit.
Q: What is the Preventive Care Benefit?
A: Preventative and routine care for covered persons age two and above is available for routine physical exams and associated radiology, laboratory testing and cardiac stress tests, routine pap smears, and routine hearing examinations, up to a calendar year benefit payment maximum of $250 for each covered person. Benefits are not subject to the deductible and/or coinsurance. Once you have reached the $250 maximum, no further benefits will be payable for the above listed care. The Preventive Care Benefit goes up to $300 for those who have completed the Health Risk Assessment.
Q: Am I covered out of state? Out of the country?
A: Yes. To find a provider out of your area, through UMR
Q: Can I ever make changes to my coverage?
A: The choices you make for your coverages will be in effect for the calendar year unless a qualified change in status event occurs. The changes you make are dependent upon the event that results in you or your spouse or dependent child gaining or losing coverage eligibility. Enrollment or changes in coverage must be made within 31 days of the Permitted Election Change Event. The following are events that would apply:
- Marriage or divorce
- Birth or adoption of a child
- Change in coverage under other employer’s benefits plan. For example, if you are covered under your spouse’s employer and that coverage is lost, then you may add our coverage. Conversely, if you spouse gains other coverage, you may drop ours.
Documentation will be required and must be received within 31 days of the date of change.
Changes may be made at the annual enrollment for the following January 1. The enrollment module is online at firefly.nebraska.edu – Employee Self Service.
Q: Are teeth cleanings covered completely?
A: Not quite. You can get two teeth cleanings each year (they do not have to be at least six months apart) and pay no deductible and only 15% of the charges. This applies to any standard diagnostic or preventive dental care.
Q: Is orthodontia covered?
A: Orthodontic services have a $40/year deductible and you pay 50% of the charges. Blue Cross will pay up to a lifetime maximum of $2,000.
Q: What is the individual maximum insurance coverage per year for dental services?
A: The calendar year maximum benefit is $1,500. This does not include orthodontia.
Q: Are the premiums for Long-Term Disability Insurance pre- or post-tax?
A: The premiums are pre-tax; however, any eventual disability benefit would be taxable.
Q: What does the term “elimination period” mean?
A: It is the period of time you must be unable to work due to injury or illness before your LTD benefit can begin. Faculty can do 180 days right away, while staff will want to choose 90 days until they have built up sufficient sick leave.
Q: What is the difference between Life Insurance and AD&D?
A: AD&D is only payable in the event of an accidental death or bodily dismemberment.
Q: What advantage do I have at the open enrollment with regard to Life Insurance?
A: You can enroll in coverage up to $50,000 at your initial enrollment without answering the health questionnaire. Subsequently, if you wish to increase your coverage at the annual enrollment, you will have to answer the health questions.
Q: The supplemental group Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance has an employee or a family option. What does that mean?
A: The employee is covered for 100% of the face value of the policy. For the family option, the spouse would also be covered for 50% of the face value and any dependent children would be covered for 10% of the face value in the event of accidental death or dismemberment.
Q: How do I enroll in Long-Term Care?
A: The Long-Term Care Insurance is offered by Genworth. Download the Long-Term Care Insurance PDF.
Q: How do the LTC premiums work?
A: They are based upon your age at enrollment. The younger you are when you enter the plan, the lower your premium will be. While premiums may change, you can never be singled out for a rate increase because you get older, become ill or because of claims you file.
Q: Are we talking only about nursing homes here?
A: Actually, 78% of long-term care is provided at home or in the community. Community-based care can be care you receive at home, either from a skilled professional like a nurse or home health aide who helps with everything from bathing and dressing to shopping, cleaning and cooking. Adult Day Care and Assisted Living Care are growing trends. With Assisted Living, facilities offer care for some of the personal needs you might have, but residents retain their independence in an apartment setting and the activity level is relatively high.
Q: I am young, why should I worry about long-term care?
A: The need for long-term care can occur at any age. According to Broker World, 40% of the disabled population who need long-term care are working age adults. An accident, a chronic illness, or an injury can all result in the need for long-term care. Things like this can happen at any time, not just when you are “old”.
Q: Can I enroll other relatives in the Long-Term Care plan?
A: Yes, spouses, parent, grandparents, parents-in-law and grandparents-in-law are all eligible. Remember, however, that the age at enrollment determines the cost of the premium. These relatives would also have to go through underwriting and some health problems do disqualify.
Q: How do reimbursement accounts work?
A: You first decide how much to set aside in each account for the year, up to the maximums in each plan ($5,000 for Day Care and $2,500-$2,750 for Health Care). This is called your "annual election.” Your annual election will be divided by 12 if you are paid monthly or by 24 if you are paid bi-weekly. Your compensation will be reduced by this amount each paycheck to fund the account(s). You must make your election annually – it does not renew automatically.
After you have incurred a qualifying expense, you will file a claim through WageWorks – accessible through Firefly – Employee Self Service. WageWorks will reimburse you for the claimed amount. Claims will be reimbursed to the bank account you use for your payroll deposit. An expense is considered incurred when the services are provided or the products are ordered. This may or may not be the same time that you are billed or pay for the services or products. You have until March 31 of the following calendar year to submit expenses for reimbursement that were incurred during the calendar year.
You should include only those expenses that you are sure you will incur when figuring your election, since any amount you do not incur for qualifying expenses cannot be returned to you.
Q: Do the health and day care accounts work the same way?
A: Not quite. The day care account is pay-as-you-go, meaning that you will not receive reimbursement past what you have actually contributed to the account up to that date. The healthcare account is different in that you may make claims for any amount within your pledge amount, even if the contributions you have made so far have not reached that amount.
Q: Who can qualify for retirement?
A: A benefits-eligible employee who is 55 years of age or older with 10 years of service or 65 years of age with any number of years of service.
Q: Who qualifies for the basic retirement plan – 401(a)?
A: The 401(a) plan is voluntary for employees age 26 – 29 and mandatory for employees age 30 and over. You must also have two (2) years of service at UNO or two (2) years of prior service at another educational institution, K-12 or university, national or international. As of September 2018, enrollment for employees who have become eligible will be semi-annual, with enrollments being processed on September 1 and February 1 of each year.
Q: If I start my 401(a) at Tier 1, can I then change it to Tier 2 in the future?
A: Employees at Tier 1 can change to Tier 2 each July 1st. Once you have moved to Tier 2, however, you cannot return to Tier 1. The change can be made during May at Firefly – Employee Self Service.
Q: Can I rollover to my 401(a) account?
A: No. Rollovers are only allowed to the supplemental retirement plan, the 403(b). If you have another 401(a) from a previous employer, you can fill out a University of Nebraska application form and then your account statements will show both accounts, but a true rollover can only be done with the supplemental plan.
Q: Is there a University match for the supplemental retirement plan, the 403(b)?
A: No, there is no University match, but it is still pre-tax or post-tax (Roth) money going towards your retirement. Additionally, the 403(b) account is very flexible. You can make changes to your deduction amounts when you want – they take effect the following month. Many employees use this flexibility to make adjustments for tax-sheltering purposes.
Q: What companies handle our investments and can we get counseling?
A: TIAA-CREF and Fidelity are our investment companies. You can contact them to set up a counseling session on campus. They are usually on campus two or three times a month. They are committed to providing non-competitive advice and can show you projections of your future retirement situation. Call 1.800.732.8353 to set up an appointment with a TIAA-CREF representative or 1.800.642.7131 to arrange to meet with a Fidelity rep. These representatives do not work on commission.
Q: When is it possible to use the 457(b) deferred compensation plan?
A: When you have made the maximum possible contributions to your 403(b) plan according to the IRS rules for the year. Please check with the Benefits office at 402.554.2465 for further information.
Q: What is accessibility and how does it affect me?
A: The University of Nebraska Basic 401(a) Retirement Plan allows separating and retiring faculty and staff lump sum access to TIAA-CREF and/or Fidelity Investments retirement plan accumulations, thereby providing additional settlement options. TIAA accumulations are distributed in annual disbursements over a period of nine years while CREF and Fidelity accumulations can be distributed in a lump sum payment.
Q: What are the different ages at which my ability to access my funds or social security changes?
A: The following ages are the milestones you want to keep in mind:
- Age 59 ½. This is when the withdrawals from tax-advantaged retirement plans are no longer subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty.
- Age 62. You can begin receiving Social Security benefits, but at a reduced amount. Active employees who are employed at 50% full-time or less can access their 401(a) and/or 403(b) accumulations.
- Age 66. If you were born between 1934 and 1954, this is when full Social Security benefits are available (regardless of any future earnings). Those born from 1955 to 1959 will have full benefits at some point during the year, depending on their year of birth.
- Age 67. If you were born after 1959, this is the age when you can access full Social Security benefits.
- Age 70 ½. You must begin withdrawing funds from your retirement plans.
- Employer plans: By April 1, following the year you turn age 70 ½ or retirement from the sponsoring employer, whichever is later.
- IRAs (except Roth IRAs): By April 1, following the year you turn age 70 ½.
- Age 75. You must begin withdrawing funds exempt from the age 70 ½ distribution requirement (those funds contributed to a 403(b) plan before January 1, 1987, unless you are still employed and meet certain criteria.
- Age 90. You must begin income from after-tax annuities. It’s the latest you can start taking lifetime annuity income from a retirement account.
Q: Is it possible to take out a loan from our retirement plan accumulations:
A: Participants may borrow Basic Retirement 401(a) Plan funds via a loan from TIAA-CREF or Fidelity Investments. Loans will be authorized only for the eviction and foreclosure of a primary residence. An employee may have only one Basic Retirement 401(a) Plan loan at a time.
An employee may borrow an amount based on his or her combined TIAA-CREF and/or Fidelity Basic Retirement 401(a) Plan account balance (includes both employee and employer funds and earnings), limited to the amount of employee funds and earnings. Existing Basic Retirement 401(a), Supplemental Retirement 403(b) or UNMC Physicians Plan loan amounts are subtracted from the amount the employee is eligible to borrow (based on participant’s highest outstanding loan balance during the preceding 12 months). Loans may not exceed $50,000 and must be at least $1,000.
Q: Why must I complete the University’s Acknowledgment and Release Form prior to accessing my Basic 401(a) Retirement Plan accumulations?
A: Any individual requesting a lump sum distribution of Basic 401(a) Retirement Plan accumulations will be required to sign the Basic Retirement Plan Accumulations Acknowledgment and Release Form acknowledging that the University of Nebraska is not responsible for any negative tax consequences, or loss of future retirement income.
Q: Can employees take classes for free? Can our dependents?
A: Full-time employees of the university can use a total of 15 credit hours per year (August to July) for themselves and their dependents. Employees can take undergraduate or graduate courses. Dependents may only take undergraduate courses. Dependent children must be enrolled full-time in order to use the benefit.
More information about the Employee & Dependent Scholarship Program
Additional Benefit Information
- The Benefits FAQ is designed to provide you with useful information regarding NU Flex, the University of Nebraska’s flexible benefits program. Additional NU Flex benefit information may be viewed on the University of Nebraska benefits web page or you may contact your Campus Benefits Office.
- The Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska are the official governing rules for all University of Nebraska employees. The purpose of this information is to answer questions that may arise with regard to the NU Flex program. The Benefit documents on the NU website are the definitive statement of the NU Flex program and have precedence over any information presented here.
- Due to changes in the Bylaws, pertinent legislation, University policies, etc., the information in this FAQ is subject to change. Employees should bring any questions regarding the information contained here to their supervisors or to the Human Resources Benefits Office.
- Please view the University of Nebraska at Omaha Policy Library website for more information to assist you in your employment at UNO: www.unomaha.edu/policies.