An employee newsletter from University Human Resources

May 2015


rxSearchable Drug Prices at Your Fingertips

Employees enrolled in an IU PPO medical plan can now use Castlight for prescription drug information. With Castlight Pharmacy you can maximize your medical plan’s prescription benefit. It’s easy and you are in charge.

You can search prices for drugs on the market and see if a generic equivalent is available. This autonomy and access helps you choose what is best for you. No other single website offers the kind of search capability described below.

  • Compare costs of different drugs designed for the same condition (e.g., blood pressure medications)
  • Compare costs of different dosages.
  • Compare costs for filling a prescription at a retail pharmacy vs mail order (Express Scripts).
  • Find in-network pharmacies nearby. This is helpful if you are out of town, away from your “home” pharmacy.
  • Log into your account to see how much you paid and for what.
  • See a real-time account of where you stand with the plan deductible.

There is no cost to use Castlight; however, if you don’t already have an account you will need to register for one at the University Human Resources Castlight page.

TIPThe price of a prescription drug is not an indicator of its effectiveness. The least expensive medications are often the best for many people.


Supplemental Retirement Smackdown
TDA vs 457(b)

In addition to the base retirement plan sponsored by IU, employees can voluntarily contribute to one or both IU-sponsored supplemental retirement plans: Tax Deferred Account (TDA) and/or 457(b) Retirement. This helps you save more for retirement beyond the base plan. Contributions are made by tax-deferred payroll deduction and then invested. You can change the contribution amount at any time.

The IU retirement benefits team regularly counsels employees about these plans.

  • If my base plan is PERF can I participate? Yes, all employees who receive contributions into any retirement plan paid by the University are eligible to contribute to a supplemental plan.
  • How do I know which plan is best for me? This is a personal decision that is best answered after examining your situation; familiarizing yourself with each plan; and if desired, speaking to a member of the team. Call 812-856-5191 or .
  • I’m intimidated by investing. Where do I start? IU partners with TIAA-CREF and Fidelity to offer one-on-one counseling, which includes advice about investing. See the scheduling information page.

An IU retirement plan consultant is available on each campus at designated times. for details.

Comparison of Supplemental Plans for 2015

You can contribute up to this amount
If you're 50 or older, you can make additional contributions
If you're 62 or older, you may be able to contribute even more
Not applicable
You can make withdrawals and take distributions at this point
When you separate from IU or reach age 59½
When you separate from IU
The penalty tax
10% tax for withdrawals made before age 59½
No penalty tax


Using the HSA–What Not to Buy
Only employees enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) have an HSA account.

One of the most common mistakes owners of the Health Savings Account (HSA) make is to spend HSA money for something other than qualified health care.

no vitamins, no toothbrush
Not eligible without
a prescription

These are often mistakenly purchased with HSA money:

  • Over-the-counter medications and supplements, such as:
    • Daily multi-vitamins
    • Supplements, like fish oil or vitamin D
    • Cold and flu medicines
    • Ibuprofen or aspirins
    • Allergy medicines

(The above items must have a prescription to be an eligible expense; otherwise, they are considered to be for your general well-being, even if you take them when you feel ill.)

  • Personal use items, such as:
    • Toothbrushes, dental floss, or special toothpaste
    • Special shampoos, moisturizing lotions, etc.

(The above items are primarily used to maintain general health, not primarily for medical care, so they are not eligible either, even if recommended by a dentist or medical doctor.)

TIP If you are unsure whether a purchase is an IRS-qualified healthcare expense, pay for it from a different account until you verify its eligibility. You can always go back and reimburse yourself from the HSA account later.

Nyhart has an extensive (and interesting!) table of healthcare expenses that lists everything from AA meetings, mattresses, and massage to special foods and sunscreen. Questions? Call Nyhart at 800-284-8412.

Note: If you are below age 65, you could be liable for a 20 percent penalty when using HSA money to pay for an ineligible purchase. You could also be assessed income taxes on that withdrawal.


previous articleHomenext article


Front matter Benefits Cool stuff Work-Life
Editor Castlight RX IU Libraries Vacation
ERIP TDA vs 457b July 4
HSA Mistakes
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