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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – May 2015 – Issue 281

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Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • May 28, 2015 • Issue Number 281


If you are a licensed employee hired for this school year only and your hire date was before November 1, 2014, your insurance benefits will run through August 31, 2015. Benefits also run through August for employees planning to take an unpaid leave from 4J or who will not be returning next school year. This includes licensed employees who will retire September 1, 2015. The final 2014-15 paycheck will be July 31, 2015. If you currently have a monthly insurance premium withheld from your paycheck, you should expect two premiums to be withheld from your end of July paycheck. This allows you to pay for your August benefits with pre-tax dollars.

If you are retiring at the end of this school year but prior to September 1, the double July deduction will not apply to you. Please refer to your copy of your Licensed Retirement Agreement, which has details about your retiree insurance elections and rates.

If you have any questions, please contact Julie Wenzl (541-790-7682 or wenzl@4j.lane.edu).


The Eugene Education Association manages the Sick Leave Bank (SLB), the purpose of which is to grant hours to eligible members in cases of long-term absence necessitated by illness or injury. For our members in crisis, it’s been an incredible resource.

In December of 2013, it was announced that the SLB donation schedule was changing from every two years to every four years. Unfortunately, a combination of reduced donations and increased demand has prompted the SLB Committee to revert back to the previous donation schedule. Effective September 1, 2015, to maintain active membership, a minimum donation of one day (prorated for part-time members) must be made every two years rather than every four years.

There will be two SLB enrollment periods during the 2015-16 school year: September 1 – November 2, 2015, and February 1 – April 1, 2016. E-mail reminders and donation forms will be sent at that time.


OEBB will end all current medical, vision, and dental plans effective September 30, 2015. Therefore, members who wish to have medical, vision, and dental coverage for the October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016, plan year are required to log into the MyOEBB system during open enrollment in order to register for that coverage. The mandatory OEBB open enrollment period will begin August 15, 2015, and will remain open through September 15, 2015.

You will receive updated and detailed information as soon as it is available – watch for updates in this newsletter, on the 4J website, in your e-mail inbox, and via US Mail over the summer. As always, OEBB will send information about plan designs and offerings, but rate information and other details specific to 4J employees will come from 4J.


For the October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016, plan year, 4J employees and retirees will again have 5 medical plans to choose from: OEBB Moda Health Plans C, D, E, F, and G. In addition to selecting a medical plan, members must opt for either the OEBB Moda Statewide network or the Synergy Network. Members who enroll in the Synergy Network will be required to select a medical home and will have a more limited panel of providers from which to obtain in-network benefits. The trade-off for selecting this more limited network is a lower monthly premium cost. Additionally, members enrolled in a Synergy network plan are not subject to the reference price program.

The plans will look much the same next year as they do now, but there are some changes around the out-of-pocket maximums (OOPM). The Affordable Care Act (ACA) places a cost-sharing limit on the overall annual out-of-pocket maximum for medical and pharmacy. As a result, all plans will have a medical OOPM, but will also have an ACA-mandated Maximum Cost Share for medical and pharmacy combined. The ACA Maximum Cost Share will be capped at $6,600 for an individual and at $13,200 for a family of three or more. Deductibles, office visit copays, and coinsurance payments will apply toward the annual medical OOPM, like they do now. The ACA Maximum Cost Share will include all medical expenses, all pharmacy copayments and coinsurances, and Additional Cost Tier (ACT) copayments. Currently the ACT copayments apply to the medical OOPM – they will be shifted to the ACA Maximum Cost Share for the upcoming plan year.

For most members, these spending caps don’t come into play, but for members with very high pharmacy costs, this new ACA Maximum Cost Share will provide some protection by limiting the maximum amount they may pay in a plan year.


4J employees who opt for medical coverage must also enroll in OEBB/Moda Vision Plan 3, which will not see any changes for the upcoming plan year.

4J employees will continue to have both Moda Health Dental Plan 4 and Willamette Dental Group Dental Plan 8 as options for dental coverage, both of which include orthodontia. Members who elect Willamette Dental Plan 8 must receive care from a Willamette Dental Group dentist or specialist for benefits to be payable.


The final drop-in cholesterol screening for the 2014-15 school year will occur Wednesday, July 1, 2015.

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. Please remember that fasting means nothing to eat or drink but plain water for at least 10-12 hours.

If you have questions about whether it is time to have your cholesterol screened, please consult your health care provider.

The Joint Benefits Committees have opted to discontinue the drop-in cholesterol screenings for the 2015-16 school year. Attendance at the screenings fluctuates from quarter to quarter, which makes staffing these events at the correct level very challenging. The JBC believes that members will be better served by making an exam appointment at the clinic to receive a more comprehensive blood panel when needed.


The 4J Wellness Clinic will maintain its regular schedule this summer. Regular clinic hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The clinic is closed daily from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. The phone number for the 4J Wellness Clinic is 541-686-1427. The clinic will be closed July 3, 2015, and September 7, 2015, for holiday observances.

If you’re due for a physical or annual exam, the summer may be the perfect time to get that scheduled.


Many studies have found that dancing can improve balance. Some have shown improvements in gait, walking speed, and reaction time, as well as cognitive and fine motor performance. Dance studies have included jazz, ballroom, tango, folk, and a series of slow, low-impact dance movements—though any kind of dancing would likely be beneficial.

Dancing may also be good for your mood. It has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress as well as boost self-esteem, body image, coping ability, and overall sense of well-being, with the benefits lasting over time.

Because there are so many different types of dance, you should be able to find a style that suits you in terms of intensity (high- or low-impact, fast or slow), difficulty level, type of music you like, and whether you prefer to dance with or without a partner.

If you want an upbeat, calorie-burning style, you could try tap or swing. If you want something more reserved, there is tango. Foxtrot is a good choice for beginners; quickstep for more advanced dancers. If you like your dancing more spicy, you could try salsa or mambo. Flamenco may be your calling if you want to dance with passion. If group dancing appeals to you, there is line and folk dancing. If you prefer to dance at home, you can just crank up your own music and do your own thing.

Need one more reason to get moving? National Dance Day always takes place on the last Saturday in July – plan to dance July 25, 2015!


The information in this newsletter has been summarized. It is presented as information – not advice or counsel. In all instances, the benefits, conditions, and limitations as outlined in the 4J Master Contracts prevail over this representation. Please refer to your Benefits booklet or master contracts available at the District offices for additional information regarding your benefits plans.


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