Improvements to Memorial`s dental plan, some additions to the health plan, and significant reductions in the cost of long-term disability insurance are highlights in the university`s group benefits package that has just been renewed.
The renewed plan also includes a 20 per cent decrease in the employee optional life insurance rate, a five per cent decrease in the health insurance rate, and a 10 per cent increase in travel health insurance. Benefit improvements include the addition of aero chambers (used to treat conditions such as asthma), mastectomy bras and audiologist services.
Though the dental rate has increased by 7.7 per cent, the plan has been improved to reimburse eligible expenses based on the current Newfoundland Dental Society Fee Guide. This will mean more money in the pockets of employees
Previously dental expenses were reimbursed based on a fee guide that lagged the current guide by one year.
Memorial’s group insurance plans come up for renewal every year and are reviewed by the Department of Human Resources in conjunction with the university benefits committee. The committee includes representation from faculty, staff and retirees from across Memorial campuses.
“Employees have a voice in determining the benefits provided, and what we pay for them,” says Glen Roberts, manager of benefits and pensions for Human Resources. “And we’ve been able to make a number of improvements over the years. Our plan is very competitive with those of our peers.”
Changes took effect on April 1, and rate changes will be implemented with the April 5th pay period. Retirees will see the change reflected in their April pension payment.
The university’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has also been renewed under a direct relationship with Shepell-fgi. Services offered remain the same, though toll-free telephone access numbers and website address are changing to 1-800-387-4765 (English), and 1-800-361-5676 (French). You can also visit http://www.workhealthlife.com.
The toll free “inConfidence” telephone numbers previously used will remain active and will be answered by Shepell-fgi for a certain period of time. Additional information on the EAP re-launch is included with the group insurance renewal notice that is being mailed to employees and retirees this week.