Some local providers dropped from Blue Cross Network “S” after October 1, 2013

We have recently been informed by Blue Cross Blue Shield that the following local providers will no longer be in the BlueCross Network S after October 1, 2013:
Chattanooga Surgery Center
Parkridge Medical Center
Parkridge East Hospital (East Ridge)
Note:  Parkridge Valley Hospital is NOT affected.  Also not all physician groups housed in Parkridge are affected; please check with BCBST Member Services for inquiries about individual physicians and Physician groups.
Blue Cross Network S continues to include providers at Erlanger and Memorial.
Your health plan allows you to choose any provider for care; however, you will get the most value from your health plan by using providers in network.
If you have questions or need assistance finding in-network providers, contact BCBST Member Service Department at 1-800-558-6213, Monday – Friday, 8 AM – 5:15 PM.
BCBST can also help coordinate your care for future treatments, hospital stays or surgeries, for which please call BCBST Member Service Department.

Social Security Payroll Taxes increase January 1, 2013

The government reduction in Social Security payroll taxes (“tax holiday”) ended Dec. 31, 2012. The employee tax rate for Social Security will return to 6.2% from 4.2%, resulting in 2 percent less in after-tax pay beginning in the first January 2013 paycheck. This tax break was not extended in the Act passed by Congress on Jan. 1, 2013.

Estimated 2 percent increase for Social Security Payroll Taxes:

Yearly taxable
Additional taxes
you will pay (by month)
Additional taxes
you will pay (by year)
$25,000 $42 $500
$50,000 $83 $1,000
$75,000 $125 $1,500
$100,000 $167 $2,000

Additional Medicare Tax On Wages Over $200,000

The current Medicare tax rate of 1.45% will continue continue for 2013, but an additional Medicare tax of .09% will be withheld on wages paid  to an employee in excess of $200,000 during the calendar year.

Federal Withholding Tax Rates

The Act maintains the current income tax rates for individuals earning up to $400,000 and families earning less than $450,000. The maximum marginal rate for employees making more than these amounts will now be 39.6% up from 35%.

For Your Benefit newsletter

For Your Benefit is a newsletter addressing the benefits offered to you as a UT employee. This newsletter provides an opportunity to communicate information and issues that directly affect you. You will receive this newsletter twice a year. Because of the important nature of the content, it is being mailed to your home address. View the Spring newsletter, that addresses the total compensation (pay + benefits) offered to you as a UT employee with information on how to prepare for retirement at any age and the advantages offered to employees.



Open Enrollment April 15-28 in Optional Term Life

As part of the new contract between the state and Minnesota Life, state and higher education employees will be offered a one-time open enrollment opportunity to enroll or increase coverage in the optional group term life insurance program. Everyone who had Unum coverage has already been transferred to Minnesota Life and can take advantage of this opportunity to increase coverage. Eligible employees not already participating in this plan may enroll during this one time open enrollment period without providing proof of good health. This is an open enrollment period which will also allow your spouse to apply for coverage and you can add coverage for your children to your policy. Enrollment will be online from April 15 – April 28. If you need help enrolling, Minnesota Life’s Customer Service Center is open M-F from 7 am to 6 pm CT at 1-866-881-0631.  View the brochure, which describes the benefits available to you, the premiums, and the online enrollment process.

Join the Sick Leave Bank through June 28th!

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you had an unexpected illness or injury that caused you to be unable to work?  You still need to a paycheck, but you can’t work… then your sick leave and annual leave are used up? Are you in the Sick Leave Bank?

The UTC Sick Leave Bank is a common pool of hours to which staff and 12-month faculty donate some of their accumulated leave. The sick leave bank shall provide emergency sick leave to member employees who have suffered disability due to an unplanned personal illness, injury, or quarantine and who have exhausted their compensatory time and personal, sick, and annual leave balances.

Employees may join the Sick Leave Bank during the enrollment period (April 1 – June 28). Any regular staff or 12-month faculty member, who accrues sick leave and has a current sick leave balance of at least 48 hours on June 30, is eligible to join for a donation of 24 hours. The sick leave balance requirement is prorated for part-time employees.  Read MORE..

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