2012-13 Flexible Benefits Book

Because employees have different needs, the University of Delaware sponsors a flexible benefits program. Flexible Benefits gives you the opportunity to design your benefits program to fit your personal needs. And, as your circumstances change, so can your benefits. 

Annual open enrollment
The University allows employees to make changes in their flexible benefits during open enrollment which is generally early in May.  You must make all changes via FlexNet, the University's electronic enrollment resource.  You will need your UDelNet ID and password or UD ID and PIN.  If you select "Employee and Spouse" or "Family" coverage, you must also complete a spousal Coordination of Benefits form available at https://secomb.delaware.gov/cob. If you are covering an adult dependent child you may be required to complete the adult dependent Coordination of Benefits form.  Open enrollment dates are published in individual mailings and on UDaily.

Full-time and benefits-eligible part-time (equal to or greater than 50% time) employees participate in the Flexible Benefits Program.  Coverage begins the first of the month following the hire date.  Dependents can be covered under the medical, dental, vision, and dependent life plans.  Eligible dependents are your spouse and your children up to age 26.   Please see http://www.udel.edu/001250 for additional information about  The Civil Union and Equality Act of 2011.

Visiting faculty and visiting professionals are not eligible for the flexible benefits program.

Enrollment for new employees
Enrollment and benefits-related information is provided during new employee onboarding.   New employees who are eligible for flexible benefits must submit their benefits elections within 30 days of their benefits eligibility date.

YourUDollar allowance
The University of Delaware recognizes the importance of a comprehensive benefits program and remains committed to providing one of the best benefit packages available in this region. To assist you with the expense of your benefits, the University provides a benefits allowance (or credit) called "UDollars." These are the dollars that the University spends for your coverage. For full-time employees the University will pay 96% of the total cost of the First State Basic Plan, 95% of the total cost for BCBSDE CDH Gold or Aetna CDH Gold Plans, 93.5% of the total cost of for the Aetna or Blue Care HMO Plans, and 86.75% of the total cost of the Comprehensive PPO Plan. The University also pays the cost for employee-only vision coverage, the full cost of dental coverage, standard long-term disability and life insurance equal to two times benefits base salary for full-time employees. Employees working part-time receive 60% of the full-time contribution for medical and dental if the percent time worked is less than 75%.  Depending on the options you choose, you will either:

* Have NO payroll deduction if the cost of your benefits equals your total UDollars.
* Have a payroll deduction if the cost of your benefits exceeds your total UDollars, or
* Receive taxable Flex Cash, if the cost of your benefits is less than your total UDollars.

Before-tax contributions
If you spend all your UDollars, you can pay for the remainder of your benefits with before-tax contributions. Because these contributions are tax-free, they are deducted from your salary before taxes are calculated. You will never pay Federal/Delaware Income or Social Security taxes on them.  Some states and municipalities do consider your contributions as part of your salary and tax them.  If you live outside the State of Delaware, check with your tax advisor for more details.  Medical premiums paid with pre-tax dollars cannot be used when itemizing medical expenses (that exceed 7.5%) for your federal tax return.  All contributions are made on a semi-monthly basis -- 24 paychecks a year -- even if you are paid on a bi-weekly pay schedule.

Instead of spending all your UDollars on benefits, you may take some as cash and increase your take-home pay. If you do so, the extra cash is taxable.

Benefit choices
You may choose from a variety of benefit options that provide a range of coverage. All options are described under each benefit.

Benefit prices
Each benefit option has a price. The greater the coverage an option provides, the higher the price is for that option. All prices are shown on your Flexible Benefits View found at: http://www.udel.edu/webviews.

Changes during the year
You can change your coverage between annual enrollments only if you have a change in status, as defined by federal law.  A change in  status happens when:

  • You  marry, divorce or legally separate
  • You have or adopt a child
  • Your spouse becomes employed, loses his or her job (full-time employment) or involuntarily loses medical coverage
  • Your spouse or your dependent child dies
  • Your dependents become ineligible for coverage
  • You or your spouse have a change in job status from full-time to part-time or vice versa
  • You or your spouse take an unpaid leave of absence
  • You or your spouse have a significant change in health coverage due to a change in your spouse's employment.

Note: Health insurance carrier changes in your spouse's plan with another employer are not considered family status changes.

If you have a change in status, you have only 30 days to change your coverage. Furthermore, the requested change must be consistent with the event. Contact the Office of Human Resources at (302)831-2171 as soon as you can. Examples of the changes you can make are:

  • Increase or reduce the number of dependents you cover under your medical, dental, or vision plans
  • Choose a different medical option (certain plan changes during the year are not permitted by the insurance carriers)
  • Choose a different long-term disability or employee life insurance option
  • Change your dependent life insurance option
  • Begin, stop or change your contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).

Benefits base salary
Your Benefits Base Salary for this program is your annual salary plus administrative supplements. It affects your life insurance amount and your disability benefits.  If your benefits base salary changes between annual enrollments, your life insurance and long-term disability coverage is automatically adjusted.  The prices for this coverage remain the same until the next enrollment. Benefits payable from these programs would be based on salary earned at the time of disability or death.

Flexible benefits and the federal government
The federal government closely monitors all employer-sponsored benefit plans to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. As long as the benefit plans remain in compliance, you and the University continue to receive certain tax advantages.

Before-tax contributions and Social Security
Because your wage base is reduced by your before-tax contributions, you pay lower Social Security taxes. The 2012 Social Security FICA tax rate is 4.2 percent up to a wage base of $110,100 and 1.45 percent with no limit. Because your Social Security benefits are based on the taxes you pay, your future Social Security benefits may be reduced slightly.

Before-tax contributions and your other benefits

Before-tax contributions to the Flexible Benefits Program do not affect University contributions to other tax-deferred programs such as TIAA/CREF and Fidelity Investments.  For these programs, UD contributions are based on your full salary. Federal law mandates limits on TIAA-CREF and Fidelity contributions.  For employees hired on or after July 1, 1996, UD may contribute up  to $250,000 of salary only.  Employees hired prior to July 1, 1996 are "grandfathered" and receive contributions on full salary.

Default coverage
New employees who do not enroll for benefits within the first 30 days of hire will receive the following benefits:

Benefit Option
Medical Employee only First State Basic Plan
Dental Employee only
Vision No coverage
Long-term Disability Standard
Employee Life Insurance 2x benefits base salary
Dependent Life Insurance No coverage
Flexible Spending Accounts No coverage