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Classified Benefits & Wellness Newletter March 2014 Issue #6

Wellness Clinic:  Spring Break & Cholesterol Screening

The 4J Wellness Clinic will be closed March 24, 2014, through March 28, 2014.  Regular clinic hours, which will resume March 31, 2014, are Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  The clinic is closed for lunch from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.  If you will need a prescription refilled over spring break, please plan ahead.

Remember that the next drop-in cholesterol screening for the 2013-14 school year will occur Wednesday, April 2, 2014.  These quarterly drop-in cholesterol screenings at the 4J Wellness Clinic are done on a first come, first-served basis from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. and are a fasting cholesterol finger stick, with the results available in about 5 minutes.  Fasting means nothing to eat or drink but plain water for at least 10 – 12 hours.

Reminder about Wellness Clinic Appointments:
Late Policy:  If a patient arrives more than ten minutes late for a Wellness Clinic appointment, he or she may be required to reschedule the appointment.  If a patient arrives more than twenty minutes late for a scheduled appointment, the appointment will be considered missed without proper notice, and subject to the cancellation policy.

Cancellation policy:  The Wellness Clinic recommends a 24 hour notice of cancellation.  However, in rare cases, cancellations may be accepted up to one hour before the appointed time.  A $20 fee will be assessed for failure to attend or properly cancel a scheduled appointment. 

Pumpkin Seeds Tip

A favorite snack for many, fresh pumpkin seeds can be purchased at most grocery stores in bulk.  Simply lay them on a baking sheet, mist with canola pan spray and salt lightly (if desired).  Roast for a few minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown.

‘Use-or-Lose’ Rule Changing for Flexible Spending Accounts

On October 31, 2013, after our Flexible Spending Account plan year had already begun, the US Treasury Department modified its FSA “Use-it-or-Lose-it” provision to allow Employers to adopt the provision allowing for rollover of up to $500 for unreimbursed eligible health-related expenses.  At the February 14 meeting, the Joint Benefits Committee opted to allow 4J employees to take advantage of this rule change, effective immediately.

Use-it or Roll-Over $500.  The new FSA ruling means that the risk of losing your FSA money set aside for unreimbursed eligible health-related expenses for the October 1, 2013-September 30, 2014 plan year is reduced.  Instead, you can roll over up to $500 into the next FSA plan year.

This is good news for those of us worried about forfeiting the money we’ve put into our accounts at the end of the year should our expenses come in lower than anticipated.   If you have not opted to participate in the FSA plan in the past for fear you might have to forfeit unused funds, you may want to take another look during the next enrollment period.  Complete details for the 2014-15 plan year will be included in your August benefits mailing from 4J.

 

Classified Sick Leave Bank Enrollment Coming in May!

Enrollment Packets will arrive the first week of May at your building site.  The Classified Sick Leave Bank is intended to extend, to contributing members, additional sick leave days should a long-term illness or injury exhaust the employee’s own paid leave.  Watch for the yellow packet!

What’s Your Number?

Thank you to the employees at Twin Oaks, Monroe, North Eugene, and Human Resources who participated in the early morning pilot employee wellness program: What’s Your Number?  Screenings were made possible by grant funding from the OEA Choice Trust Employee Wellness Grant Program and in partnership with Cascade Health Solutions.

A total of 91 colleagues took advantage of the convenience these on-site screenings offered and were provided information to help them become more knowledgeable about their cholesterol levels, their blood pressure readings and their BMI numbers.   On February 12th, a final opportunity was held at the 4J Wellness Clinic for employees who wanted to participate but who do not work at one of the pilot locations.

Moda Health generously donated prizes that were drawn for 3 lucky winners at each site.   Their support is appreciated and recipients received great gifts!  Thank you Moda!

1 grand prize winner will be drawn from employees who participated in all three screenings and will be announced soon. 

Care4life

Moda Health is offering a free new program for people with Type 2 Diabetes.  Care4life is a diabetes support program that sends text messages to help you:

  • Remember to take medications & go to appointments
  • Eat healthy with nutrition tips & recipes
  • Set weight & exercise goals
  • Track blood glucose

Care4life messages are personalized for you and are sent right to your cell phone.  It’s easy!
Sign up by calling 1-866-418-8713 and entering the sign-up code Moda.  Or, you can go to care4life.com.  Click “sign-up-now? To complete a form and enter the sign-up code Moda.

Retiring This Year?

Retirement is something that takes a lot of planning and shouldn’t be rushed into.  Please allow yourself plenty of preparation time.  If you are considering retirement sometime this spring or at the end of the school year, there are three steps you’ll need to take:  contact PERS to begin your Service Retirement process, notify your supervisor, and then contact me to learn about your 4J benefits.

To get advice regarding your PERS retirement, you will need to work with your financial planner or directly with PERS.  4J does not give PERS advice.   The phone number for PERS is 1-888-320-7377, their website is http://oregon.gov/PERS/. You can find a great deal of information on the PERS website, and can download forms and sign up for education sessions as well. 

Classified Professional Education Program (PEP) Fund Information

The Classified Professional Education Program allows for reimbursement of professional development costs for classified employees.  Please note that the PEP funds are limited, and are usually reserved for staff development options that are initiated by employees (job-related training, tuition reimbursement, registration or material costs, and conferences and workshops). 

Normal program rules allow one request per fiscal (school) year, up to $200 for workshops, classes, books or other expenses related to professional development.  Requests are processed on a first-come, first served basis until funds run out.   PEP fund requests can be found on the HR website for classified employees.

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This newsletter is reviewed and edited each month by the District 4J and OSEA representatives of the Classified Joint Benefits Committee (JBC).The information in this newsletter is summarized, and is not intended as advice or counsel.

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