The latest work-life information at IU
No. 53
May 2011


University Human Resources
hr.iu.edu
Informed Employee

Early Retirement Incentive Plan

Indiana University is confronted with a series of fiscal constraints, including a possible reduction in state appropriations for FY 2011/2012, while healthcare and retirement benefits, utilities, and other expenses are increasing.

To assist vice presidents, chancellors, and deans in meeting the above challenges, the University is offering certain employees a one-time separation incentive: the Early Retirement Incentive Plan (ERIP). This voluntary separation plan will allow eligible participants to retire earlier than otherwise expected. Separations under this plan are intended to support units in achieving specific institutional objectives:

  • Reduce salary/wage and benefit expenses
  • Redirect positions to focus on higher priorities
  • Avoid or minimize future involuntary reductions in personnel

A preliminary review of the University's records indicates there are 2,566 potential applicants of ERIP. These employees were sent a letter informing them about ERIP, including how and when to apply. The ERIP provides three incentives not normally provided to separating employees:

  • Income Replacement Payment
  • Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
  • Medical coverage eligibility until Medicare age (65)

A Web site provides detailed ERIP information, materials, and assistance, including an online application portal. The application period is from April 18 to May 13, 2011. Visit the site at hr.iu.edu/erip.

University Human Resources held campus information sessions in March and April to provide employees an overview of ERIP provisions. Ongoing assistance offered by UHRS includes individual retirement counseling and resources for ERIP applicants regarding how to initiate retirement income benefits.

Key Points to Note

  • Application for the ERIP is strictly voluntary.
  • ERIP is not an employee entitlement.
  • Vice presidents, chancellors, and deans must substantiate ERIP separations as meeting one or more of the above institutional objectives.

 


 

Work-Life Resources

The University offers various benefits to assist employees with work-life issues. These plans are fully paid by the University except for extended Eldercare services.

IU Employee Assistance Program (IUEAP)

The IUEAP provides help when day-to-day activities are interrupted by stress. IUEAP services are confidential, voluntary and fully paid by the University. Reasons to use IUEAP include depression, stress and anxiety, conflict in the workplace, drug and alcohol abuse, family and marital problems, and grief or loss of a family member or friend.

Full-time Academic and Staff employees and their household members are eligible. Supervisors may also use IUEAP services as a resource for a troubled employee. In the event of a traumatic situation in the workplace, counselors can make onsite visits to provide critical incident debriefing.

Obtaining services starts with a phone call to 888-234-8327 or 317-962-2622 where a qualified EAP professional makes an initial assessment. Assistance ranges from emergency telephone support to referrals for an appointment with a licensed clinician. With an EAP referral, participants are eligible for up to six visits with a professional counselor, per year.

hr.iu.edu/benefits/eap.html

Eldercare Plan
The University's Eldercare Plan is available to help employees who are in a caregiver role for an aging parent or loved one. Services range from answering questions to proactive planning for eldercare needs.

All full-time Academic and Staff employees are eligible to receive these services provided through My Health Care Manager, LLC. Employees can privately discuss their concerns by telephone with an experienced nurse and receive personalized assistance. An initial fact-finding consultation and summary report of care issues and recommendations is fully paid by the University. Additional Eldercare services are available at negotiated special group rates.

www.myhealthcaremanager.com/IU

Healthy Lifestyles Plans

IU offers two plans specifically designed to help employees maintain or improve their health. These plans are available to full-time Academic and Staff employees and their spouses/domestic partners who are covered under an IU-sponsored medical plan.

Quit For Life® Program

The Quit For Life Program offers an integrated mix of support tools to help individuals stop using tobacco products. The program is telephone based and accessible across all IU campuses.

To enroll in Quit For Life, call 1-866-784-8454 or visit the Quit For Life Program Web site.

www.quitnow.net/iu

Mind & Body® Plan

The Mind & Body Plan helps individuals reduce weight and waist size permanently, and address other risk factors that lead to diabetes, heart disease, and premature death. The plan coaches participants in healthy living and lasts one year.

Plan participants will be part of a private, online community in which they complete courses, track progress, and interact with others in the program. Expert guidance is provided through phone and online interactions with Mind & Body coaches, nutritionists, and exercise physiologists who are highly trained in motivating behavior change, exercise, and healthy eating. To enroll, visit the Mind & Body Program Web site.

www.mindbody.net/iu

 


 

Growth Trends in Healthcare Expenses

The cost of health care has been continually rising for several decades and medical plan premiums rise in response to increased costs. In 2008, a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), report, "The Factors Fueling Rising Health Costs," focused on the 6.1 percent increase in premiums in 2007. General inflation accounts for 46 percent of the increase; the remaining is attributed to price increases greater than inflation and increased utilization of services—the focus of this article.

Increases in healthcare prices in excess of inflation

Increases in healthcare prices beyond general inflation accounts for approximately 30 percent of the 2007 premium increase. The following is a summary of major factors that drive price increases.

Increase in Use of Services

Increased utilization of services accounts for approximately 25 percent of the increase in premiums. This increase of use is driven by the following:

PwC broke down the types of services even further into the component categories shown below.

Type of service
Percent of growth in health premium
Physician and clinical
  29.5%
Hospital inpatient
  24.6%
Hospital outpatient
  19.7%
Prescription drugs
  13.1%
Administrative costs
   9.8%
Other medical services
   5.0%

A link to the full report is at hr.iu.edu/blueribbonmaterial.html.

 


 

Tobacco Use and Health
Even Brief Exposure is Harmful

The 30th Surgeon General Report on tobacco-related issues was released in December 2010. This new report details the serious health effects of even brief exposure to tobacco smoke. It concludes that:

For a copy of the full report see www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/tobaccosmoke/.

 

 

UHRS

Page updated: 2 May 2011
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