Benefits Team Advocates for Employees

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When the Board of Regents (BOR) shared its 2012 benefits decisions, Tech’s benefits team knew it had its work cut out for it.  “Many of Tech’s benefits are provided through the University System of Georgia, (USG),” said Darlene Wright, director of employee benefits. “And a lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into advocating for our employees and providing strong benefits options.”One notable change for 2012 is that eligible employees who work between 20 to 29 hours per week will no longer be eligible for benefits; however, they will still earn vacation and sick time and be eligible to participate in all retirement plans. Employees must now work at least 30 hours a week to receive benefits. “We made frequent calls to the USG seeking approval to broaden this new requirement to include employees who work an average of 75 percent time over the course of the year,” Wright said. “And we were successful.” The 75 percent addition will primarily benefit faculty members and researchers at the Institute, but it ensures that a larger group of employees may maintain health coverage. Also, Wright’s team has proactively identified employees who are affected by this upcoming change.  “We are reaching out to employees who are impacted by these changes so that we can provide them with individual guidance and resources to explore individual coverage options,” said Kim Watkins, benefits manager.The BOR passed other significant changes for 2012, including increasing medical premiums, freezing enrollment into the HMO plans and discontinuing the BOR PPO and the BOR Health Savings Account (HSA) PPO. “The BOR decisions reflect the negative economic reality that we are all facing,” Wright said. “Our goal is to educate and provide guidance to Tech employees to ensure everyone is equipped to make the best decisions as they relate to their benefits. We want Tech employees to know that we are working hard for them.”That’s why offering several voluntary benefits specific to Tech employees is important to Wright and her team. For example, a new, enhanced vision plan through EyeMed will be replacing the existing vision plan offered through United Health Care/Spectera.  Also, the Tech benefits team has created a new Bank at Work program, in partnership with Bank of America, Georgia United Credit Union, State Bank & Trust and Wells Fargo. Each bank will offer unique employee discounts on a variety of services.



  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Amelia Pavlik
  • Created: 10/17/2011
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

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