University Benefits Committee
February 13, 2003, Meeting Minutes
Approved April 17, 2003


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

I.         CALL TO ORDER

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

II.         ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

            The proposed agenda was approved.

III.       APPROVAL OF DECEMBER MINUTES

            The minutes were approved as amended.

IV.       NEW BUSINESS

            Customer Service with Cigna
            Employee complaints about Cigna, the administrator of our health insurance program, are on the rise.  There appears to be more mistakes than usual and the
            Cigna forms are unintelligible.  There have been complaints that Cigna employees treat NIU employees with disrespect.
 
            HRS is trying to collect examples of specific cases for the UBC.  Employee councils will be contacted to forward specific examples to Dennis Davito.  The
            examples will be compiled to document the procedural and customer services issues employees are experiencing.

            The Health Insurance Portability Privacy Act, HIPPA, prevents Cigna from sharing information with NIUís HRS Office unless permission is granted.  Before
            this act, HRS was able to help resolve benefit issues early on.  Once an employee gets a denial from Cigna, our HRS Insurance Office staff can help an
            employee draft an appeal letter to CMS.

V.       OLD BUSINESS

            SURS Benefits Calculation
            SIU has on the bargaining table a SURS sick leave calculation similar to the one previously approved for the City Colleges of Chicago union employees.

            Request for Bi-weekly Payroll
            At the last meeting, the UBC requested that HRS respond to a request from the Operating Staff Council to switch back to a bi-weekly hourly payroll.  HRS
            indicated that it would not be feasible to switch back to a bi-weekly payroll for hourly employees.  Reasons include:

                · Cost to modify the HRS software
                · Complications due to the reporting interface with the Financials
                · The tax year would be out of alignment with bi-weekly processing
                · The burden of collecting and submitting the data would fall on the hourly staff
 
VI.      INSURANCE AND BENEFITS OFFICE UPDATE

                · Progress is being made on the HRS website.  The following documents have been added to the HRS Information Documents page: Term Life Insurance
                  Coverage, Dental Coverage Chart, Group Insurance Programs & Rates and Health Insurance Programs.  These documents can be found at the
                  following link:  http://www.hr.niu.edu/resources/documents.cfm
                · CMS is preparing for the Benefit Choice period.  Rates are going up but specifics are not known.  HRS will be attending training on April 29.
                  Hopefully, the rates will be shared then.  Telephone sign up will not be available.  Changes made during the Benefit Choice will require documentation
                  (such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates).
                · Minnesota Life wants to get beneficiary designations updated.
                · House Bill 247 is going through Committee.  This is a State Family Medical Leave Act that would include parent-in-laws and children-in-laws.  This is
                  just a proposal but it parallels the Federal FMLA.

VII.     ADJOURN

            The meeting adjourned at 11 a.m.
 

NEXT MEETING:  April 17, 2003 at 10:00 a.m., Founders Library, Room 55