Internal - Faculty & Staff

Health and Life

We offer a wide range of benefits to keep you and your family healthy. Your eligibility for these benefits depends upon your employment status (e.g., full-time faculty, part-time staff, etc.).

The following links provide more detail about each of these plans.

Medical

blue cross blue shield

Simmons offers eligible faculty and staff a choice of two medical plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Contact Information:

Simmons offers you a choice of two medical plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA):

  • HMO Higher Ed Blue Plan (HMO Plan)
  • PPO Higher Ed Blue Plan (PPO with Health Savings Account (HSA)

The cost of coverage is shared between you and Simmons, with Simmons paying an average of 76% of the total premiums depending on the plan. The employee-paid premium varies based on the tier of coverage you select (such as employee-only coverage, employee + one dependent, or family coverage) and if you are a full-time or part-time employee.

Resources to Help You Make Informed Decisions
You have access to several resources that can help you make informed decisions that best fit your personal needs. Please take advantage of these handy tools and resources – they are for your benefit and your benefits!

Finding a provider within the network or a Primary Care Provider (PCP)
If you are looking find a provider within our network, please visit bcbsma.com, and under the tab “Using my plan” you can find your doctor (without logging in). For HMO plan participants the network to choose the PCP will be the HMO Blue New England Network. The PCP ID number from this page is required to be populated in Workday.

PPO plan participants will choose providers from the Blue Care Elect PPO/EPO Network.

Making the Right Choice

The staff at Health Advocate can assist you in understanding the different medical plans available and which one may best suit your needs. Please keep in mind it is only a recommendation based on the information you review with them. To discuss your health care plan or if you have questions on your explanations of benefits, call Health Advocate at 866-695-8622.

Analyzing Your Costs
To support the growing need for medical cost transparency and help make cost-effective health care decisions, a Health Cost Estimator is available at no charge to Health Advocate members. This tool allows you to generate cost estimate comparisons for common medical procedures and services any time. You can access this resource on the Health Advocate member website, www.healthadvocate.com/members, or via an application on your smartphone or tablet.

Forms/Documentation

Additional Resources for Blue Cross Blue Shield Members

Health Care Savings Account (HSA)

bank of america logo

We offer a Health Savings Account to PPO Plan participants (plus read below for exclusions) to set aside pre-tax money for eligible health care expenses now or in the future, through Bank of America.

Bank of America Contact Information for HSA plans:

What is it?
An HSA is an individually held account that allows you to set aside money pre-tax if you are enrolled in a qualified high deductible health plan like our PPO plan. You can use your HSA for eligible health care expenses now or in the future.

Why Choose it?
Your HSA stays with you if you change jobs, you contribute with pre-tax earnings, earn interest on your money depending on how you invest it and can roll over the year-end balance. Simmons makes a contribution to your account: $500 for yourself; $1,000 for yourself and a dependent or $1,000 for family.

Can I receive the employer contribution even if I do not contribute to the HSA?
Yes. If you are enrolled in the PPO plan and in Workday elect the HSA benefit with a “$0” coverage amount as well as set up the HSA with Bank of America, you will receive the employer contribution. Please note that the employer contribution is only funded in late July for open enrollment elections and during the year for newly benefits eligible faculty and staff.

Friendly Reminder

You must be enrolled in our medical PPO Plan to participate (exclusions apply as noted below). The IRS sets annual maximum contribution limits. For FY20, the total contribution Simmons allows is $3,500 for individuals and $7,000 for families, plus a $1,000 catch-up contribution for individuals over age 55.

Your HSA money comes out of your paycheck pre-tax, and you can use the money for qualified medical expenses tax-free. It’s not treated as income when you take money out for medical bills.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Connect Your Care logo

Connect Your Care:
1-877-292-4040
www.connectyourcare.com

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible dependent care expenses and/or out-of-pocket health care expenses, reducing your taxable income and saving you money. Simmons offers Health Care FSA, Dependent Care FSA and a Limited Purpose FSA. You cannot be enrolled in both the Health Care FSA and Limited Purpose FSA plans at the same time. So, if you contribute into the Health Care Savings Account (HSA), you can enroll in a Limited Purpose FSA. Connect Your Care administers Simmons’s FSA plans.

What are examples of eligible expenses for Dependent Care FSA reimbursement?

Day and after-school care or day camp for a dependent child under age 13, or a disabled child of any age, or daycare for a tax-dependent elder. Both parents must be working or in school full-time to be eligible for this benefit. For a complete listing of eligible expenses, visit Connect Your Care’s website or see IRS Publication 503.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

How much can I contribute to the Dependent Care FSA?

You may contribute up to $5,000 per calendar year per IRS regulations ($2,500 if married and filing separately). Please note, your calendar year contribution cannot exceed $5,000 per IRS regulations. Because Simmons’s plan year runs July 1 through June 30, you must plan accordingly when making your election.

Visit www.connectyourcare.com for access to planning calculators, FAQs, and information on eligible expenses. You can also manage your FSA account(s) online by submitting claims, viewing the status of claims, viewing the amount you have contributed to your accounts, and what has been paid out to you year-to-date.

Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

If you participate in the medical HMO plan or do not participate in any of Simmons’s medical plans, you may contribute to the Health Care FSA.

What are examples of eligible expenses for Health Care FSA reimbursement?

Out-of-pocket health care (medical, dental, vision) costs for medically necessary services and treatments. For a complete listing of eligible health care expenses, visit Connect Your Care website or see IRS Publication 502.

Per IRS regulations, you may contribute up to $2,700 in FY20.

Connect Your Care administers Simmons’s FSA plans and sends out a debit card with your contribution amounts to use at eligible vendors. You may be required to submit receipts for claims incurred and paid with the debit card.

Note: Expenses not incurred between July 1, 2019 and September 15, 2020 as an active employee and submitted for reimbursement by October 15, 2020 will be forfeited into the Plan, so please estimate your Health Care FSA contributions carefully!

Limited Purpose FSA

If you are a participant in our PPO Higher Ed Blue Plan, IRS regulations allow a limited-purpose FSA to be used alongside a Health Savings Account. This FSA is considered “limited” because you can only be reimbursed for eligible dental, vision and preventive care expenses not covered by any health plan. The maximum that you can contribute into the Limited FSA in FY20 is $2,700. The limited FSA is administered by Connect Your Care, who administers our other FSA plans.

Note: Expenses not incurred between July 1, 2019 and September 15, 2020 as an active employee and submitted for reimbursement by October 15, 2020 will be forfeited into the Plan, so please estimate your Health Care FSA contributions carefully!

Dental

Dental Blue Contact Information:

Simmons offers two dental plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and covers a variety of services including orthodontia benefits for children up to age 19. The cost of coverage for the CORE plan is shared by you and Simmons, with Simmons paying up to 50% of the premium costs for full-time employees. For more information, please view the Summary of Benefits Coverage.

Please note, the applicable deductibles and annual maximums listed on the Summary of Benefits are per calendar year.

Participating (in-network) providers charge members Blue Cross’s discounted rates for services. You can see any provider you want, however, non-participating (out-of network) providers are not required to accept the discounted rates and may balance bill for the difference between what the dental provider will reimburse them and what they charge. If you see a non-participating provider, you are responsible for this difference in addition to your cost share under the plan.

Members have access to the PPO providers and the Dental Blue providers through the national DenteMax Network offered through the Dental Blue plan. To get the maximum benefits members can choose a dentist in the PPO network as these dentists accept deeper discounts for their services. If your dentist is in the network, Blue Cross has contracted fees with these dentists, unless the member reaches the calendar year maximum or the benefit is a non-covered procedure.

Rollover Maximum
Members who received at least one cleaning or oral exam during the calendar year, and the paid claims didn’t exceed the maximum “threshold” amount ($500), may receive up to $350 in additional funds toward their Calendar Year Maximum. The maximum that can be accumulated in rollover funds is $1,000. Each family member is eligible for their own Rollover account. This is another way to make your dollars stretch even further.

The Enhanced Plan also offers Rollover dollars. Please see plan summary for additional information.

Additional Dental Benefits for Members with Specific Diagnosis 

Members who have been diagnosed with diabetes, are pregnant, have been diagnosed with oral cancer or have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease are eligible for enhanced dental benefits including a Dental Cleaning every three (3) months and a periodontal scaling for every quadrant every 24 months when needed.  To receive your enhanced dental benefits, please have your physician complete the below form and return to Blue Cross.

Vision

VSP Logo

Contact Information:

  • vsp.com
  • 800-877-7195
  • Simmons Group Number: 30026513

We offer a voluntary vision plan through Vision Service Plan (VSP) that provides routine eye exams and eye wear discounts. This benefit is fully paid by enrolled faculty and/or staff members and the plan year is July 1 – June 30. The FY19 vision plan premiums are noted below. Please read the VSP Benefit Summary to learn more about this benefit.

For access to additional information, including finding participating providers, please visit https://vsp.com.

Note: VSP does not send out ID cards to its members. All that is necessary to receive services is for the member to provide their name, date of birth and last four digits of their SSN to the service provider. The Simmons Group number is 30026513. If you prefer to carry a member ID card with you, you can print an ID card from the VSP website by clicking on My Benefits and selecting My Member Vision Card. Learn more about VSP vision care

Highlights of Benefits offered through VSP:

  •  Primary Eyecare. VSP doctors can diagnose and often treat urgent or chronic medical eye conditions. This can mean huge cost-savings over emergency rooms, urgent care centers or visits to a primary care physician.
  •  The Open Accesss difference. VSP members can obtain services at any location they choose – from the vast VSP Preferred Provider network to specialty optical boutiques or retails chains.
  •  Polycarbonate lenses for children. Polycarbonate is considered the material of choice for children’s active lifestyles. These lenses are offered at low national average costs through VSP.
Life Insurance

Prudential Logo

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

Simmons University pays premiums for a group life insurance plan to all benefit eligible full-time and part-time employees through Prudential Insurance. The University pays the premium in full and coverage begins immediately upon the employee’s hire date. The amount of life insurance is equal to 1.5 times the employee’s annual base salary with a minimum benefit value of $75,000 and a maximum $500,000, subject to age reduction in life insurance policies.

Voluntary Life Insurance with AD&D

The University offers voluntary life insurance with accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) through Prudential to benefits-eligible full-time and part-time faculty and staff.

If enrolled in the voluntary life insurance benefit, you also have the option to apply for:

  • Life insurance for your spouse and/or
  • Life insurance for dependent child(ren), begins at birth and up to 26, up to a maximum benefit amount of $10,000 per child.

To learn more about the plan and rate, including the minimum and maximum amounts you can purchase and the reduction in the benefit coverage as you attain different ages, please see the documents below.

To enroll in/change the voluntary life insurance, as a new hire or within 30 days of a qualifying event, please complete the Evidence of Insurability.

Based on your age at termination or retirement, you may be able to convert or port your benefit. If interested, please complete and submit the forms below within 31 days of termination.

Note: The information above is meant to provide a general overview of the benefit offered by the University. Plan provisions and coverage available will be governed by the respective plan document and contracts. Should there be a conflict between this overview and the plan documents/contracts, the official document will govern.

Disability

Prudential Contact Information for Simmons-paid STD Benefit:

Colonial Contact Information for Voluntary STD Coverage:

Prudential Logo

Short Term Disability (STD) Salary Continuation

Full-time benefits-eligible faculty and staff are covered under the College paid Short Term Disability Salary Continuation program after completion of one year of service at the College. If an eligible faculty or staff becomes disabled due to a covered injury or sickness, with documentation, as you recover, you could be eligible for salary continuation. This benefit generally begins on the seventh day of disability and could continue up to 26 weeks of disability. The amount you receive will depend upon the length of your illness and your length of service. Generally, eligible employees hired after July 1, 2000, will receive 60% of their salary during their extended illness, injury, or disability for up to 26 weeks. Employees hired before July 1, 2000 receive a percentage of pay, depending upon their hire date, for the first 8 weeks of disability, then up to 60% of their pay after 8 weeks up to 26 weeks. Short Term Disability benefits are offset by other benefits which faculty and staff receive.

For an overview of the STD benefits please refer to to the Plan Summary below:

To report a short-term disability claim, please email benefits@simmons.edu.

 

colonial life logo

Colonial Supplemental Short-Term Disability Insurance

If you would like to purchase supplemental Short-Term Disability insurance on your own, either to cover your first year of employment at Simmons or after,or to supplement the college-paid benefit, we offer Supplemental Short-Term Disability coverage through Colonial Life. Colonial’s Short-Term Disability Income Protection insurance can help you replace a portion of you income if you were unable to work because of a covered illness or serious accident. You have the option to choose the amount of your disability benefits to meet your needs, subject to income.To learn more, please view the documents below or visit Colonial Life online at www.coloniallife.com or via telephone at 1-800-325-4368. Call center representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm (ET). Automated service information is available 24/7. Hearing-impaired customers who have TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf), please call 1-800-798-4040.

Additional Documents

Note: The information above is meant to provide a general overview of the benefit offered by the College. Plan provisions and coverage available will be governed by the respective plan document and contracts. Should there be a conflict between this overview and the plan documents/contracts, the official document will govern.


Long Term Disability (LTD)

All full-time and part-time benefits eligible faculty and staff are eligible to participate in the College’s Long Term Disability (LTD) plan administered by Prudential. The University fully pays the premiums for this coverage and coverage is effective immediately. Under this plan, a participant who has been disabled and unable to work for six consecutive months (180 days) could receive up to 60% of their base monthly salary, offset by benefits payable from other sources.

For an overview of the LTD benefits please refer to to:

You may select your tax election for your Long Term Disability coverage premiums upon hire or during the annual Open Enrollment period. Electing this benefit is irrevocable until the next annual open enrollment period.

Our plan allows two election options:

1. Faculty and staff can elect to have their Simmons paid long-term disability premiums included on their W-2 as taxable income.

OR

2. Faculty and staff can elect not to have their Simmons paid long-term disability premiums included on their W-2 as taxable income.

If you are paying taxes on the College-paid premiums during the fiscal year in which you become disabled, LTD benefits you receive under the plan would generally not be taxable. You can change your tax election once a year during Open Enrollment.

Note: The information above is meant to provide a general overview of the benefit offered by the College. Plan provisions and coverage available will be governed by the respective plan document and contracts. Should there be a conflict between this overview and the plan documents/contracts, the official document will govern.