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July, 2019

The New Year … Are You Ready?

As the new year approaches, CUA employees should make sure they will be maximizing their 2009 benefits.

By Christine Peterson, Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer


Are you ready for 2009? Now that you’ve enrolled for your CUA benefits plans, the wise question to ask yourself is “How can I optimize what I know I have waiting for me during 2009?”

As a nation, we know that we face a tremendous challenge in 2009 related to the U.S. economy. Likewise, as we individually prepare for the upcoming year, it is critical that we be knowledgeable about our benefit plans and understand how we can best take advantage of the resources we have. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself as you plan for the upcoming year:

  1. Do I completely understand my medical, dental and vision insurance plans?
    Take the time to carefully review and understand the details of your plan coverage. If you use prescription medications, should you be considering the mail-order plan? Or maybe a switch to a generic medication? If you need assistance understanding your plan coverage, contact the Office of Human Resources, extension 5050, for guidance.

  2. Do I (and any covered dependents) take full advantage of preventative care options?
    If you have one of the CUA dental plans, do you routinely have your teeth examined and cleaned twice per year? Do you take advantage of your medical insurance coverage as it relates to annual screenings and wellness care? How long has it been since you had a vision exam?

  3. Did you enroll for the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) medical plan?
    If so, take the time to review the guidelines which describe what types of medical expenses qualify under the FSA plan by consulting All out-of-pocket co-pays and deductibles from medical and dental insurance plans can be submitted and reimbursed through the FSA plan. Maybe you chose to not enroll in the vision plan and now you need new eyeglasses — run this expense through your FSA plan, as well.

  4. Are you maximizing your contribution to the TIAA-CREF retirement plan?
    The CUA retirement plan offers an exceptionally generous match when you contribute to the plan. Take the time to learn more about this plan — e.g., contact the Office of Human Resources or schedule an appointment with a TIAA-CREF representative. Representatives regularly schedule one-on-one, on-campus meetings with faculty and staff, and are also available at other locations and times at your convenience.  See for details about the plan.

  5. Are you familiar with the extensive benefits available through the Employee Assistance Plan — Carebridge?
    Carebridge is the new plan provider as of Jan. 1, 2009. Take the time to become familiar with what this plan offers at (For an online access code, call 800-437-0911.) Watch for more information on this new, expanded plan during the upcoming year.

As we say goodbye to 2008 and welcome 2009, I encourage you to be thankful for the past and celebrate the future — we have much to do and a great place to do it! Happy holidays!

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Last Revised 24-Nov-08 09:46 AM.