Health Benefits

Medical Insurance

As part of the workplace wellness program at Southern State, employees who elect the college’s medical coverage effective July 1, 2014 and wish to receive the college’s HSA contribution ($2500, single or $5000, family) must complete the following components by June 30, 2014:

For more info, please read these Frequently Asked Questions.

Additional Resources

Dental Insurance

Vision Insurance

Additional Resources

Life Insurance

Annual Benefits Open Enrollment

The annual benefits open enrollment period is the one occasion each year when employees have the opportunity to make voluntary changes to their enrollment elections for their health insurance plans. If you participate in any of the health insurance plans you must complete the Southern State Community College Health Benefits Election Form and the Tobacco Use Affidavit. You will not need to complete the Enrollment/Change forms for medical, dental and vision unless you are newly enrolling, making changes to your dependents or changing plan type (single, family). Please note that new insurance cards will not be issued unless you are newly enrolling or have made changes to your elections. Elections made during open enrollment will become effective July 1, 2014. The open enrollment period ends Friday, May 23, 2014.

Except in the case of certain changes in family status or other qualifying events, you will not be permitted to change, cancel or enroll in health insurance plans again until the next open enrollment period, one year from now.

Who is eligible?

If you are a full-time employee, you are eligible to enroll in the benefits described here. The following family members are eligible for medical, dental and/or vision coverage:

  • Family medical coverage includes coverage of the employee, the employee’s spouse, and all unmarried dependent children, under the age of 26. Dependent children may remain on the dental coverage until the age of 25 and on the vision coverage until 26.
  • Working spouses, who are eligible for health coverage through their employer, are required to enroll in their employer-sponsored health plan before enrolling in the College’s health plan. The College will provide secondary coverage for spouses who are covered by their employer’s plan. All spouses must complete a verification form regardless of employment status in order to obtain coverage under the College’s insurance plan. In order to obtain coverage under the College’s insurance plan, each year, spouses must complete the Verification for Spouse Coverage section of the Health Benefits Election Form regardless of employment status.
  • For an additional surcharge, optional coverage for qualifying children aged 26 to 28 will be available consistent with Ohio Law. Please contact the Human Resources Department for an Affidavit of Dependency for Ohio Group Coverage and to obtain the costs of coverage.

Important Changes to Note

Beginning July 1, 2014, a surcharge of $25 will be added to the employee’s share of the premium each month if the employee uses tobacco.

For this plan year, to receive the College’s contribution of the appropriate deductible to either a Health Spending Account (H.S.A) or a Health Reimbursement Account (H.R.A) an employee had to:

  • Complete the Health Risk Assessment and participate in a wellness event before July 1, 2014. This week, a member of the Human Resource Department will reach out to those employees who have not met the requirements.

For 2015, in order to receive the College’s contribution of the appropriate deductible to either a Health Spending Account (H.S.A) or a Health Reimbursement Account (H.R.A) an employee must:

  • Complete the Health Risk Assessment and participate in two wellness events before July 1, 2015.

How & When to Enroll

If you participate in any of the health insurance plans you must complete the Southern State Community College Health Benefits Election Form and the Tobacco Use Affidavit. If you elect to decline or waive coverage from Southern State Community College please complete the Southern State Community College Health Benefits Election Form and return it to the Human Resources Department by Friday, May 23, 2014.

You will not need to complete the individual medical, dental, life insurance and/or vision enrollment forms unless you are newly enrolling, making changes to your dependents or changing plan type (single, family). As such, new cards will only be issued to those who are newly enrolling or have made changes to their elections. In order to make changes, obtain the appropriate election forms below or through the Human Resources Department; complete the forms and submit them to the Human Resources Department. Detailed plan information can be found above in the Health Benefits section.

High Deductible Health Plan (H.D.H.P) Costs in 2014

  • Employee Only Per Month — $72.80
  • Employee & Family Per Month — $266.93

Please note that the increases in the premium rates are a reflection of the following:

The overall premium renewal rate from UHC was 3.5%. The single, employee only premium increased from a cost sharing of 90% college paid /10% employee paid to 85% college paid/15% employee paid plan. For additional information please refer to the collective bargaining agreement and the Policy & Information Manual.

Medical Coverage

Medical coverage is provided by UnitedHealthcare. You will not need to complete the election form unless you are newly enrolling, making changes to your dependents or changing plan type (single, family).

  • New cards will only be issued for those newly enrolled or those who make changes to their election coverage or dependents.

Dental and Vision*

Dependent children can remain on the dental coverage until the age of 25 and on the vision coverage 26. Dental coverage is provided by Superior Dental Care and vision coverage is provided by National Vision Administrators.

  • New cards will only be issued for those newly enrolled or those who make changes to their election coverage or dependents.

*Faculty: Per the collective bargaining agreement, faculty members elected either to take the Dental and Vision coverage or decline the coverage in lieu of the College making a contribution of $1,310 to a F.S.A. each calendar year. The decision made during the 2013 open enrollment is in effect until August 14, 2016.

Life Insurance (College Paid, voluntary)

  • Provided by UnitedHealthcare
  • Voluntary life is offered at a cost to the employee

Open Enrollment Forms

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Purpose of the Plan

The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is designed to cover specific out-of-pocket health and dependent care expenses you anticipate during the course of the Plan Year. The FSA allows you to use pretax dollars to pay for health expenses not covered by insurance. Expenses payable through the FSA include charges for contact lenses, eyeglasses, dental expenses, plus any deductibles and co-payments. In fact, any medical, dental, hearing or vision expenses that would otherwise qualify as a deduction on your income tax return will qualify for reimbursement as long as the expense is not paid by another benefit plan. You may also pay for dependent care expenses.

How to Participate

In order to participate in the plan, you must file a FSA Enrollment Form each year with the Compensation and Benefits Administrator during the open enrollment period. This form will be distributed to each eligible employee with their open enrollment packet. If you do not complete the form and return it to the Compensation and Benefits Administrator prior to the date required, you will not be eligible to become a participant again until January 1st of the next Plan Year unless there is a change of family status during the year that qualifies you to participate.

Resources

Personal, Sick & Vacation Time

Full-time Faculty

Vacation Leave

The time between classes serves as vacation for full-time faculty.

Full-time Staff

Vacation Leave

Full-time staff shall receive annual vacations with full pay.

Years of Service 0–7 8–14 15–24 25+
Nonexempt 10 days 15 days 20 days 25 days
Exempt 20 days 20 days 20 days 25 days

Employees may accrue unused vacation up to a maximum of 60 days or the vacation hours accrued in the last three years, whichever is less.

Upon retirement or termination, a full-time employee shall receive a pay-out of accumulated vacation days equal to the total accumulation times the current daily rate.

All Employees

Personal Days

Full-time employees receive three paid personal days per year. These days shall be credited to the employee’s account at the beginning of each fiscal year and shall not be accumulative. Upon retirement or termination, a personal time payout will be equal to the total days accumulated paid out at the employee’s current daily wage rate.

Sick Leave

Each full-time employee who is employed to work at least 40 hours per week earns sick leave at a rate of 1.25 days per month for a maximum of 15 days of sick leave per contract year.

Part-time employees who have earned sick leave prior to the publishing of the college’s Policy & Information Manual are grandfathered at their current rate.

Unused sick leave entitlement is cumulative to a maximum of 260 days. The Payroll Department shall be responsible for the establishment of accrued sick leave balances for employees and for the maintenance of sick leave records.

Upon retirement under either the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System or State Teachers Retirement System, the employee shall receive payment of 1/4 of the number of unused sick days to the credit of the employee at the employee’s rate of pay at time of retirement up to a maximum of 38 days. Payment shall be made to an employee only once during his/her lifetime.

An employee may use sick leave, with the approval of their supervisor, for any of the following reasons:

  • 1. Personal illness, accident, injury or surgical procedure
  • 2. Pregnancy and/or childbirth and related conditions
  • 3. Maternity/paternity leave
  • 4. Medical, dental or optical examination or treatment of the employee or a member of the immediate family
  • 5. Exposure to communicable disease that could infect others
  • 6. Illness, injury, accident or death of a member of the employee’s immediate family

An employee may use an additional five days of sick leave (above and beyond the three paid bereavement days) given the definition below.

Definition of immediate family member — an employee’s grandparents, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, spouse, child, grandchild, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, legal guardian or other person who stands in the place of a parent.

Employees may be required to furnish a written, signed statement justifying the use of sick leave. Falsification of such a statement is grounds for disciplinary action including dismissal.

Retirement Plans

When an employee is hired by Southern State, they are automatically enrolled in the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) if they are considered staff or the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) if they are considered faculty. If hired as a student worker, you are eligible for exemption from OPERS. If you are enrolled in the OPERS plan and are planning to retire in the near future, please visit OPERS’ Ready to Retire.

Full-time employees are eligible to opt out of OPERS and instead participate in the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP). Employees eligible for the ARP must make an irrevocable decision of which plan they choose to participate in within 120 days of their hire date. If they do not indicate a decision within this 120 day period, they are automatically and irrevocably enrolled in OPERS or STRS.

Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS)

Full and part-time staff is enrolled in the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) upon hire. Each pay period, employees contribute 10% of their wages into their OPERS account and Southern State contributes another 14%. Newly hired full-time employees may choose an Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) within 120 days of their first day of paid service. This election is irrevocable and applies to all employment with the current employer.

OPERS offer three retirement plan options for eligible staff who elect participation in OPERS. The options include:

  • 1. Traditional Pension Plan — The Traditional Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan under which a member’s retirement benefit is based on a formula. The formula is determined by years of contributing service and the average of the 3 highest years of earnable salary (or "final average salary").
  • OPERS investment professionals manage the investment of employee and employer contributions to ensure that funds are available to pay the formula benefit.
  • 2. Member-Directed Plan — The Member-Directed Plan is a defined contribution plan under which employee and a portion of employer contributions are deposited into a member’s individual OPERS account. The member directs the investment by selecting from the professionally managed OPERS investment options.
  • The retirement benefit is based on member and employer contributions and the gains and losses on those contributions.
  • A portion of employer contributions is credited to an individual Retiree Medical Account (RMA) to pay for qualified health care expenses.
  • 3. Combined Plan — The Combined Plan is a retirement plan with both a defined benefit and a defined contribution component. Under the defined benefit portion of the Combined Plan, the member’s retirement benefit is determined by a reduced formula (similar to the Traditional Pension Plan).
  • OPERS investment professionals manage the investment of employer contributions to ensure that funds are available to pay the reduced formula benefit.
  • Under the defined contribution portion of the Combined Plan, employee contributions are deposited into the member’s individual account and invested as directed by the member according to their selection from the nine OPERS Investment Options.
  • The member’s retirement benefit under this portion of the Combined Plan is based on member contributions and the gains and losses on those contributions.

For staff who elect to participate in OPERS, the deadline to select from among the three plan options listed above is 180 days from the first day of paid service.

Note: Eligible members will have three opportunities to change their retirement plan based on the following guidelines:

  • Prior to attaining five years of total service credit
  • Once after attaining five years, but no more than 10 years of total service credit
  • Once at any point after attaining 10 years of total service credit

For more information on changing your retirement plan, contact OPERS at 1.800.222.PERS (7377) or visit opers.org.

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System Logo

State Teachers Retirement System (STRS)

Full and part-time faculty are enrolled in the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) upon hire. Each pay period, employees contribute 10% of their wages into their STRS account and Southern State contributes another 14%. Newly hired full-time employees may choose an Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) within 120 days of their first day of paid service. This election is irrevocable and applies to all employment with the current employer.

In addition to a defined benefit plan, STRS offers defined contribution retirement plan options for eligible faculty who elect participation in STRS. The options include:

  • 1. STRS Ohio Defined Benefit Plan — As its name implies, your retirement income is "defined" in advance so that you know what you will receive when you retire. Your income is determined by a calculation that uses your age, your years of service and your final average salary. You also have survivor and disability protection while you teach. Access to optional health care coverage is provided to retirees who meet the necessary qualifications (currently 15 years of service credit).
  • 2. STRS Ohio Defined Contribution Plan — In this plan, your retirement income is based on the performance of investment choices you select for the contributions made by you and your employer. You may allocate your contributions among various investment options managed by STRS Ohio. Retirement, survivor and disability benefits are limited to the value of your account. Access to STRS Ohio optional health care coverage upon retirement is not provided.
  • 3. STRS Ohio Combined Plan — This plan allows you to create a portion of your retirement income through the performance of investment choices you select for your contributions while contributions from your employer pay for a combination of service retirement, disability and survivor benefits. Access to optional health care coverage is provided to retirees who meet the necessary qualifications (currently 15 years of service credit).

Detailed information about your options is available on the STRS Ohio site.

Note: New members who choose the STRS Defined Contribution Plan or the Combined Plan will have another opportunity to reselect a permanent plan during their fifth year of membership. This "switch" option may be particularly beneficial to you if you are unsure about the amount of time you will teach in Ohio. If you choose an ARP now, your decision will be final unless you change employers.

For faculty who elect to participate in STRS, the deadline to select from among the three plan options listed above is 180 days from the first day of paid service. For complete information regarding STRS, go to strsoh.org.

State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio Logo

Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP)

Southern State’ Approved Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) provider is ING Life Insurance & Annuity Co.

For more information, visit:

Supplemental Retirement Savings Plans

403(b) Supplemental Retirement Plan

457 Supplemental Retirement Plan

Resources

Social Security

For Social Security information on applying for benefits, qualifying for benefits, estimating future benefits or changing personal information, visit:

You can also estimate your retirement benefits through the Retirement Estimator service provided by U.S. Social Security Administration.