Classified Staff Benefits

Classified staff employees 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 medical coverage and Exclusive Panel Option (EPO) dental coverage.

Download the classified staff cost sheet.

Medical Plan Comparison Tool

Use this tool to compare some features of the medical 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 - Exclusive

CU Health Plan - Exclusive is a limited network plan administered by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.  All members must select a primary care physician (PCP) who will direct their health care as appropriate. Referrals are required for most specialist visits. This plan offers in-network coverage only, except in cases of emergency.

CU Health Plan - Kaiser

CU Health Plan - Kaiser is an exclusive provider organization plan that offers coordinated care throughout the Kaiser network of providers. Referrals are required for most specialist visits. This plan does require that you live within a designated zip code area. This plan offers in-network coverage only, except in cases of emergency.

CU Health Plan - High Deductible

CU Health Plan - High Deductible is an HSA-qualified, consumer-directed health plan administered by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, which offers a national network of providers. Members do not have to select a primary care physician (PCP) and may refer themselves to doctors of their choice, including specialists. This plan provides coverage both in network and out of network. Preventive care is covered at 100 percent in most cases and is not subject to the plan deductible.

CU Health Plan - Access Network (CURRENT ENROLLEES ONLY)

CU Health Plan - Access Network is limited to those employees who are already enrolled in this plan and continue to live within the designated zip code area. This plan is an open-access HMO, meaning you do not need to get a referral to seek specialty care. This plan offers in-network coverage only, except in cases of emergency.

Download the classified staff cost sheet, which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance and disability.

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.

Exclusive Panel Option (EPO)

Under this plan, you are typically responsible for a copayment. Services are only covered when provided by dentists on the Delta Preferred Provider Option (PPO) list.

Delta Dental PPO

Using this plan, you may see any dentist. Reimbursement levels are typically higher when you use a dentist on the Delta Preferred Provider Option (PPO) list. Once you meet the plan deductible, you'll be responsible for a percentage of your covered care costs (aka, coinsurance).

Download the classified staff cost sheet, which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance and disability.

Vision Benefits

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

Please note: Starting with the 2014-15 plan year, when you enroll in this plan, you will commit to a two-year contract.

You'll have access to a national network of independent and retail providers.

Download the classified staff cost sheet, which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance and disability.

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

Basic Term Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Life Insurance

The university provides an employer-paid Basic Term Life Insurance Plan, which also includes an AD&D benefit in the same amount.

The Basic Term Life plan pays a benefit to your beneficiary/ies if you die while covered under the policy. The AD&D provision provides a benefit of up to and in addition to the amount of the Basic Term Life 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 exempt professionals are automatically enrolled in a $50,000 basic term life and $50,000 AD&D insurance policy.

Optional Term Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Life Insurance

The university provides eligible employees, spouse/SGDPs and dependents an opportunity to purchase additional life insurance through the Optional term Life and AD&D Insurance Plan. The policy has neither a cash value nor provisions for loans.

  • Employees pay their premiums through monthly payroll deductions.
  • A rate discount is available to non-tobacco users (no use of tobacco products within the past 12 months).
  • If you are enrolling in optional life insurance for yourself and/or your spouse/same-gender domestic partner and are asking for more than the guaranteed issue (GI) amount, you are required to submit a medical history statement as evidence of insurability (EOI).
  • If both the employee and spouse/same-gender domestic partner are university employees, their combined Employee Optional Life and spouse/same-gender domestic partner optional life may not exceed $500,000.

 

EMPLOYEE

SPOUSE/SAME-GENDER DOMESTIC PARTNER

DEPENDENT CHILDREN

INITIAL ELIGIBILITY

May enroll in increments of $1000 up to the guaranteed issue (GI) amount of three times the employee's annual salary or plan maximum of $500,000, whichever is less

May enroll up to the GI amount of $50,000, not to exceed the amount of the employee's coverage

May enroll in either a $5,000 or $10,000 coverage amount as long as it does not exceed the amount of the employee's coverage

CERTAIN QUALIFYING LIFE EVENT and
OPEN ENROLLMENT

May increase by a maximum of $10,000 (not to exceed the GI amount) without evidence of insurability (EOI)

Additional amounts (up to the plan maximum of $500,000) require submission of the Medical History Statement and approval of evidence of insurability (EOI).

May increase by a maximum of $10,000 (not to exceed the GI amount) without evidence of insurability (EOI)

Additional amounts (up to the plan maximum of $500,000) require submission of the Medical History Statement and approval of evidence of insurability (EOI).

Coverage amount cannot exceed the amount of the employee's coverage.

May enroll in $5,000 or $10,000 option

Coverage amount cannot exceed the amount of the employee's coverage.

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

Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance

The university provides eligible employees, spouse/same-gender domestic partners and dependents an opportunity to purchase a separate and 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/SGDP

DEPENDENT CHILDREN

INITIAL ELIGIBILITY

May enroll in increments of $10,000 up to 10 times annual salary or $250,000, whichever is less

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 10 times annual salary or $250,000, whichever is less

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.

  • 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 beneficiary/ies is deceased. If naming more than one contingent beneficiary/ies, please indicate the percentage assigned to each and ensure the total equals 100 percent.
  • For spouse/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 in excess of $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's/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.

Download the classified staff cost sheet, which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance and disability.

Employees are automatically enrolled in short-term disability. The university pays 100% of the short-term disability premium.

See policy details for:

  SHORT-TERM DISABILITY LONG-TERM DISABILITY
Eligibility Benefits eligible Classified staff employee Classified staff employee regularly working at least 30 hours a week
Benefit Amount Weekly benefit: 60 percent of first $3,850 of pre-disability earnings, reduced by deductible income

Maximum: $2,310 before reduction by deductible income
Weekly benefit: 60 percent of first $16,667 of pre-disability earnings, reduced by deductible income

Maximum: $10,000 before reduction by deductible income
 
Cost Premium paid by the university May apply at any time

Send Benefits Enrollment Change Form to Employee Services.
 
Send Medical History Statement to Standard Insurance Company.
Benefit Claim Process Contact your campus HR department and Employee Services within 30 days of disability. Contact Standard Insurance Company for a claim form.
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, minus the length of your benefit waiting period Determined by your age when your disability begins (See plan document.)
Benefit Taxability Benefits are considered taxable
income.
Benefits are not taxable.

PERA Disability Insurance Plan

  • PERA members with five or more years of earned service credit receive automatic coverage.
  • The plan is a two-tier disability program with short-term disability insurance and a disability retirement benefit.
  • For details and to apply for benefits, contact PERA.
Download the classified staff cost sheet, which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance and disability.

Review the benefits eligibility matrix to determine if you are eligible to enroll in the University Cafeteria Plans. These plans are three separate options under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 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. You should consult your tax advisor 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.

CAFETERIA PLAN OPTIONS

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 at Open Enrollment.
  • Employee Services requires a SGDP Tax Certification of Dependency for Tax Treatment of Medical Benefits for SGDPs and their dependents in order to deduct the relevant portions of their premium pre-tax.
  • If you have dependents enrolled in university benefits, but 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 or children's health care expenses.
  • You may contribute pre-tax, a minimum of $10 per month and up to $5,000 ($2,500 if you are married and file your taxes separately). 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, including any contributions made by your spouse.
  • Federal tax dependents, for the purpose of the DCFSA, include any qualifying child or relative who is 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 any of your children who are 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 daycare expenses are incurred when the daycare is provided. You must receive the dependent daycare 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 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

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

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.*

 

HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (HSA) (IRC sec. 223)

HEALTH CARE FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT (HCFSA) (IRC sec. 125)

What is the purpose of having one of these accounts?

To pay for unreimbursed qualified current health care expenses, and save for future health care expenses

to reimburse for qualified health care expenses

Is it available to university employees?

Yes; you must be enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to be eligible. The university's CU Health Plan - High Deductible and the state's UnitedHealthcare HDHP with HSA Plan and Kaiser HSA plans (state plans for classified staff with appointments of less than 50 percent) are all qualified HDHPs.

Yes; participation in a university or state medical plan is not required. Must re-enroll each open enrollment to participate.

Who is eligible to contribute?

employers, employees, individuals covered by a qualified HDHP (Spouses and children can contribute as well.)

employees

Who owns the account?

individual/employee

university

What are the maximum contribution amounts for the 2014 tax year?

$3,300 individual coverage/$6,550 family coverage

Individuals age 55 or older can make "catch-up" contributions of $1,000.

$2,500

Is a pre-tax contribution allowed?

Yes; however, the university does NOT currently sponsor an HSA, so employees CANNOT make pre- tax contributions. Employees can set up payroll deposits to their HSA account by completing the Direct Deposit Authorization Form. The tax advantage will be gained when you file your income taxes.

yes

Can contributions be used to pay for health care premiums?

no (except COBRA premium, or while receiving unemployment compensation and long-term care premiums)

no

Can the unused contribution be rolled over?

yes

No; all unused contributions are forfeited.

Are account contributions portable?

yes

no

Are there any penalties for withdrawal before age 65?

Yes: 10 percent if not paying for qualified health care expenses

N/A

Are there IRS rules to remember?

The recapture rule will apply if you become ineligible for contributions during the testing period. Check with your financial institution or tax adviser.

FSA, HRA, IRA rollover privilege: Check with your tax adviser.

no

Are there any fees charged?

Maybe; check with your financial institution.

no

Do the account contributions accrue interest?

Your account may accrue interest, tax free. Check with your financial institution.

no

Can a surviving spouse set up an account?

yes—as long as he/she is enrolled in an eligible HDHP and not enrolled in Medicare

no

Can I submit claims for expenses not covered by the HDHP (e.g., vision, dental, long-term care?).

yes

yes, with some exceptions (e.g., long-term care premiums)

Can PERA participants participate if within 3-5 years of retirement

Yes; the Health Savings Account does not affect your Highest Average Salary calculation.

Yes; however, participation will affect your Highest Average Savings calculation.

Do I have to make contributions to the account throughout the year, or can I make a lump sum contribution?

Contributions can be made as late as April 15 of the following year; however, you cannot be reimbursed for qualified health care expenses until your account is funded.

Your total annual allocation is divided by the number of pay periods remaining in the plan year.

If I have immediate eligible expenses, can I be reimbursed up to my annual allocated amount?

No; you will be reimbursed up to your current account balance and must resubmit remaining expenses as your HSA contributions accumulate.

Yes; total plan-year contributions are available the first day of the plan year.

*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.

Download the classified staff cost sheet, which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance and disability.

Mandatory Plans

Pension/Savings - Mandatory

As a classified employee, you will participate in the Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA).

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 which 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.

ELIGIBILITY AND EFFECTIVE DATES

  • PERA is mandatory for all classified staff.
  • If you elect to participate in PERA, you may still participate in the university's voluntary 403(b) plan.

CONTRIBUTIONS

PERA contribution chart

Voluntary Plans

Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans

The University of Colorado has three voluntary savings plans available to most employees; review the benefits eligibility matrix to determine your eligibility.

The voluntary savings plans are defined contribution plans of an individual account which you set up to set aside money on a pre-tax basis through a salary reduction agreement with the university. Your benefits are based on the contributions credited to these accounts plus or minus investment gains or losses. Investment risk and investment rewards are assumed by each individual/employee/retiree and not by the sponsor/employer.

Learn more about CU's 403(b) plans.

 
University 403(b) Plans
PERA 401(k)
PERA 457
Enrollment or Changes to Enrollment 403(b) Salary Reduction Agreement Form and a 403(b) Fund Sponsor Application for each investment company newly elected. PERA 401(k) Contribution Authorization Form Enroll or make changes directly on the PERA website.
Deadline for Enrollment or Changes Forms must be received by Employee Services no later than 5 p.m. on the 10th of the month to change your end-of-month contribution. Forms must be received by Employee Services no later than 5 p.m. on the 10th of the month to change your end-of-month contribution. Enrollment and changes must be made with the plan administrator by 2 p.m. on the 25th of the month to affect next month's contribution.
2014 Calendar Year Limit $17,500 $17,500 $17,500
2014 Age 50+ Catch-up Provisions $5,500 $5,500 $5,500
Additional Catch-up Provisions 15 year catch-up provision for employees with 15+ years of university service. May contribute up to $3,000 for five years (or $15,000 for a lifetime maximum) if you under-contributed in prior years. N/A For the three consecutive years prior to your normal retirement age, you may be able to contribute up to twice the available limit if you under contributed in prior years.
Loan Provisions Contact your plan administrator. Yes; contact your plan administrator. Yes; contact your plan administrator.
Qualifying Distribution Events Retirement, severance of employment, disability, attainment of age 59½, or financial hardship. Retirement, severance of employment, disability, attainment of age 59½, or financial hardship. Retirement, severance of employment, disability, attainment of age 70½ while employed, or for an unforeseeable emergency.
Early Withdrawal Penalties Before Age 59½ yes yes no
Plan Administrator Contact Information University 403(b) Plan Administrator information PERA of Colorado 401(k) Plan PERA of Colorado 457 Plan
Download the classified staff cost sheet, which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance and disability.