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The deadline to enroll in the Island Flex Flexible Spending Accounts program has been extended for the second time to Friday, May 21, 2010. The Island Flex Flexible Spending Accounts program allows employees to pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical, dental, drug and vision expenses, as well as dependent care expenses (i.e., pre-school tuition and adult day care expenses), with before-tax dollars. Employees do not pay federal, state or social security taxes on those monies, which mean employees save money on medical and/or dependent care expenses.
The enrollment form must be submitted to Comprehensive Financial Planning, Inc. and be postmarked by Friday, May 21, 2010. Employees currently participating in Island Flex will need to re-enroll during this open enrollment period for participation in the plan year July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.
Enrollment packets may be downloaded at http://www.compfinplan.com/.
Should you have any questions regarding the Island Flex program, please contact Comprehensive Financial Planning, Inc. at 596-7006 or visit the website at http://www.compfinplan.com/. Neighbor Island employees may call toll free 1 (877) 550-5552.
All State employees are eligible to enroll each year in a flexible spending plan that allows the participants to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses and the cost of dependent child care with “pre-taxed” dollars. Last month notices were sent from the State under its plan called Island Flex announcing an enrollment deadline of April 24th. That date has now been extended to May 30, 2009, and an announcement will be made to faculty members from the UH Human Resources Office in the next few days. See: http://hawaii.gov/hrd/main/EEBenefits/FamilyFriendly/IslandFlexPlan/
The reason for the State extending the deadline for enrollment is due to the uncertainty over the EUTF health insurance benefits and premiums. The EUTF is caught up in the Governor’s plan to reduce State spending in order to balance the State budget. The EUTF open enrollment will also be delayed since the employer trustees have not agreed to a new plan or benefits. The end result will likely be plans with higher premium costs and reduced benefits that shift the costs to individual participants. If this happens, public employees will likely profit from increasing the deductions from their salaries and having the funds placed in the Island Flex Plan where these additional expenses can be paid with “tax free” dollars. However, the IRS rules require you to determine at the beginning of the year the amount of money to place in the Flex Plan, but if those monies are not spent on medical or dependent care expenses they are not given back to the employee or carried over into the next plan year. This seems like a very punitive rule, but the tax code is the same for all such plans whether in the public or private sector. Therefore, the Flex Plan requires important information about your insurance coverage to determine how much money to set aside.
Increased premium payments by employees for health insurance through the EUTF can also be made with pre-tax dollars through the premium conversation option. This is separate and distinct from the Flex Plan. Once the EUTF premiums are known, you will be able to make your payments by selecting the premium conversation plan. You don’t need to allocate funds in the Flex Plan for the payment of health insurance premiums. The Flex Plan will only be used for medical expenses or deductibles not covered in the health insurance programs, e.g., medical, dental, vision, you select.
UHPA WOMEN DIRECTORS, FACULTY REPS AND MEMBERS!!
Develop Leadership Skills & Network with Union Women
TEN Education Grants ARE AVAILABLE
to attend the 30th Annual Western Regional
Summer Institute for Union Women
Ala Moana Hotel, Honolulu, June 16 to 20, 2011
Have you ever asked?
- How are other unions addressing the issues important to their women members?
- How can I learn more so I can represent my members better?
- How do I engage other UHPA members in issues of importance?
- How do we address the attack on public sector unions?
ATTEND the Summer Institute for Union Women from June 16 to 20, 2011.
There’s something for everyone – new or experienced union activists who want to learn new skills or enrich their union work by meeting with women from a wide range of unions and professions.
Women from unions across the western U.S. and Canada will meet to share ideas, strategies, information and build solidarity. This leadership development institute, specifically for women, is always energizing, educational & fun. Over 20 UHPA women have attended past Institutes and enthusiastically recommend it.
The Institute is hosted by a different university labor center each year and only comes to Hawaii every five years. SIUW 2011 provides a perfect opportunity for you to take advantage of a specialized union education program right here at home.
The UHPA Board of Directors has approved full funding for ten UHPA members on a first come, first serve basis. The funding will cover air and ground transportation and hotel, if applicable, as well as the registration fee, meals, parking for commuters and incidentals.
Please look over the Institute brochure. If you’re interested in the content, you’ll enjoy the Institute.
How to apply:
- Send your completed registration form found in the brochure to UHPA, 1017 Palm Drive, Honolulu, HI 96814, or fax it to UHPA at 593-2160. Do not send a check. UHPA will inform you as to whether your application has been accepted. If it has, UHPA will forward your registration to SIUW 2011 along with the registration fee and contact you with details regarding travel and hotel reservations if applicable.
- DEADLINE: Completed registration forms must be received at UHPA by Friday, May 13, 2011.
- For More Information: Adrienne Valdez (454-4781 / firstname.lastname@example.org)