For your benefit
By Anne Bromley
times are tough, its not a bad idea to reflect on things
we have, rather than on what we dont. Take employee benefits,
the array of lesser-known benefits offered to full-time U.Va.
employees are long-term care insurance, a discount eye care plan,
partial orthodontics coverage, discounted alternative medical
therapies and paid time off for community service.
in the Virginia Sickness & Disability Program will reopen
between October and January for those employees in the previous
plan who would like to join VSDP. Called negative enrollment,
employees will be automatically switched to the VSDP unless
they opt out.
having trouble reading this page might find U.Va.s vision
care discount plan, offered through First American Vision Services,
helpful. Participating eye-care professionals give discounted
fees and prices to employees and their family members enrolled
in the U.Va. Health Plan. Individuals must present the separate
FAVS membership card, sent to employees Jan. 1, to the doctor
or optometrist they are visiting. An additional card can be requested
by sending e-mail to email@example.com.
eye exam fee can be up to 20 percent off. Frames for eyeglasses
are up to 50 percent less than retail, and the discount for the
lenses is up to 45 percent. Corrective eye surgery also costs
and their dependents may use the program as often as needed during
the calendar year. There are no restrictions on eyewear selections.
the bane of parents with pre-teens arises the need for
braces 50 percent coverage can ease the sting of those
orthodontist bills. Dental coverage, up to $1,000 per year, also
includes full payment for two semiannual check-ups, plus partial
coverage for other dental work.
those who have found alternative health care practices helpful,
discounts of up to 25 percent are also available for acupuncture,
massage therapy and chiropractic care through a special Southern
Health Services program, Southern Advantage. No doctor referral
is required, and there are no limits on visits. Dietary supplements
and vitamins can be purchased at discounted prices a Southern
Advantage link to healthyroads.com.
care insurance recently became an employer-paid benefit as part
of the Virginia
Sickness & Disability Program, in which most classified
employees are enrolled. As distinct from long-term disability,
which replaces income, this kind of insurance pays for institutionalized
care, such as a nursing home, or partially pays for daily home
care for people who meet certain criteria. The program reimburses
actual expenses up to a specified daily limit and is available
to full-time salaried classified staff, and if they apply
and are approved their spouses, parents and parents-in-law.
Premiums can be paid through payroll deduction.
opportunity to purchase optional coverage has been available for
several years, and many employees now in VSDP have decided to
keep both plans. Academic and administrative faculty, plus Medical
Center employees, may purchase long-term care insurance from Aetna
or, for faculty, from TIAA-CREF.
the school year begins, employees can think about using community
service leave to help in their childrens classrooms. The
state gives employees a maximum of 16 hours of paid community
service leave per calendar year that can be used in hourly portions.
Community service includes volunteering at school, as well as
working with emergency relief or welfare organizations. A persons
efforts should be hands on it wouldnt
be appropriate to go to a planning meeting or social event for
the organization providing community services.
a summary of benefits, go to http://www.hrs.virginia.edu/benefits.html
information on discount plans for alternative therapies and
products, go to Southern Health Services: http://www.southernhealth.com/
and click on members
information on long-term care, contact Aetna at 1-877-894-2470