Classified Staff Benefits

Classified staff members have 31 days from their date of benefits eligibility to enroll.

If we do not receive your enrollment by the deadline, you will be auto-enrolled in CU Health Plan - High Deductible (after tax) medical coverage and Delta Dental Exclusive Panel Option (EPO) dental coverage.

 Download the rate sheet.

 

Medical Plan Comparison Tool

Use this tool to compare some features of CU's medical plans. Please review the Summary of Benefits and Benefits Booklets below for more in-depth information.

 Plan Comparison Tool

CU Health Plan - Exclusive

Type of Plan: HMO 

Under this plan, you can join one of three regional health care networks: Central, North or South. You make this selection by first choosing your primary care physician; the region in which that physician practices will dictate the regional network into which you'll be placed to receive health care services.

Features and Considerations

  • You'll have access to the medical professionals, services and facilities within your network.
  • With few exceptions, your Exclusive Plan covers you for services performed only within your regional network, and its covered hospitals and facilities.
  • You get full access to Exclusive network pharmacies, such as University of Colorado Health pharmacies—including its Mail Order Prescription Service—and Anthem-covered retail pharmacies.
  • If you have dependents covered by this plan who will be living out-of-state during the 2016-17 plan year, you may enroll them in CU Health Plan - Exclusive Guest Membership for additional, temporary coverage in participating states.

Documents:

Find a doctor

CU Health Plan - Extended

Type of Plan: PPO

Members enrolled in this plan have access to a network of physicians and facilities in Colorado and throughout the United States.

Features and Considerations

  • Members can refer themselves to doctors of their choice, including specialists. There are no out-of-network benefits except emergency or urgent care, durable medical equipment, labs and X-rays.
  • Preventive care is fully covered.
  • Participants pay a monthly premium, a modest deductible, copayments and coinsurance expense

Documents:

 Find a doctor

CU Health Plan - High Deductible (HSA Compatible)

Type of Plan: PPO

This plan gives you broad access to health care services inside and outside of your network—but requires that you first meet your deductible. While you'll be responsible for meeting a deductible before your plan will begin covering services, all preventive care is covered at 100 percent in most cases and is not subject to the plan deductible. Once you've satisfied the deductible, you'll be responsible for paying coinsurance for care. This plan offers a national network of providers and facilities.

Features and Considerations

  • You may pair this plan with a CU health savings account through Wells Fargo. This means you can set aside funds in a health savings account to pay for non-reimbursed, qualified health care expenses.
  • Preventive care is automatically covered under the plan and not subject to your deductible.
  • This plan does not include vision coverage, but you can purchase this coverage separately through Anthem's Blue View Vision service.
  • This plan doesn’t have a list of covered medications (aka, formulary), and some medication may require pre-authorization before it can be dispensed. You can always use the University of Colorado Health's Mail Order Prescription Service to have your medication delivered to you.

Documents:

 Find a doctor

CU Health Plan - Kaiser

Type of Plan: EPO 

Under this plan, you'll gain access to care at all Kaiser facilities. You don't need to select a primary care physician to receive care. While you'll have a copay, you won't be responsible for a deductible.

Out-of-network care is not covered under this plan, except for emergency and/or urgent care.

Features and Considerations

  • Services may differ depending upon your coverage area.

Documents:

 Find a doctor

 Dental Plan Comparison Tool

Use this tool to compare some features of the dental plans you may be eligible to participate in. Please review the Summary of Benefits and Benefits Booklets below for more in-depth information.

CU Health Plan - Dental Exclusive Panel Option (EPO)

The Exclusive Panel Option may be a good choice for you if you're looking for an affordable plan with predictable out-of-pocket costs. Coverage is provided only when you visit a Colorado Delta Dental PPO dentists, meaning this is an excellent option if you don't have an established relationship with a dentist or are already seeing a PPO network dentist. This plan also features enhanced orthodontia benefits and no deductible.

Documents:

Find a dentist

CU Health Plan - Dental Preferred Provider Option (PPO)

The PPO plan offers convenience, flexibility and choice with coverage provided when you visit a Delta Dental PPO, Premiere or out-of-network dentist. You'll see the most savings when you visit a PPO dentist, but you'll still be covered if you have an established relationship with and wish to continue using a dentist who is part of the Premier network or who is not a part of the Delta Dental network. Additionally, the PPO plan has an added benefit of implant coverage.

Documents:

Find a dentist

Vision Benefits

Also known as Blue View Vision, this plan covers the cost of routine eye exams, eyeglass lenses and frames, and contact lenses.

Please note that CU Health - Plan Exclusive and CU Health Plan - Kaiser have built-in vision coverage for eye exams only.

New for the 2016-17 plan year

You no longer have to make a two-year commitment when enrolling in CU Health Plan – Vision. This means you can get a benefit toward your eyeglass lens and frames, and contact lens purchases covered every year in which you enroll. 

Documents:

The university's life insurance plan options are administered by The Standard Life Insurance Company.

For details, see Standard Life Insurance Company's group life insurance policy or Standard Life Insurance Company's Group Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance policy.

Basic Term Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Life

The university provides an employer-paid, basic term life insurance plan, which includes an AD&D benefit in the same amount.

The Basic Term Life Plan pays a benefit to your beneficiaries if you die while covered under the policy. The AD&D provision provides a benefit of up to—and in addition to—the Basic Term Life amount if you die as a result of an accident. Benefits are payable to you (the covered member) for losses other than life, including loss of hand, foot, sight, speech, hearing, paralysis or certain other losses caused by an accident. The policy has neither a cash value nor provisions for loans.

  • Eligible faculty, officers and university staff are automatically enrolled in a $57,000 basic term life and $57,000 AD&D insurance policy.

Optional Term Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Life Insurance

The university offers eligible employees, spouses/same-gender domestic partners and dependents the opportunity to purchase a separate, elective term life insurance plan, which includes an AD&D benefits in the same amount.

The Optional Term Life Plan pays a benefit to your beneficiaries if you die while covered under the policy. The AD&D provision provides a benefit of up to—and in addition to—the Basic Term Life amount if you die as a result of an accident. Benefits are payable to you (the covered member) for losses other than life, including loss of hand, foot, sight, speech, hearing, paralysis or certain other losses caused by an accident. The policy has neither a cash value nor provisions for loans.

Newly eligible employees may enroll in $1,000 increments up to three times their annual salary, not to exceed the plan maximum of $500,000. To enroll in more than three times their salary, employees must fill out a Medical History Statement. Newly eligible spouses/same-gender domestic partners may elect up to $50,000, not to exceed the employee's Optional Life insurance election.

Employees may increase their life insurance coverage by $10,000 with certain qualifying life events, not to exceed the plan maximum. Spouses may increase their life insurance by $10,000 with certain life events as well, not to exceed $50,000. Employee increases with a life event do not require a Medical History Statement.

To apply to increase your coverage at any time, you must submit a Medical History Statement Form to The Standard Insurance Company as evidence of insurability (EOI). If you are approved, Standard will notify CU, and you will be enrolled in the approved amount on the first of the month following the date of your approval. The monthly rate is based on your age and tobacco user status. A rate discount is available to non-tobacco users (no use of tobacco products within the past 12 months). Any rate increases due to reaching the next age level go into effect the month of your birthday.

Note: To enroll or increase your coverage at any time, you must complete and submit the Medical History Statement Form to Standard Insurance Company, who must approve your form before you receive coverage.

Eligible dependent children may be enrolled in flat amounts of either $5,000 or $10,000.

Employees may decrease or revoke these election any time during the plan year.

All eligible retirees who were enrolled at the time of their retirement may continue enrollment in Retiree Optional Life Insurance. Retirees may elect up to 25 percent of the optional life insurance they have at the time of their retirement, not to exceed $9,500. They may not add or increase this coverage at a later date.

Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance

The university provides eligible employees, spouses/same-gender domestic partners and dependents an opportunity to purchase a separate, elective AD&D insurance plan. AD&D insurance provides a benefit in the event of an insured member's covered loss of life, hand, foot, sight, speech, hearing, paralysis or certain other losses caused by an accident.

Employees pay their premiums through monthly payroll deductions.

  Employee Spouse/Same-Gender Domestic Partner Dependent Children
Initial Eligibility May enroll in increments of $10,000 up to whichever of the following is less:
  • 10 times employee's annual salary; or
  • $250,000
May enroll in increments of $10,000 for an amount less than or equal to the amount of the employee's coverage May enroll in $5,000 as long as the employee is enrolled
Qualifying Life Event And Open Enrollment May enroll in increments of $10,000 up to whichever of the following is less:
  • 10 times employee's annual salary; or
  • $250,000
May enroll in increments of $10,000 for an amount less than or equal to the amount of the employee's coverage May enroll in $5,000 as long as the employee is enrolled
Other May decrease or revoke election any time during the plan year May decrease or revoke election any time during the plan year May revoke election any time during the plan year

PERA Optional Life Insurance Plan

administered by Unum
PERA offers an optional group, decreasing-term life insurance plan to its members. In addition, the plan provides accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) benefits, life insurance coverage for spouses and eligible children, and an accelerated benefit option.

Plan features:
  • Employees must enroll through PERA.
  • Employees pay their premiums through monthly payroll deductions.

Beneficiaries

Primary beneficiaries receive the benefit in the event of your death. If you name more than one primary beneficiary, you must indicate the percentage assigned to each and ensure the total in this category equals 100 percent.

  • Contingent beneficiaries receive the benefit only if your primary beneficiaries are deceased. If naming more than one contingent beneficiary, please indicate the percentage assigned to each and ensure the total equals 100 percent.
  • For spouses/same-gender domestic partners, and dependent Optional Life/AD&D and Voluntary AD&D coverage, the beneficiary is automatically you, the university employee.
  • Changes to beneficiary designations require you to complete the Benefits Enrollment/Change Form. The effective date of beneficiary changes is the date you sign the form.

Imputed Income on Life Insurance

According to IRC regulations (IRC section 79), life insurance coverage in excess of $50,000 may be subject to federal taxes based on a graduated rate table provided by the IRS. The amount of life insurance coverage above $50,000 is multiplied by a premium rate based on an employee's age at the end of the calendar year, which results in a monthly amount of imputed income.

  • This imputed income, reduced by the amount the employee paid toward the insurance, is taxable as a benefit and is, therefore, added to the employee's applicable wage base for federal income tax, Social Security tax and Medicare tax purposes.
  • Imputed income will be calculated on the employee's life plans (basic and optional) and on their spouse/same-gender domestic partner's optional life insurance, as applicable. The $50,000 exclusion for employees does not apply to their spouse's/same-gender domestic partner's optional life insurance.
  • Although the taxable portion of the group life insurance benefit is subject to federal income tax and is recorded on an employee's W-2 annually, the university is not required to withhold income tax from an employee's paycheck. The university is required to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes on the life insurance benefit each month.
  • For most employees, this usually equates to a very small sum of money.

Termination of Coverage

If you are enrolled in one or more of the term life insurance plans and you lose eligibility, contact Employee Services immediately for information on your rights for conversion or portability.

If you're unable to work due to illness or injury, short- and long-term disability are salary replacement benefits.  Enrollment in short-term disability is automatic. The University pays 100% of the short-term disability premium.

See policy details for:

  SHORT-TERM DISABILITY LONG-TERM DISABILITY
 
Benefit Amount 60 percent of the first $3,850 of your pre-disability earnings, reduced by Deductible Income. Not to exceed $2,310 60 percent of pre-disability earnings, not to exceed $23,625 per month, less income from other sources (e.g., Social Security)
 
Cost Premium paid by the university Premium paid by the employee
Enrollment Process Enrollment is automatic as of date of eligibility Must submit Medical History Statement
Late-Enrollment Penalty (LEP) N/A N/A
Effective Date Initial eligibility First day of the month following approval of Medical History Statement
Benefit Claim Process Contact your campus HR department and Employee Services within 30 days of disability. Insurance carrier will handle transition from short-term to long-term disability
Benefit Waiting Period 30 days from the date of disability or exhaustion of sick leave (whichever is later) 180 days from the date of disability or exhaustion of sick leave (whichever is later)
Maximum Benefit Period 180 days, includes the benefit waiting period If you were disabled before age 60, the benefit pays to age 65 for claims other than nervous and mental health.

For claims those age 60 or older, and for nervous and mental health claims, see the certificate of coverage.
Benefit Taxability Benefits are considered taxable income. Benefits are not taxable income.

Review the benefits eligibility matrix to determine if you are eligible to enroll in the university Pretax Savings/Spending Plans

These are three separate options under the Internal Revenue Code Section 125, which may be elected separately or in combination to help lower your taxable income. Because cafeteria plans provide tax advantages, the federal government imposes strict rules and limitations on enrolling, making changes or using these accounts. Consult your tax adviser or the IRS for guidance on how cafeteria plans might affect your personal tax status. Please use careful consideration in making your decision whether to enroll or not, and if you do, how much you should contribute.

Plan Options

Health Savings Account

If you are enrolled in any high deductible medical plan, you can enroll in CU's health savings account, available through Optum. Learn more about this benefit.

Premium-Only Plan (POP)

  • The POP allows your monthly medical and dental benefits costs to be deducted from your pay before taxes are calculated.
  • Once you elect to participate in the POP, your enrollment will continue from plan year to plan year. Changes are allowed only at Open Enrollment.
  • Employee Services requires a Same-Gender Domestic Partner (SGDP) Tax Certification of Dependency for Tax Treatment of Medical Benefits for SGDPs and their dependents to deduct the relevant portions of their premium, pre-tax.
  • If you have dependents enrolled in university benefits who do not qualify as federal tax dependents for health-coverage purposes, their premiums are not eligible for the POP, and you may incur imputed income.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA)

  • This account allows you to pay for the cost of caring for your federal tax dependents so you (and your spouse, if you are married) can work, look for work or attend school full time.
  • This is NOT for your dependent spouse's and/or children's health care expenses.
  • You may contribute pre-tax, a minimum of $10 per month and up to $5,000 per calendar year ($2,500 if you are married and file your taxes separately). Note: Your payroll deduction will be calculated as your annual election divided by the number of remaining pay periods in the plan year (July-June).
  • Your contribution is for the plan year. For tax purposes, you are responsible for keeping track of your total calendar-year contributions, including any contributions made by your spouse.
  • Federal tax dependents, for the DCFSA purposes, include any qualifying child or relative younger than 13, your spouse and older dependents who are mentally or physically incapable of self-care and who live in your home at least eight hours each day. If you are divorced, the dependent must be your son or daughter for whom you have more than 50 percent physical custody.
  • Qualifying providers can provide care in your home or outside your home. Care provided outside your home and in a facility caring for more than five individuals must be licensed by the state.
  • Expenses may not be paid to your spouse, to children younger than 19 at the end of the year in which the expenses are incurred, or to any other individuals for whom you or your spouse are entitled to a personal tax exemption as a dependent.
  • Dependent day care expenses are incurred when the day care is provided. This means you must receive the dependent day care services before you file a claim for those services.
  • You must re-elect the DCFSA every plan year to continue participation.
  • Please refer to the ASI website at www.asiflex.com to verify eligible expenses.
  • Effective date is the 1st day of the month following the date Employee Services receives your form.
  • Your final contribution will be June 30.
  • You will be allowed to incur expenses through Sept. 15.
  • You must file claims for reimbursement by Nov. 15.
  • It is very important to carefully plan your election amount as any contributions left in the account will be forfeited.
  • Download the Flexible Benefits Plan

Consider the effects cafeteria plans may have on your taxes and PERA Highest Average Salary:

  • Cafeteria plan dollars are deducted from your pay pre-tax, meaning before federal, state, FICA (Social Security), and Medicare taxes are paid. Your taxable income is reduced by the amount you contribute.
  • Participating in cafeteria plans reduces the salary on which annual contributions to Social Security are calculated, which may result in a reduction of the Social Security benefits received at retirement.
  • Reimbursements from your DCFSA may reduce or eliminate dependent care tax credits on your federal income tax return. For most people, DCFSA reimbursements provide a greater benefit, but everyone's tax situation is different, so it is best to compare tax savings on an individual basis.
  • Participating in cafeteria plans reduces the total contribution (both yours and the university's) to PERA.
  • Your PERA retirement annuity or disability retirement is based on your PERA Highest Average Salary (HAS) calculation. Since cafeteria plans reduce the salary on which PERA calculates benefits, your PERA retirement benefits may be reduced.
  • You may want to carefully consider whether to participate in cafeteria plans during your HAS years (typically your last years of employment).

Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA)

  • The HCFSA allows you to cover certain eligible out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision expenses not covered or reimbursed by insurance and incurred by you or your federal tax dependents.
  • You may contribute pre-tax, a minimum of $10 per month up to $2500 per calendar year. Your payroll deduction will be calculated as your annual election divided by the number of remaining pay periods in the plan year (July-June).
  • Your contribution is for the plan year. However, for tax purposes, you are responsible for keeping track of your total calendar-year contributions.
  • Enrollment in a medical and/or dental plan is not required for you and/or your federal tax dependents to participate in the HCFSA.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications and drugs may be covered, but they must be used to treat an existing or imminent medical condition. You cannot claim OTC items used for general good health. Additional documentation may be required when you file a claim.
  • You cannot make contributions to both an HCFSA and a Health Savings Account (HSA). You may not use this account to reimburse insurance premiums.
  • Expenses qualify for the HCFSA when they are incurred, not when they are paid.
  • You must re-elect the HCFSA every plan year to continue participation.
  • Please refer to the ASI website to verify eligible expenses.
  • Effective date is the 1st day of the month following the date Employee Services receives your form.
  • Your final contribution will be June 30.
  • You will be allowed to incur expenses through Sept. 15.
  • You must file claims for reimbursement by Nov. 15.
  • It is very important to carefully plan your election amount as any contributions left in the account will be forfeited.
  • Download the Flexible Benefits Plan

Consider the effects cafeteria plans may have on your taxes and PERA Highest Average Salary:

  • Cafeteria plan dollars are deducted from your pay pre-tax, meaning before federal, state, FICA (Social Security), and Medicare taxes are paid. Your taxable income is reduced by the amount you contribute.
  • Participating in cafeteria plans reduces the salary on which annual contributions to Social Security are calculated, which may result in a reduction of the Social Security benefits received at retirement.
  • Reimbursements from your DCFSA may reduce or eliminate dependent care tax credits on your federal income tax return. For most people, DCFSA reimbursements provide a greater benefit, but everyone's tax situation is different, so it is best to compare tax savings on an individual basis.
  • Participating in cafeteria plans reduces the total contribution (both yours and the university's) to PERA.
  • Your PERA retirement annuity or disability retirement is based on your PERA Highest Average Salary (HAS) calculation. Since cafeteria plans reduce the salary on which PERA calculates benefits, your PERA retirement benefits may be reduced.
  • You may want to carefully consider whether to participate in cafeteria plans during your HAS years (typically your last years of employment).

HCFSA/HSA Comparison Chart

Use this chart to compare and contrast a Health Savings Account (HSA) and a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA). Both are tax-advantaged plans that can be used to pay for qualified health care expenses.*

*If there is any difference between this comparison chart and any applicable federal and state laws or Employee Services' policies and procedures, the applicable federal and state laws or Employee Services policies and procedures will govern.

Mandatory Plans

Classified employees participate in the Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) mandatory retirement plan.

Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA)

PERA provides retirement and other benefits via a modified, defined benefit plan.

A defined benefit plan is a pension plan, which promises a monthly benefit upon retirement that is predetermined by a formula based on the employee's earnings history, tenure of service and age, rather than depending on investment returns.

PERA members will not pay into Social Security but will still pay Medicare tax.

Contact PERA directly for information and details on your PERA benefits, including vesting, disability benefits and distributions.

PERA contribution chart (with 2010 legislation changes).

ELIGIBILITY AND EFFECTIVE DATES

  • PERA is mandatory for all classified staff.
  • Staff members who are existing PERA members and appointed into a position that is eligible for the University of Colorado 401(a) Optional Retirement Plan and/or the University of Colorado 403(b) plans (collectively, the University Retirement Plans) are required to make a one-time, irrevocable election to either participate in PERA or the University Retirement Plans.
    • Employee Services will send you an election form, with your deadline for election clearly stated. If your election form is not received by the deadline shown, you will be deemed to have irrevocably elected to participate with PERA.
    • Except in certain cases where you are no longer a PERA member upon being rehired by the university, this election will remain in effect throughout your career with the University of Colorado as long as you are employed or rehired in a faculty, officer or staff appointment.
    • If you elect to participate in PERA, you may still participate in the university's voluntary 403(b) plan.

Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans

The University of Colorado has three voluntary savings plans available to most employees.

The IRS announces 2017 voluntary pension plan contribution limits remain the same as 2016

Learn about CU's 403(b) Plan, and PERA's 401(k) and 457 plans.

Retirement Pension/Savings Plan Distributions

The availability of distribution/withdrawals under each of the mandatory and voluntary Pension/Savings plan accounts may differ depending on the plan(s) you are enrolled in and your employment status with the University.  Review the Distribution Fact Sheet for details.