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Human Resources Newsletter - January 2017

Your AU Education Benefits: Submit Spring 2017 Tuition Remission Applications by January 23, 2017

Tuition Remission Deadline Jan 23. AU campus in spring with flowers in bloom.

Are you planning on taking classes this spring? Take advantage of your AU education benefits and apply for tuition remission. AU offers tuition remission for eligible faculty, staff, spouses and same-sex domestic partners at AU and Wesley Theological Seminary. Applications for Spring 2017 must be submitted by Monday, January 23, 2017. Learn more at an upcoming brown bag workshop.

Upcoming Tuition Remission Brown Bag Workshops- January 12 & 18

Attend an upcoming workshop to get an overview of the tuition remission benefit. Note: There are separate sessions on education benefits for dependents, generally in May and October.

Workshop 1: Thursday, January 12

Time: 12 - 1 p.m.

Location: MGC 247

Workshop 2: Wednesday, January 18

Time: 12 - 1 p.m.

Register on AsuccessfulU.

Tuition Remission Taxation Reminder

Spring renews the $5,250 tax allowance on taxable tuition benefits for faculty and staff only. Tuition benefits received by spouses and same sex domestic partners are fully taxable. Use the PaycheckCity calculator to help estimate your net (take home) pay. Visit the myBenefits site accessible through the myAU portal > Work@AU> Benefits: myBenefits to access the PaycheckCity calculator and read instructions on how to use it.

Important Facts About AU's Tuition Remission Education Benefit:

AhealthyU Calendar

Weight Watchers®

Thursdays | 12pm | Main Campus

AU Farmers Market- Returns January 25

Wednesdays | 11pm - 4pm | Quad

From the Farmer

Tuesdays | Afternoons MGC, WCL, & 3201 New Mexico Ave. 

Group Exercise Classes for Faculty & Staff 

Monday – Friday | January 30 - April 28

AhealthyU Calendar

One-on-One Retirement Sessions

Fidelity
Friday, January 13
Thursday, January 19
Tuesday, February 7
Wednesday, February 8

Click here to schedule.

TIAA
Wednesday, January 25
Thursday, February 9
Wednesday, February 22

Call 800-732-8353 to schedule.

HR Newsletter Archives

Read past issues of the Human Resources Newsletter

How to Contact Us

Human Resources
(202) 885-2591

Follow us on Twitter @AUemployees

  • Applications must be submitted every semester that you plan on using AU's education benefit.
  • The Spring 2017 tuition remission application deadline is January 23; applications received after the due date will be denied.
  • Documentation proving eligibility and requests for flexible work arrangements are also due January 23.
  • Full-time faculty and staff who have been employed with AU prior to September 23, 2016 are eligible for tuition remission benefits for themselves and their spouses/same sex domestic partners.
  • Tuition remission for eligible courses is covered for 8 credits for each semester, and up to 20 credits per academic year.
  • Some courses are not covered (a list of ineligible programs is available on the myBenefits site).
  • Some fees such as administrative, application, exam, course, lab, or matriculation costs are not covered.

If you have any questions or need assistance with tuition remission, contact the Benefits Team at autuitionbenefits@american.edu or x3400.

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2016 Flexible Spending Account Claims Submission Deadlines

Human Resources reminds you that in accordance with the IRS' grace period extension, you still have time to submit claims against your 2016 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) balance for any eligible expenses you incur from January 1, 2016 through March 15, 2017. The deadline for submitting claims for 2016 is April 30, 2017 at 11:59 p.m.

You may submit your claims online or submit a claim form and fax it to PayFlex.

To submit claims electronically:

Please visit the PayFlex website at https://www.payflex.com/ to submit your claims electronically; you will need to have an online account. New payflex.com registrants, please note that your Member ID = your Social Security Number.

To submit claims by fax:

Fax your completed claim form toll-free to PayFlex at (888) 238-3539. You also may visit the myBenefits site to obtain a claim form.

Please contact Grace McKinnon at 202-885-3513 with any questions.

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Tax Form for 2016 Tax Return

Example of the 2016 1095-C Tax Form.

In early 2017, American University faculty and staff who were eligible for AU-sponsored medical coverage at any time in calendar year 2016 will receive a 1095-C tax form.  

Form 1095-C is required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and is required documentation to support your income tax filing for 2016. Much like the Form W-2 is used to determine whether you owe taxes, the IRS will use the information reported from your Form 1095-C to determine whether you (or your employer) may have to pay a fine for failing to comply with the ACA.

Think of the form as your "proof of insurance" for the IRS. A blank form can be viewed here on the IRS website.

One section of the form identifies each individual covered under your medical plan (you and each covered family member) by Social Security number. To ensure that the information recorded on the form is accurate, if any of your family members are covered under an American University medical plan, please review their Social Security numbers (SSN) and birthdates as they appear on the myBenefits site (Instructions to review or update dependent's SSN in myBenefits). The IRS reviews the SSN information and notifies the University of any discrepancies, so it is very important that you confirm it is correct.

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Importance of Beneficiary Designations

AU Staff member Kevin Wyatt and daughter pose for a picture at the 2016 Staff Appreciation picnic.

Named beneficiaries on insurance policies and retirement accounts generally supersede instructions in wills, which is why it is important to keep your beneficiary designations up to date.

This means that even if your will and other estate-planning documents are current, your best intentions can be undone if your beneficiary was named long ago. For example, if you had named your parents your beneficiaries before you were married, your parents - not your spouse - can inherit your life insurance benefit. Or a former spouse could inherit your 403(b) retirement account if you don't update your beneficiary designations after a divorce.

By periodically reviewing your beneficiary designations for your AU life insurance and retirement plans, you can be assured that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.

Review Your Beneficiary Designations

It's important to review beneficiary designations whenever you experience life changes - such as marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, or birth of children or grandchildren.

Additionally, we recommend that you periodically check your beneficiaries because life happens and you may not realize that you have forgotten to update your beneficiary information.

How to Check Your Beneficiaries

  • Check your life insurance beneficiaries on the myBenefits site, accessed through the myAU portal.

  • Check your retirement account beneficiaries online with Fidelity and/or TIAA, depending on which plan(s) you are enrolled in.

Step-by-step instructions to check your beneficiary designations can be found at this link.

Making a proper beneficiary designation is an important part of your estate planning. We recommend that you consult with a legal advisor and/or an estate planning professional if you have questions regarding your beneficiary designations.

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Virtual Office Visits 24/7: Sign Up for Video Visits through CareFirst or Kaiser

Who has time to be sick? Did you know that as part of your coordinated care, CareFirst and Kaiser Permanente both provide a video visit option for consulting with a doctor? 

Video chat securely on your mobile device or computer with a doctor who will provide consultation, diagnosis, and prescriptions (when appropriate) for uncomplicated, non-emergency health concerns, for the cost of a PCP sick office visit.

Use Video Visit when:

  • Your doctor is unavailable
  • You are away from home (travel, vacation)
  • You have children at home and cannot bring them to the
    doctor's office with you
  • You feel too sick to drive

It's that easy, sign up to get the care you need, when you need it.

CareFirst Participants

Visit http://www.carefirst.com/needcare to register and click on any of the video visit links, or download the CareFirst Video Visit app from your favorite app store. Detailed information on CareFirst Video Visits here.

Kaiser Permanente Participants

Visit kp.org to register and use the mobile app for scheduling video visits. Detailed information on Kaiser Permanente Video Visits here.

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It’s a Win-Win: Team Up for AhealthyU’s New Weigh 2 Win Challenge

AhealthyU Weigh 2 Win Challenge Powered by HealthyWage. Blue apple on radial background.

It's 2017, take that first step towards accomplishing your New Year's resolution and register for AhealthyU's Weigh 2 Win challenge. Team up to improve your health and compete for the cash jackpot* (powered by the HealthyWage online platform). The more teams who join, the bigger the payout.

This new wellness challenge runs January 23 – April 17, 2017 and is much more than the typical competition. AhealthyU's Weigh 2 Win offers an extensive range of fitness tools, health resources, and perks to help you achieve your weight management goals, such as complimentary:

  • 1-on-1 consultations with a dietician
  • Team cooking demos
  • Access to AhealthyU group fitness classes
  • Group personal training sessions
  • Online tips and tools (provided by the HealthyWage online platform)
  • Detailed pre and post fitness assessments (provided by Public Safety's LawFit® program)

 

Weigh 2 Win Basics:

Challenge Duration:

January 23 – April 17, 2017

Team up: Register your teams of 4 to 9

AU faculty and staff members. Click here to register.

Compete for the Jackpot: Every team with an average 6% weight loss will share the jackpot.

Weekly Weigh-ins Not Required: Weigh-in at the beginning and end of the challenge at multiple on and off campus locations, including your own home.

Participation Fee: Submit the $60 participation fee, payable in full or in $20 installments online to HealthyWage. Participation fees contribute to the jackpot.

For full details and challenge rules visit www.american.edu/W2W.

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Fitness + Fun: Play the Points to AhealthyU Game (Spring Edition)

Points to AhealthyU Game Spring 2017. Game Your Way to Healthy Living.

Have you heard about the game that everybody has been playing? This fall AhealthyU introduced the Points to AhealthyU Game to encourage AU faculty and staff to stay active and make healthy choices.

If you're looking for a fun way to keep fit this spring, join in for round two. No registration required, just participate in AhealthyU programs and activities between January 17 – April 28, 2017 and collect stamps at events to redeem for great prizes*. Important: If you played the Points Game in the fall, you must start a new game sheet for spring, stamps earned in the fall do not rollover†.

To get started, pick up a game sheet at a select AhealthyU event or click here to download your own. Follow the instructions on the game sheet and enter your personal wellness goal. Start collecting stamps at AhealthyU and partner events such as group fitness classes, brown bag workshops, fitness challenges, and even the Farmers Market. For a current event listing view the stamp awards chart. Don't forget to ask for your stamp and look for the game logo on participating events!

Collect stamps, choose your prize, then submit your stamped game sheet to the AhealthyU office at Gray Hall, Room 111 for your choice of:

  • 10 stamps = (1) Pair of socks or a yoga block.

  • 20 stamps = (1) Lunch box or a water bottle.

  • 30 stamps = (1) EagleBucks or Subway® lunch to share (both $30 value)

For full details and to review the game rules visit www.american.edu/Points.

*Prizes are subject to tax.
†If you played the Points to AhealthyU Game in the fall, completed game sheets may be redeemed through January 31, 2017.

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WLD January Training Calendar

2016-2017 WLD I AM AU Training Catalog. AU faculty and staff engage in a seminar.

Register for the instructor led courses listed below by logging into AsuccessfulU, AU's online training registration system via the portal.

How to Access the Learning Module in AsuccessfulU:

  • Click here to access AsuccessfulU’s portal page.
  • Click the "Go to AsuccessfulU" button in the middle of the page.
  • From the "Home" tab on the top left of the page click on "Learning" from the drop down menu.
  • This will launch your personal profile in the “Learning” tab. You can search and register for training sessions here.

DATE TIME TITLE
Wednesday, January, 25
9 a.m. – 12 p.m Presenting Yourself with Impact
Thursday, January, 26
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Creative Problem Solving for Innovation
Tuesday, January, 31
9 p.m. – 5 p.m.  Service Plus

Note: Scheduled course offerings are subject to change. Please check Today@AU for updated listings.

View the new professional development catalog to see professional development course offerings for 2017.

Please contact the Workplace Learning and Development team at AsuccessfulU@american.edu with any questions.

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AU Office of Human Resources