What's Really Happening - 2003/05/29

 

 

What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of May 29, 2003

MEDICAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

We strongly urge all faculty to take advantage of the Health Care Reimbursement Accounts (HCRA) now available as a benefit as a result of the bargaining team's negotiating work. Those who were unable to attend the informational sessions on campus last week owe it to themselves to learn about this important plan that now offers tax advantages to every employee and a net cost savings on predictable medical expenses.

This account is similar to the dependent care account benefit already available. Many of us have ongoing medical expenses (regular check-ups or treatments, continuing prescriptions, counseling, dental care, orthodontia for those with family coverage, and a range of other covered care). By estimating these costs on an annual basis and arranging to have money set aside through payroll deduction on a pre-tax basis, faculty members reduce taxable income. For example, setting aside $500 annually could realize savings from 15% to 40%. Particularly for those who do not incur enough annual medical expenses to itemize them as a deduction on Form 1040 Schedule A, the HCRA is a way to realize tax advantages from even relatively low annual medical costs. If you have annual out-of-pocket medical expenses exceeding $100, this plan can save you money.

There is one caution. All money set aside in this account must be used by the end of a given enrolment year or it will be forfeited. This can be avoided by estimating projected medical costs conservatively.

The enrollment deadline for this calendar year is [June 2]. It will pay to review your health expenses and consider participating in this new, cost-saving benefit. Detailed information is available through the Human Resources office.

MEMBERSHIP

The Association continues to circulate enrollment forms and has begun circulating membership forms for the coming year. Those who delayed membership until payroll deduction was available can now sign up and begin receiving the entire range of member benefits. If you have not yet been contacted, feel free to contact any member of the Executive Committee.

UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE CHARGE SETTLED

CSEA and the College have settled an unfair labor practice charge brought against CSEA by the College. Mediation by the State Employment Relations Board, which reached no determination on the merits of the case, led to the settlement. CSEA agreed to provide the College with a legally required notice prior to conducting any picketing or strike activity. Copies of the settlement agreement are posted in the work areas of all bargaining unit members (mostly department and program offices).

CONDOLENCES TO DR. MOELLER

CSEA has conveyed the Association's condolences to Dr. Moeller following the recent death of her father in Portugal.


What's Really Happening is produced by the Communications Committee of the Columbus State Education Association. We welcome your comments, news, and insights.

Steve Abbott, President / x5096
Karl Rieppel, Vice President / x2500
Amy Brubaker, Secretary and Association Representative / x5068
Greg Goodhart, Treasurer / x5431
Darrell Minor, Parliamentarian / x5310
Bill Mundy, Association Representative / x5176
Dr. Jane McDowell, Association Representative / x2656 
Dave Busch, Association Representative / x5079
Dr. Charlie Gallucci, Association Representative / x5499
Leslie Smith, Association Representative / x5302
Dr. Wendy McCullen-Vermillion, Association Representative / x2693
Lisa Schneider, Association Representative / x5124


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