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Minutes: April 15, 2009

    3 p.m., Wednesday, April 15, 2009
    School of Medicine Administration, Board Room 103

PRESENT: Drs. Barker, Brayton, Chou, Chuck, Cooke, Goldstein, Herman, Ishii, McGrath-Morrow, Pidcock, Pomerantz , Regan, Resar, Schramm, Stivers, Yaster, Mss. Fairman, Nguyen, Oliver, and  Foy.
ABSENT: Drs. Allaf, Armstrong (excused), Bennett, Bergles, Cromwell, DeLeon, Efron, Fine, Flynn, Green, Halushka, Huang, Leahy, Magaziner, Maragakis, McCarthy, Molinaro, Mooney, Nussbaum, Reading, Robinson, Sargent, Tompkins, Tufaro, Wong,  Yehia, Zhen,  Messrs. Chen, Feng, and Pirruccello, Ms. Bruno.

GUESTS:  Mr. McCormick

I.  Minutes

The minutes of the March 18, 2009 meeting were approved. 

II. Overview of Wage Works Plan – Michael McCormick, Benefits Consultant

    Mr. McCormick presented an overview of the Wage Works program.  Wage Works is the vendor the University has contracted with to administer the Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) program.  As the FSA program allows tax free dollars to be used for certain medical, dental, and dependent care expenses, the plan is governed by Internal Revenue Service regulations.  The program allows up to $5,000 pre-tax annually to be used for medical and dental expenses, and $5,000 per family annually for dependent care expenses. 

    Wage Works has a debit card system in place to make it convenient for employees to use at time of service as it eliminates the need to pay out of pocket.  The IRS has been auditing FSA vendors for compliance and WageWorks has been asking for additional verification of expenses.   It was suggested that it is sometimes easier to pay for service and submit a claim with receipts rather than use the debit card which also requires submission of receipts.

    There was discussion of the dependent care FSA program which allows up to $5,000 per family for eligible child and elder care expenses.  As the University has not met the IRS discrimination testing policy for tax deferred dollars, highly compensated employees had to be adjusted to a lower rate mid-year.  It was suggested that the Benefits Office should be more direct in its communication with faculty about this possibility in order to allow each spouse an opportunity to use a partial benefit with their respective employers while keeping within the IRS $5,000 family limit.

    Mr. McCormick reminded the council that April 30, 2009 is the deadline for submitting claims for the 2008 calendar year.  He pointed out that any dollars in an FSA account not used will be lost.  Mr. McCormack acknowledged that IRS regulations no longer required forfeiture of remaining funds , but the University has not opted to utilize this feature.

    Dr. Herman thanked Mr. McCormick for his presentation.

III. Other Business   

There was brief discussion concerning potential changes in the tuition grant benefit and the amount the University contributes to the retirement program.  Both of these topics were mentioned in a recent Town Hall meeting as being areas the Trustees may look at if the University’s financial situation deteriorates.

Dr. Herman called attention to Dean Miller’s presentation to the Medical School Council on May 6th.

A status report on the electronic election process was requested.

There being no further business this meeting was adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

                            Respectfully submitted,

                            Mary E. Foy

Future Medical School Council meetings:
All meetings will be held in the School of Medicine Board Room (SOM 103), 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
May 6, 2009
June 17, 2009