Meeting Minutes

Faculty Benefits

January 23, 2018

Members Present: Mary Beahm, Renee Borromeo, Lonnie Golden, John Liechty, Petre Jurs, Cassandra Kitko, David Post, Erica Smithwick, Greg Stoner

Members Absent:  Galen Grimes, Mark Horn, Kathleen Noce, Geoff Scott, Ira Saltz, Bill Wenner

Guests: Michael Busges, Holley Rochford, Murry Nelson


The minutes of Dec. 5, 2017 were approved as written.


Comments from the Chair: Erica reported that the UFS Officers and Chairs meeting included a lengthy discussion of the proposed changes AC-21, which would provide for the consideration of multiyear contracts for fixed-term faculty after a predetermined number of years of service. The Advisory and Consultative Report sent forth from the Senate through Faculty Affairs and IRC, was not accepted by the administration.


No old business


Proposal for WorkLion/WorkDay (Informational): Mary Beahm shared a presentation with the committee that she is working on for the March Faculty Senate meeting. The committee asked questions and provided feedback. The main points of the feedback were that the presentation needs to be shortened, as we will probably be granted 15-20 minutes for the presentation and questions, and that the presentation should focus on items most important to faculty. This would include how to find salary, paycheck and benefits information, and how to ask questions and get answers within WorkLion. Some faculty are supervisors, so there should be some information on the role and duties of the supervisors, as well. It was recognized that issues might come to light between today and the Senate meeting in March, and any relevant issues should be addressed. The FB committee voted to endorse the informational report on WorkDay/WorkLion and sponsor the report for the March meeting.

ChildCare Report (Informational): Holley Rochford led the discussion and answered questions regarding the Childcare Informational Report. A suggestion was made to include a short justification statement for the inclusion of non-PSU affiliated families in PSU childcare facilities. The mission of the University to serve the community was cited as being important, but missing in the report. Holley reported that her group is in the process of gathering data regarding the needs of faculty, staff, students, and the communities in regard to childcare. They are looking at many options and benefits included with offering childcare. Some of these would include internship opportunities for students and other connections between PSU students and personnel and the community. The FB committee voted to endorse the informational report on childcare, recognizing that there is a good possibility it will be designated as a “read only” report. The committee felt it would be good to have the opportunity to stand before the Senate next year, after data has been compiled and analyzed through Holley’s work with surveying stakeholders.

Recreational Facilities Memberships for Faculty Report: (Advisory &Consultative) The committee considered and discussed the report at length. Suggestions were made to add a statement about the importance of offering free or reasonably priced memberships to recreational facilities for faculty as a recruitment and retention issue. It was also suggested that the recommendations be strengthened and clarified. The idea of “free” versus “affordable” for memberships was debated. Many committee members were in favor of “free” on a personal level, but a majority agreed that “affordable” was probably a better word, that would leave open the possibility of free and should be determined in a committee other than just Faculty Benefits. The committee agreed that the major issue is faculty involvement in issues regarding faculty activities, such as the use of recreational facilities. The lack of faculty consultation in the recent decisions regarding recreational facilities and the associated membership fees has caused great angst among faculty. Erica agreed to add/change the report to incorporate the committee suggestions. She will send it out to all committee members via email, and we can vote to approve it and send it to Senate Council through Board Effect.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:40am

Next meeting scheduled for March 13, 2017 in Business Building 213 or 217.

Prepared by Renee Borromeo and Erica Smithwick
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December 5, 2017

Members Present: Galen Grimes, Greg Stoner, Cassandra Kitko, Erica Smithwick, Ira Saltz, Renee Borromeo, Peter Jurs, William Wenner, David Post, John Liechty, Geoff Scott, Mark Horn

Members Absent: Mary Beahm, Kathleen Noce

Guests: None

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Approval of Oct 17 meeting minutes – no changes

ANNOUNCEMENTS: No announcements

OLD BUSINESS: No old business


  • Voluntary phased retirement program linked to premiums; HR29 Policy #10 – currently are retained at regular employee contribution rate (100% of your former salary) rather than the new, reduced salary. Is there a reason why the premiums couldn’t be reduced alongside salary reductions?

    • only a limited number of people (~ 64 currently) at any one time may be in the phased retirement
    • Currently, when the premiums calculated, there is a snapshot to previous October pay. HR is currently exploring how WorkDay can do instantaneous premium based on what you are actually getting paid. Not just phased retirement – other situations, too. Looking at it for 2019 to do it real-time (every pay period). Can’t do it for 2018 because everything is already rolling.
  • When this is worked out, we should adjust the policy to ensure that this is clearly communicated. Likely can have that conversation in the first quarter of next year.
  • Rec Hall report – informational or A&C?General discussion of whether an informational report should be provided prior to advisory report with general goal to improve transparency. An informational report could be a written report or a presentation by Laura or Damon Sims. General consensus that we need to ensure that faculty perspective/concerns are voiced through the committee. Pacing of informational vs. Advisory might be determined on how quickly things are moving forward on Rec Hall (Erica will check with Laura Hall at meeting following FB meeting on Dec 5th).Ira put forward a motion that was edited by committee. Final version is:In light of the university’s strategic plan on “enhancing health”, we recommend that all final decisions about recreational facilities, including access and fees across the University, including for example, Rec Hall, should be delayed until there is adequate, comprehensive consultation with the faculty.
    Motion Passed.

    Discussion was held about whether it would be important to say that a report is currently being prepared by Faculty Benefits, but consensus was that it would be better to keep it simple.

    Areas of focus for a report could be:

  • Condition extant today
  • What is being proposed changes to facilities
  • Reservations about current changes and that we would expect a response from admin [if Rec Hall has to have limited access, for whatever justified reason, then university ought to compensate with other mechanisms (access on west end of UP)]
  • As a goal, we are looking for open/free access, changes to policyConversation about broadening the report to move beyond Rec Hall issue to focus on wellness/strategic plan issues. Narrow focus on Rec hall may not do us any favors;Key elements of a report could be:
  • Important to say it is not coming out of student dollars.
  • Access vs. Pay = two separate issues.
  • Open access to communities and dependents.
  • Focus on consultation issue = we haven’t been consulted; we’d like to be included.
  • Importance of this topic as faculty benefit?
  • for recruitment/retention
  • competitive advantage for Big10 institution. [Benchmarking important but may have been part of the Rec hall report to President’s Council. Erica will check with Laura what has been done. Do we know what is happening to other campuses? Pros/cons of uniform policy across the entire university?]Join with Student Life? Recreation Life? UPUA?
    Erica will provide a short summary of the discussion with Laura Hall back to Galen and the committee.FT1/life insurance issue –  Issue is that a short-term change in appointment does not negatively influence life insurance; Greg responded that this issue was resolved. It is an issue with the legacy system; in WorkDay, will likely remain as a snapshot for the previous 12 months.CVS/Aetna merger:  HR services group and strategic partners, nothing will change for first half of 2018. If impact, it would be 2019/2020. It is understood that there is a plan to keep businesses separated, which should not influence business as usual. We do have ability to ultimately break contract should deleterious issues arise.

    Location of new meeting for spring semester meetings– Business building; John will explore the options. Galen will talk with Senate for a back-up if needed.

New Business

  • Considering the advent of tax scheme, is there someone who could consult with legal counsel who could advise faculty benefits of the implications? Tuition remission, medical costs, charitable donations. Galen will talk with Nick Jones through FAC to invite someone. Greg is involved with Government and community relations committee; perhaps there is someone in that group who could also come. Differential taxation in undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • John: scope for having the university rethink their retention model, especially as it impacts salary? Is it possible for the Provost to explain the process of how this is being done in a proactive way? What is the overall system for rewarding loyalty and quality? Who are faculty most at risk? Does the provost have a way of assessing this in a systematic way so as to be more strategic? For our salary report: are we benchmarking across the right institutions? Should we consider a different benchmarking system for different colleges/units?  Should Nick Jones or Betty Harper be re-invited to the meeting? There is a strategic opportunity to modify next year’s faculty salary report to decide what other data or analysis might be needed. Look at the impact of VRP?  Contact faculty affairs who has an interest as well. Joint meeting?

The meeting was adjourned at 10:10 am.

Prepared by Erica Smithwick, Vice-Chair
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October 17, 2017

Members Present: William Wenner, Galen Grimes, Greg Stoner, Kathleen Noce, Ira SaltzRenee Borromeo, Mary Beahm, John Liechty, David Post, Geoff Scott

Members Absent:  Peter Jurs, Mark Horn,

Guests:  Laura Hall – Senior Director Campus Recreation, Holley Rochford, Dir., Early Childcare Programs and Services, Murray Nelson, Faculty, Rina Kumar, Assist Project Director, WorkDay, Robin Hass, benefits and Absence Lead;


Approval of Sept 12th meeting minutes approved with no changes


No announcements


No old business


 Update on Status of Childcare

  • HR48 revised as of September 1 (non-policy language and reference to AD39 was removed – no longer relevant to childcare);  minimum health and safety requirements added; changes around first aid and CPR; requires trainings for medical services;  admin person on site; Protocols on misconduct;
  • Childcare is part of HR strategic plan and equity and funding are priority topics.  Nick Jones asked that the funding models be reviewed, using benchmarking and assessing needs for childcare.  This spring will launch university wide survey to gauge people’s needs for childcare to prioritize program development.  Child Care Advisory Committee (CCAC) is working to develop the survey.
  • Important focus is consistency across different management models, particularly with regard to curriculum, given the variety of management models (Kindercare, Bright Horizons, and Montessori (non-profit Altoona), our own centers), with focus also on teacher pay/turnover issues.
  • Affordability.  Sliding scale, benchmarking within community.  For students, we have done well.  Support low-income students (serving 80-100 students/year), esp at campuses.
  • Engagement with faculty/Diversity and Inclusion.  Gaps in knowledge in diversity/inclusion (students being served are more diverse than staff).  Training series for teachers; now more faculty involved who are helping to model appropriate ways of working with children;  integrating diversity and inclusion into the curriculum.  Lunch and learn (Erica Frankenberg) around different topics (raising anti-racist children).
  • Added back-up childcare services at Hershey – run by Bright Horizons.  Utilization not high, but contract likely to be renewed.
  • Fundraising for teacher professional development underway to bring-in external leaders; allow teachers to go to national conferences.

Questions from Faculty:

  • Ira:  are there plans to expand?  Holley: Depends on need; Shenango (lots of student parents) – it’s a need.
  • Galen – what’s the minimum # of children needed to make it profitable?   Holley: 130 children to achieve financial balance.
  • David:  serves community?  Holley:  yes, but we prioritize university parents.  David – what’s the rationale?  Holley:  makes it cheaper to afford it + good stewardship with community.
  • Galen – How much does it cost? $1100/month for infant.
  • John – how much are we spending?   Holley:  $5,000,000 university support– mostly fringe for UP;  $230,000 Behrend. $880,000 combined direct subsidy;

Comment on the Smoke Free report:

  • David: are we approving the goal or specifically the implementation steps?  How feasible will this be to really enforce?
    • Kathleen – has happened in small campuses near us, and no issues
    • Renee – soft enforcement, reminders, and marketing.
  • Prohibits us from brining in recruiters to the business school?  Renee – there is nothing in the recommendations about that.
  • Issue with role of investments? This is an issue for administration and to ask the President.   Galen volunteers to ask the President.
  • What about employees on contract?  Will be negotiated as part of contract.

John:  Issues with recruitment and retention of tenurable faculty – why can’t we retain good people?  What is the role of HR?  Role of compensation?  Role of management?

  • Discussion: Faculty Affairs has been working on this, including gender equity, hiring, etc.
  • Erica mentions that this could be explored partially through the salary report we sponsor. This year just on salary, but we plan to expand the scope of the report in the future. For our next benefits report – can we push the data to unpack more deeply why we are not retaining people?  Are there trends?

Update on the status of Rec Hall

  • Laura Hall – nothing has changed.  David Gray, Nick Jones, and Damon Sims advising the president re: Rec Hall.
  • Laura reviewed the issue: Students voted to create a student-initiated fee that went directly to campus recreation. The change was a result of new operational budget to manage facilities in contemporary and comprehensive manner.  Students paying mandatory $57/student/semester to campus operational purposes.  In addition, facilities fee initiative per year – which completed funded the IM building.  $86 million dollars of that fund went to Recreation facilities over the last 4 years.  The students contribute about 78% of campus recreation budget.  Students paying for access; necessitates us to model usage against fees.  Some faculty and staff paying ($230 annually, or $95 per semester), past 12 years or so, but some faculty were not paying anything, which is an unusual model based on benchmarking.  Then looked at equity-based membership model.  Set faculty/staff rate below market value and at low end of benchmarking fee structure.
  • David: what about the community member fee and the exclusion of minors from recreation facilities (AD73)
    • Last march – access control (3 year project) completed.  Not the norm for facilities to be open carte blanche.
  • John – we force students, thus we should force faculty is the logic, but this is inappropriate because it dissuades people from engaging.  Its divisive.  Makes us look bad to the community.  Galen – there are other fees that we don’t pay.
    • Lauren – was student-led.
  • Geoff – faculty should be encouraged to use the fitness center.  We’re self-insured but discouraging faculty from using facilities.  Forgetting about the bigger picture, we should encourage use of the facilities by faculty, as part of benefit program.
    • General discussion: would more people exercise if it were free?  Supply/demand.  But individual behavior hard to change.
    • Renee:  could be recruitment and retention opportunity if the university could subsidize.
  • Murray – implemented without faculty input.
    • Lauren: was discussed in front of President’s Council, but faculty voice was not loud. No communication back out.  Faculty Senate member on advisory council but there was a communication gap in getting back to this committee.
  • John – recommend subsidy; impact of Rec Hall on brand image.  Iconic place.  Way to get communities/minors into facilities.
    • Kathleen – but how much money have we lost via Sandusky?
    • Lauren – intercollegiate athletic facility, not Student Affairs/rec hall facility.
  • Erica: We can write an informational report now or we can write an advisory and consultative report that speaks to rec hall, faculty input into benefits process.
    • Geoff – benefits committee make sure to keep the focus on benefits related issues.
  • Laura presented data on faculty usage of facilities. $650,000 to run rec hall annually. Proposal is that the President will contribute that fund to keep Rec Hall operational.  Usage of Rec Hall does not match the usage in other facilities nor the % of students.  Rec couldn’t justify spending this amount with so little faculty use.  Hepper Fitness Center has ~1500 student/day vs.  4700 at IM building.  3700/day at white building vs. 110 at Rec Hall.  $650,000 for 38 faculty per day is not sustainable. Lauren will provide the usage data (including Natatorium data) to the committee by end of the week.
  • Murray – alumni association requirement?
    • Lauren:  this is a common model at all Big 10 campuses.
    • John – this would dissuade me.

Update on Work Day – slideshow

Project Update: important dates

Dec 10 – launch (biweekly employees who track time can start doing so); Jan 31 – first paycheck for monthly employees

Nov 1 open enrollments will be through the old system; change the backend – all that data will be running with the new system.

User engagement testing

3 weeks of intensive testing finished.  Approximately 450 users (including WorkLion Faculty Advisory Committee)

5th round of payroll rectification testing happening now.

UET shows positive feedback (intuitive).  Areas of concerns – managers, approving time.  Title changes in IBIS (legacy systems haven’t been updated).  Data clean-up activities – how will they be handled?  HR Shared Services center would handle this.  Neocase case management system will help provide visibility and track issues.


Available starting Oct 23rd.  On demand, online.  Training paths can be found at

Key faculty take-aways

In 2018, faculty will view, enroll, and change benefit elections in Workday
Benefit functionality will be enhanced
Faculty can view and change paymet elections, such as direct depositBeneficiary information might need to be updated because old information not already in legacy system, would be on paper.
Supplemental retirement contributions can be online.

Faculty can designate proxies for time approvals.

Workday Demo was shared with the committee.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:30am .

Prepared by Erica Smithwick, Vice-Chair
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September 12, 2017

Members Present: William Wenner, Galen Grimes, Greg Stoner, Kathleen Noce, Ira Saltz, Geoff Scott, Peter Jurs, Renee Borromeo, Mary Beahm, Peter Jurs, David Post, Mark Horn

Members Absent: Lonnie Golden, Cassandra Kitko (resource), John Leichty

Guests: Katie Jordan – UPUA, Brent Rice – UPUA, Laura Hall – Senior Director Campus Recreation, Diane Andrews – Associate VP for Student Affairs, Jaclyn Butler – Office of Planning and Assessment, Laurie Hancock – Office of Planning and Assessment; Associate Director of Planning and Institutional Research, Lu Sun, Office of Planning and Assessment


April 25th meeting minutes approved with no changes


No new announcements


No old business


Review of charges – revised August 3, 2017

  1. University contribution per income bracket
  2. Cost increase
  3. Salary Report

Butler: For the upcoming report, plan is to reproduce old report (easiest); after that point, it is a new opportunity for restructuring the report (bi-annual; with alternate years involving more analytics).  Opportunity to understand trends and look at longitudinal trends; reinvigorate the data to give it more meaning.

Current report will be completed by January 2018 so that it will be ready for agenda on April 2018 meeting.

Jurs – balance between data and things that matter;  utility is snapshot of data across university to see trends and equity disparities.  Challenge is to find actionable data.

Grimes/Beahm – WorkLion will help make this easier (portal for data) – more user-friendly

Borromeo – all data is important for different sectors of the community.

Also important across institutions;

Executive summary report (public) + full report behind Box to ensure all data was accessible to the blind.

Scott – communication about where the full report lies is going to be and how to access it is important.

Horn – Summer supplement – is it reported?  No – focus on base salary, 9th month equivalent.  Useful for recruitment for faculty – research potential?

Butler – AAUDE; faculty compensation survey do not contain this

TPA and Time to Choose

Galen working on this – should be ready in the next couple weeks.

Informational report

Status of Child Care

Erica will reach out to Holley Rochford to prepare for fall meeting (aim for December)

Health coverage when traveling abroad

Erica: Discussions with global programs to co-sponsor;  Galen will do this

How will this change with Aetna?

Healthcare Insurance Update – Greg Stoner

  • Handout provided that provides overview of TPA changes as well as 2018 Health Care Plan
    • Medical – Aetna
    • Pharmacy – CVS Caremark
    • HSA – HealthEquity
    • Life & Disability Carrier– Unum

Introduces short-term disability program – important especially to those that don’t have leave options (e.g., new hires) because LTD doesn’t kick in for 180 days.

Stoner: Benefits – Online tools, fees, negotiated rates; Main savings from negotiated contracts with providers

General questions from the committee:

Disruption of provider network unlikely overlaps so much with Aetna and Highmark (BlueCross); if you are receiving care from UPMC/Highmark it will be accepted until June 30 2019; afterwards, Highmark will be closed. Mt Nittany Medical Group and Aetna negotiated through 2020 (end of contract).  Confident that through life of contract, the University is minimizing risk of disruptions. Where there were disruptions – that list was provided to Aetna with expectation that this will be pursued.  DocFinder – can search by name, zipcode

Differences in formulary – will be getting letter in mail – new prescription may be necessary, or you can do prior authorization

Can do mail order program and have it delivered to store/home.

UHS relationship?  Will be able to continue to use; especially for speciality drugs

What happens to the 35 million dollar university savings?  stem the tide in cost of healthcare for the university; reinvest;  hard to say how it will affect specific plan design/premiums, etc.

Additional questions on FAQ webpage – feed questions to Benefits/HR

  • On Campus meetings – CVS Caremark representations and Aetna providers will be present; member service line should be available in October. Aetna line is live September 1 (Greg will ensure this is on  If answers still not available – HR can help liase to get answer.
  • Continuing line of communication important to ensure they are meeting unique needs of university; Should FB sponsor some recommendations about what to measure and monitor moving forward?
  • Health Care Plan Design. Guiding principles for Health Care Plan for 2018 based on report in March 2017; reduction in premiums for Blue, some increases in HSA.  Plan design changes made BEFORE decision to use Aetna as TPA

Scorecards to measure and monitor – use of data warehouse; use the FB committee to decide what to do with the data;  what items we could be reporting/monitoring to ensure these TPA change are meeting the needs of the university

  • Update on Quest – can save significant money to employee and university but may be underutilized (geographical gaps, awareness). 30% of labs are processed currently.
  • Update on Truven Data Warehouse – data analyst at HR who would be in charge of this; has been approved by Office of Information Security

JCIB Report– does not have benchmark to other institutions and income brackets

  • Another report later in the year to add this information – but not practical by October to get this data. In future years can be added to JCIB report.
  • Senate should provide feedback by Friday to Renee, Erica, and Galen in order for the existing report to be ready by October meeting.

Smoke Free/Tobacco Free Task Force – Renee Borromeo

-Renee reviewed the motivation for the report and the recommendations

-Outreach to new students, alums, football
-Direction to new smoking cessation programs; at least one point person on each campus to act as a Smoking Cessation resource person
-Smoking cessation penalty has gone away; it didn’t work

-Discussion about how to market this for future issues and be positive peer support while encompassing all potential issues

-Enforcement is through culture change (not penalty/fees).  Soft enforcement. Success may not be 100%, but this is the issue that received the most ‘kick-back’

-Health benefits/wellness to be used as part of marketing?  Greg:  depends on study, 3-4k/yr more expensive in terms of claims.  Discussion of whether to emphasize this in the presentation of the report.

-Contract negotiation in 2020 with Teamsters can happen only after it becomes policy.

-Differentiated impact on different socio-economic classes

-To senators, entire report + appendices will be made available, but public version will not have the appendices

-Jurs;  motion that it will be supported and put forward the report to the Senate

-Is the university prepared to come up with a response to other necessary behavioral changes such as soda, fast food?  Discussion: Separate but important issue.

-How social change happens through soft enforcement – there is literature on this (D. Post)

-Saltz Seconded.

All in favor.  Approved.

Rec Hall closing

Concerns were raised through communications to the committee about the fate of Rec Hall.  Key concerns = Fee being implemented; closed to community

  • Reasons for concern is that it is an important faculty benefit; long history of usage at UP; it is unclear how it will affect the faculty and broader community.
  • Larger issue – what’s the role of faculty/privatization? Land grant university.
  • Insurance/Liability issues? Safety in locker room

Are these issues any different than, say, for the Library?

Erica – we should separate the two issues:

(1) getting faculty involved in student affairs decisions at a governance level because the Rec facilities benefit faculty
(2) What to do about Rec Hall?

Should we benchmark across other campuses?  (appears to be lots of different fee/access structures across the campuses represented on the committee)

There may be a misperception of how these things are funded (from student fees – if students are paying, aren’t faculty supposed to as well?)

Draft of statement to read following Murray Nelson’s Statement on the Senate floor:

“FB is concerned about the implementation of this policy without adequate consultation with FB committee as it relates to faculty benefits and wellness, which has not occurred to date.  We would urge reconsideration, with proper consultation, before any policy is implemented.  We had a productive and informative meeting with Student Affairs, Campus Recreation and UPUA this morning and have offered to work with these and other relevant groups to provide a report to the Senate that reflects the justification for potential changes, their impact on faculty benefits, and in the context of a land grant institution that must also serve its students and community.”

Update from invited guests suggests that senior leadership still in discussion;

Concerns for Campus Recreation is that there are 3 different situations that are colliding:

  • Campus Recreation supervision to meet national standards and best practices; What is the relative role of resource/needs; future use IC athletics, recreation, and kinesiology;  Complex facility to supervise adequately.
  • Community usage – AD73 (turnstiles; controlled access)
  • Student initiated fee; UPUA involved; completed substantial benchmarking of peer institutions; concerned with general health and wellness for students and had changed the model for students that each student pays a recreation fee rather than gym membership; Use additional space, equipment, increase capacity. Student fees have paid for initial building phases for IM facilities – so IM should get priority for use.
  • Also, inherent inequity in previous model – 700 faculty purchasing membership for some activities but not all. Others able to use it for free.  Those paying subsidizing those who don’t.

200 cap set in place for community members to evolve/grow at pace.  Join the alumni association ($75) + $500 annually ($50/month) – but now this fee provides access to all facilities.

Advisory Council has Michelle Duffy (kinesiology) who currently represents faculty – can FB be part of that advisory council as needed?

Can FB help prepare a report that summarizes the justification for the decision and recommendations for moving forward?

The meeting was adjourned at 10:55am .

Prepared by Erica Smithwick, Vice-Chair
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April 25, 2017

Members Present:  Renee Borromeo, Greg Stoner, Willie Ofoso, Peter Jurs, Susan Basso, Erica Smithwick, Amy Dietz, Ken Brentner, Victor Brundsen, Jamie Myers

Members Absent:  Cassandra Kitko, James Miles

Guests: None


Approval of minutes from 21 March 2017; no edits or changes.


Announcements from FB Chair, Renee Borromeo

Faculty salary – 5 min; potentially too onerous a report for Office of Planning and Assessment, but we need this transparency – will need to discuss process moving forward. Should it become easier with new HR system? (once transitioned); changing faculty titles – might be difficult to track. Something that should be changed in the formatting or substance of report – item to include in next year FB plan

Additional programs (e.g. Silver Sneakers; gym reimbursements); Greg – yes, we have lots of these opportunities through Highmark (HealthWays); need to work on communication and will raise the issue for 2018. Likely to continue under new TPA. Shingles vaccine? Eligibility at 50 or 60 years? Highmark preventive schedule says 60.

Announcements from JCIB – Jamie Myers

JCIB recommends that TPA steering committee provide brief rationale on recommendations to senior leadership to JCIB and FB. Letter in summer to all employees (hard copy) from HR, even with continuation of current.


No old business.


  1. Reports for April plenary session:
    1. 2018 Penn State Medical/Rx Plan Design and Cost Sharing
      Greg will focus on guiding principles and role of the different committees in holding each other accountable. 75/25 guiding principle was well-underway early this year, so HR was able to meet this for each plan. Will also review other changes (Tobacco surcharge – not enforceable; not effective). Not about restricting liberties; rather how do we collectively manage health and have intrinsic motivation to make better choices. Will be able to track higher paid employee. Lower employee could still cover dependents (flexibility will still exist). Generic substation rule – “dispensed as written” means no penalty for not making this choice. Goal is to bring consistency between two plans. Focus on deductibles and HSA seed. Ken/Peter – emphasize system (plan system) focus on 75/25 split. University making 2.75 million dollar investment to get to that balance.
  2. Faculty Salary Report (C1)
    Tables are there. Access to box for Senators. Senators are allowed to distribute, as we understand. No new surprises – no expectation for significant discussion.
  • Email from Professor Geoffrey Scott – discussion

Critique: Older people who are making more money are being discriminated against (seed money; life insurance)

Can’t be in HSA and be in medicare after retirement?

When expressed as % of income – lower paid employees still paying a higher amount

Erica: are there changes in the flex plan that could offer more flexibility?

Greg: Flex plan contribution federal maximum has gone up a little (now $2600) – so this could change; there is a $500 rollover

Critique: Seed being given every year; should just be one-time gift

Jamie – not direct financial benefit because it is part of the share in that plan design;

Greg – there are tax advantages, no doubt. But, to retain that parity, the seed is included. If that goes away, the premiums would have to change. Comes down to risk tolerance.

Jamie – average utilization costs as anticipated are larger; seed brings it back down to 25%

Erica – you could be at risk at any year if you spend out your HSA. Could need that seed in year 3 or 4 (not just year 1)

Susan – we should invite him in to meet with the HR team.

Erica – shows that there is a lingering miscommunication issue.

Ken – shows that individual cases may not easily be communicated. Need to better communicate the overarching principles and guidelines.

Susan – there is a need to seek explanation and that’s great. Accusations of discrimination are not justified, but we should discuss it.

Victor – there is a high proportion of people here who weren’t asked to dance at high school.

Renee – who is the ‘high touch’ person with whom we should put folks in contact.

Susan – it depends on the audience; teamsters would have a very different opinion.

Peter – we’ve had even opposite conversations for people over $140k!

Ken – it’s not an income argument; it’s a fairness argument.

Greg – if you go up to the higher level; those individuals would be paying 70-80% of cost of plan through payroll deduction. Negative incentive to accept such a plan and would not come to Penn State.

Peter – less than complete understanding of risk pools/insurance principles; fairness trickles down to pools of people. We’ve made good progress getting plans to adhere. There would be objections at other levels of analysis. More forums for discussions?

Susan – always here to do that, and already are.

Critique – life insurance reductions at higher age brackets is unfair

Greg – as individuals age, the likelihood of you passing increases dramatically so company needs to reduce risk to themselves. Some companies might underwrite this risk, but it’s not common. The costs for the employee might be significantly higher. Also, there should be less of a need for insurance at higher age brackets and debts should be lowered.

Susan – insurance industry preys on this age group; what’s the purpose? Better to invest in people’s salaries, perhaps.

Ken – could be sound reasons at the individual level. Rather, it’s a collective decision that as compensation goes up, there is more flexibility, lower need, or more options.

Willie – can’t get away from what the insurance industry is doing.

Ken – should make decisions within those bounds and be clear.

Erica – should there be benchmarking or other communications.

Susan – maybe this committee could lead a report. We have made significant changes

Greg – we could ask questions through the RFP process. Better options are unlikely

Renee – maybe we should focus on this in a short report for next year (even if the recommendation is no change)

Susan – in terms of total compensation, what do people value (salary vs. benefits)

Collective answer: YES!

Ken – people I represent don’t get asked those questions.

Susan – big health care survey a couple years ago. Reported back to Senate.

Ken – important that even more outreach/feedback was provided

Jamie/Susan – there were personal identifiers that hadn’t yet been stripped – so we need to check to see if those are still there and should be posted

Renee will write a response to Prof. Scott.   Will suggest that he communicate directly with HR.

Maybe we should keep the 75/25 in front of people more. Put on the fliers/website in the Time to Choose period.

  • Wrap Up of 2016-17 year in Faculty Benefits
    Renee – Thank you! Lots of good work!
  • Ideas for 2017-18 year in Faculty Benefits

[Copied notes From March 21, 2017:

  • GAP Insurance – likely less an issue with change in 2018 plans; The committee could make a decision that this is not an effective strategy moving forward.
  • Data Warehouse
  • Faculty Leave Policy
  • Travel Insurance and Faculty Travel policies and information; joint report with Global Programs? Global programs lead the report – FB could consult and co-sponsor?
  • Issues with regard to; separate benefit/insurance need; difference between levels of travel; difference between students and faculty
  • New and revised HR policy harmonization; update new member informational worksheet
  • New Health care plans: explanations before time to choose. Likely need to present to new faculty senators, and/or address any issues with regard to new TPA, etc.
  • Updates on walk-in clinic; utilization? Effectiveness?
  • Tobacco/Smoking Task Force might be completed – Presidential task force – not necessarily a FB topic. Or, broaden to wellness strategies in general. Link to strategic planning initiatives (e.g., Stewarding Resources Committee) for healthy and sustainable eating/choices (e.g., Pepsi, beef)]

Current discussion:

Committee recommends not to include focus on Gap Insurance.

Livable salary/minimum wage

International travel health policies – joint with global programs

Vaccine/emergency plan/action plan (e.g., measles)

Childcare report – focus on other campuses; affordability for students and postdocs; access

HR Policy harmonization – consolidating, streamlining – get socialized in the FB committee first.

Do advisory and consultative on those changes.

December – sponsor report on Quest diagnostic services

WorkLion – 2017 release (sept or dec); budget well-managed.

Informational report around Time To Choose; new TPA

Prescription drug provider; formulary changes

Network changes

Utilization tools (phone)

Walk-in Clinic (hours); wellness center

Data warehouse

Smoke-free campus; bring through Senate council to sponsor a report

The meeting was adjourned at 10:07 am
Notes prepared by Erica Smithwick
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March 14, 2017 (Rescheduled for March 21, 2017)

Members Present: Renee Borromeo, Cassandra Kitko, Greg Stoner, Willie Ofoso, Ken Brentner, Erica Smithwick, Amy Dietz, James Miles, Victor Brundsen, Jamie Myers, Peter Jurs, Susan Basso, Jamie Myers

Members Absent:  None

Guests: Jackie Butler – Faculty Salary report

Approval of minutes from 24 January 2017; no edits or changes.


Susan Basso presented at Officers and Chairs meeting – went well.
Question arose as to whether we want to support the 2018 Medical/Rx plan presentation through our committee or administratively – will discuss today

JCIB reviewed the 2018 model and had majority but not unanimous faculty support for 4-tier 2018 benefit plan – will discuss today

So far there appear to be no legal concerns reported about charging rate for higher paid spouse for dual-hired PSU faculty; this is likely to remain

No old business.


Susan Basso – Faculty Senate WorkLion/Workday update

  • HR Transformation Process: Workday (Human Capital Mgt/Payroll); Neocase (HR Portal, inquiry management, knowledge base) – replaces ESSIC
    • Self-service portal; streamline and consistency of process; documentation of inquiries
  • Key Impacts
    • Faculty will use Workday to view, enroll, change benefit elections
    • Change payment elections, such as direct deposits
    • Faculty managers will have additional responsibilities for approving time worked and time off requests (more rigor); some of these can be delegated
    • One stop shop for on-boarding for faculty hires;
    • Employee profile will have details about the faculty’s academic appointment; Academic units can roll up to create an academic hierarchy view for leadership
    • Working with Global Programs to bring some of the visa process into HR as part of onboarding and employee management
  • Additional changes
    • Multiple direct deposits will become possible
    • Designate own beneficiary information; upload dependent verifications
    • Secure, and role-based; significant vetting by internal units and externally trusted
  • Timeframes
    • June 11 go live target; Jan-May testing underway (user, payroll, end-to-end)
    • WorkLion Ambassadors; end-user training (prior to summer)
    • Shared Services Center – June-Oct transition
  • 3 questions to be posed today in Forensic:   Can you provide insights in order to assist training? Communication or tools for faculty for effective change management? What other issues or concerns do you have?
  • Questions from committee:
    • Ken: concerns about new roles being assigned to faculty, particularly with regard to hourly wage; Susan: these can be designated; Ken: faculty need to know what they are responsible for or how it will be delegated.
    • Jamie: include workstudy? Susan will check.
    • Susan: still important for people in upcoming retirement program.
    • Ken: State mandated reporting? Susan: IBIS still around; but she will explore. [addendum – she explored and the answer is yes…it is included in WorkDay now]
    • Susan: WorkLion is the brand; WorkDay is the system

2018 Plan – presentation by Greg Stoner

Good meeting with JCIB last night; incorporation of feedback from JCIB; FSBC, and HCAC related to existing structures. 2018 plan based on the following;

  • Preserve existing structures of PPO Blue and PPO Savings
    • Abandon introduction of Health Reimbursement Account in PPO Blue
    • Keep changes manageable; do not create more complexity
  • Focus on deductibles, premiums, and HSA seed based on guiding principles from March 2016 meeting
  • Communicate to educate; how the plans actually work and who is paying what (premiums, deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, etc).
  • 4 Tiers of deductible based on salary;
    • 75/25 split in aggregate is goal; not on quartile level
    • Deductibles
      • Of the 25% employee cost; 10-15% comes from either out of pocket contribution vs. premium contributions. Just 5% difference in total cost plan for the employer – their choice for risk.
    • Penn State will be contributeing2.7 million dollars to ensure this balance is met in PPO Blue; i.e., the PPO Blue plan is still below 75/25; to get to 75% Penn State has to subsidize
    • Slide 16: Premiums – lower the premiums under PPO Blue and raise premiums in Savings to get 75/25; but, still the premium contributions are significantly reduced for Savings (even at the highest tier, still about half of those in the PPO Blue)
      • Reminder to communicate to faculty that the remaining premium difference can be put towards HSA towards the federally allowed cap
      • Reducing taxable income, too
      • Although this plan is salary-based, there is some experience/use/age gradation for all retirees under 65
    • Slide 17: Total OOP costs between plans, driven by average utilization; on average, OOP Blue would see decreases of 9 to 12% for all tiers; Savings would see decreases, except for >$90k
    • Average values may not be best way to represent the distribution of utilization values – use median? Committee generally considered that this would be a better way to represent
    • Slide 18: Total OOP Costs as percent of salary (including utilization); Greg: we are creating more parity in general
      • ACA employer paid or play rule – roughly 10% of income for premiums alone. By this comparison, the plans are very reasonable.
      • Jamie: subtracting OOP and premium cost percentages; do these include the drug deductible? Yes; do this include the HSA seed? Not sure. If so, these may seem artificially high because really the seed might cover a good portion of this – especially at the lowest tier.
    • Eliminate tobacco surcharge
      • Aligns with Presidential task force
      • <60 have responded affirmatively (only 0.1% of total premiums collected)
    • Add soft generic substitution rule to PPO Savings plan – new restriction
        • Would pay 20% of allowed cost rather than 10%
        • Vs. hard (would pay 20% of brand + true difference) – we are NOT doing that
        • Put “dispense as written” on script to ensure that this is on new and existing prescription drug claims
        • This would be the same rule as is presently in the PPO Blue Plan
        • Erica: if there is a needed behavior change – please provide a list to us as to what we should be telling our doctor (including Quest, etc.)
      • Should we discuss the two-tier version? Same outcome with regard to 75/25.
        • JCIB thinks the equity is better achieved with the 4-tier model.
        • No additional support for two-tier model was discussed.
        • General committee support for 4 tier model; 1 abstention
    • Should we sponsor this report? Yes – unaminous. Should it be forensic or informational? How to better communicate these changes? Renee will discuss with Jim with plan for informational report. Need written introduction to present to Senate Council. Renee will provide template: guiding principles; main messages/goals/principles/changes; list of what tables/topics will be presented. Ken: ensure that the plan provider decision is a separate decision. Jamie: communicate that cost of TPA is NOT part of this expense.
  • Faculty Salary ReportErica: what will need to be changed in future reports if we vote to change titles today?
    Jackie: Goal for Informational gathering – who is using it? Is there a better way to present? How is it being used? Maybe the changes in titles makes this a good time for reviewing the goals. Renee: likely lots of individual usage.Jamie: is there a narrative included?
    Jackie: Yes, there is a separate a summary document.Tables will only be on Box because of unresolved accessibility issues.
    Changes to report would be due by Friday. Likely to be online or informational/read-only
  • Future Plans for next year
    • GAP Insurance – likely less an issue with change in 2018 plans; The committee could make a decision that this is not an effective strategy moving forward.
    • Data Warehouse
    • Faculty Leave Policy
    • Travel Insurance and Faculty Travel policies and information; joint report with Global Programs? Global programs lead the report – FB could consult and co-sponsor?
      • Issues with regard to; separate benefit/insurance need; difference between levels of travel; difference between students and faculty
    • New and revised HR policy harmonization; update new member informational worksheet
    • New Health care plans: explanations before time to choose. Likely need to present to new faculty senators, and/or address any issues with regard to new TPA, etc.
    • Updates on walk-in clinic; utilization? Effectiveness?
    • Tobacco/Smoking Task Force might be completed – Presidential task force – not necessarily a FB topic. Or, broaden to wellness strategies in general. Link to strategic planning initiatives (e.g., Stewarding Resources Committee) for healthy and sustainable eating/choices (e.g., Pepsi, beef)

The meeting was adjourned at 10:40am

Notes prepared by Erica Smithwick

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January 24, 2017

Members Present: Renee Borromeo, Cassandra Kitko, Greg Stoner, Willie Ofoso, Ken Brentner, Erica Smithwick, Amy Dietz, James Miles, Victor Brundsen, Jamie Myers

Members Absent:  Susan Basso, Peter Jurs

Guests: None

Approval of December 6 meeting minutes.

  • Erica moved to change names of specific providers to “medical and prescription drug TPAs”

Approved as amended, by voice vote.


  • Implications of repeal of ACA: may be upcoming issue
  • Task Force for TPA selection moving along; might want to bring guests to FB meeting in advance of march meeting to provide update
  • WorkLion representatives as guests for next meeting
  • Smoking Task Force – progress of the group ready to be shared by April
  • New Member document/recommendations resent to CC&R for implementation
  • JCIB (Jamie Myers) – 4 topics were discussed
    Brainstorming healthplan design for 2018
    Review of Quest lab services; in early fall, FB should sponsor report for first year review
    Minimum wage at Penn State


  • Salary cap/justice issues – FB should sponsor a specific report on the cap; description of the choices/balancing issues and recommendations for that choice (Jamie explained that the small percentage of people (raising cap from 140 to 270k) would only generate $1.5 million; would not offset much at lower end of tier and would mean these folks pay 40% of plan – difficult for recruitment due to market considerations). General discussion that these kinds of considerations need to be articulated and communicated to faculty, particularly other ways in which lower income salary bracket folks are being assisted.
  • Spousal/partner fairness issue (going away) but needs to be explained/communicated.


Reports for the January 24th, 2017 Senate Meeting

  • The Senate Committee on Faculty Benefits, The Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits, and the Health Care Advisory Committee: Coordination of Duties – no additional concerns or discussion
  • Recommendations for Third Party Administrator (TPA) Choice for Penn State Medical and Prescription Drug Coverage – no additional concerns or discussion

Reports for Upcoming Meetings

    • It can take months/years for new members of the PPO Savings to build up a substantial Health Savings Account. Such accounts can also be wiped out with longer-term chronic illnesses. Could Gap Insurance be a possible solution (A4)
      • Implication that plan design is not fair/equitable. Is this really true?
      • Is there data to show that this is an issue (how many people are at risk? Based on available data, how many have met their max out of pocket vs. their deductible savings)
      • Details about these plans are unclear; what are the options, even? Limit to deductible? Are there other products or solutions (e.g., HSA seeding)?
      • Premature to talk about until we understand what the 2018 plan design might be
      • For catastrophic/critical illness policies – there are other options; Employee Assistance Fund (endowment; HR manages); payment plans; loans on 403b (not advised, but possible).
      • Communication as an issue in general; can these current options be explained better to faculty?
      • Greg: HR could do more homework on the options, but it would be based on this year’s plan design
      • Informational Report on Gap/avoiding health risk options generally (and communicating these) might be needed, but general agreement that it would make more sense to do this in conjunction with 2018 plan. Renee will talk with Chair Strauss
    • Sponsor Susan Basso for an Informational Report on WorkLion (A.10)
      • Goes live July 1; need to initiate roll-out process (March)
        • Communicate there is a rigorous process, different consultation group, lessons have been learned from other systems (LionPath, Canvas)
        • Should be a Forensic Report – what else would help you? (Feb 3)
      • Will also come to Commonwealth Caucus (April meeting)
    • Faculty Salary Report (informational/online?) – April
      • No changes recommended by the committee, so plan is to repeat the format.
      • Betty Harper oversees it.
    • International travel insurance
      • Cassandra is working on website update to update faculty on options currently available (including for dependents)
      • Is part of the 2018 plan design discussions
    • Discussion of articles on Price Transparency and Health Care Costs;      -Go to the wrong hospital and you are 3 times more likely to die; -Quality ratings for health care
        • Data warehouse; Currently have some access to TPA analysis (selected). Now, also using Truven as contracting agency; April launch? Will allow Penn State to have ability to do own analysis, not just dependent on TPA or consultants. Should help Penn State choose resources wisely because able to see where the money is being spent, any issues, etc. – Report for next year?
        • Highmark tool – quality and cost – already exists, but hard to communicate to users. Also not perfect because quality/quantity not always linked.
        • Continue to consider ways to build in checks/balances to monitor rates
        • Better ways to communicate Penn State vs. consumer costs? Year-end statement?
        • Quality-based rankings of hospitals (web-based search tools) – likely an increasing trend.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:47 a.m.
Prepared by Erica Smithwick

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December 6, 2016

Members Present: Renee Borromeo, Erica Smithwick, Peter Jurs, Victor Brundsen, Cassandra Kitko, Greg Stoner, Jamie Myers, Willie Ofoso, Susan Basso, Mark Horn (arrived at 10)

Members Absent:  Amy Dietz, James Miles

Guests: Paula Milone-Nuzzo

Motion to approve the meeting minutes of October 18, 2016; Willie Ofoso moved; Jamie Myers second, Minutes approved at 8:34

No announcements

A.2. Smoking policy report
Who wants to be on the Tobacco Free Policy Task Force?  Erica agreed to serve.

Penn State Employee Health and Wellness Center Update – Paula Milone-Nuzzo

      • To be presented today at Dec 06 full Senate meeting
      • Part of university strategy;
      • UP initiative – hope to scale up to other campuses
      • Reflects fact that there are services for students, but not staff/faculty/postdocs
      • Episodic care as priority; focus is on illness care in employee population; does not replace primary care
      • Plan to include wellness activities in the future
      • Will be in first floor of Nursing Sciences Building, on College Ave.; construction almost completed; 4 total exam rooms.
      • Can be drop-in, even if visiting faculty
      • If Hershey, your records will be linked (Electronic Medical Record); if not Hershey, will send report to your provider
      • If you need xray or prescription, can be sent to Student Health Services
      • 7:30-5pm, opens Jan 3
      • 3 NPs (jointly appointed by College of Nursing and Hershey); 1 Hershey physician 3 sessions/wk
      • NOT to replace occupational medicine; NOT for emergency situation; NOT for retirees or dependents
      • Outreach/communication about the center still needed
      • Willie asked: convenience of primary care services as future goal? Paula – not prepared to handle this yet, but can work with primary care physician on regular management of chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes management).
      • Payment plan will follow same rules as whatever your current Penn State plan
      • Center will initially be evaluated based on patient satisfaction and overall cost of care measures; will eventually look at wellness and quality measures.
      • Only walk-in for now.

General discussion

      • Cassandra: common themes: stress mgt, chronic disease mgt; fitness/exercise; emotional well-being. There will be program from that center directly as well as referred programs. Possibility of having student coach to be paired with faculty for coaching. Nutrition coaching from Highmark is now discontinued. Victor expressed concern about this. Cassandra confirmed it was one of the most successful programs. But, we will leverage campus experts to provide a new service. Also provides an engaged learning experience for students.
      • Renee: will nursing students be involved. Paula – yes. Nursing students for chronic illness issues; other campus students for other activities related to nutrition/wellness.
      • Greg: connecting this care to clinical partners – will be important to catch gaps in care. Long term scaling potential is high.
      • Willie Ofosu – is this a model used at other universities? Paula – not ubiquitous. Cassandra mentioned that the team visited other similar clinics, which was key to getting it right for this institution. Penn State Hershey physicians have been involved in the discussion.
      • Mark Stevens, the Hershey Physician, is incredible – goal was to recruit hot-shot physicians/clinicians/diagnosticians
      • General discussion about what to include at today’s meeting: Jamie reminds the importance of piloting at UP but scaling to campuses; Susan mentioned the importance of linking to other wellness programs like Smoking Cessation.

Susan – focus is on communication. Ready for March Senate meeting.

Erica; Important that difference in process from LionPATH is communicated.

Susan: Faculty advisory group is involved. It’s like shopping on amazon. New HR portal, cloud-based. Will recognize you and organize your home page.

HR transforming in major ways; shared service center in Innovation Park. Only strategic HR people embedded in units. Whole structure is moving. The bulleted report that the provost presents to Presidential FAC (on website) is a good resource for Faculty to keep up to date about these changes.

A.9. Childcare
Erica and Susan will stand to share Child care informational report at today’s meeting.

Susan: Expected topics that may arise from today’s meeting?


– differences between sliding scale; set monthly rates vs. daily;
– Demand increasing; how to afford/scale to other campuses?
– Issues related to accessibility

A.3. RFP/TPA considerations
Renee: Informational report to be presented today which presents the qualitative and quantitative metrics. Chair Strauss would still like A&C report that endorses that the Steering Committee evaluate a tiered plan model.

General discussion about the pros/cons. What are the deficits/benefits of having an A&C given that the process is moving forward? What if we say we want tiered providers, but it is not cost-effective? Could we do this in a way to show that Faculty Senate is supporting the process in which these are considered? Maybe a good idea to express support for steering committee as what is best for faculty. There are a lot of issues at play, including that a strong Hershey partnership does not account for everyone. A narrow recommendation may put us in a box, as we need opportunities to explore the options. We are not best educated/informed committee to make that decision, and the Senate probably should not presume to have the ability to that decision.

-Jamie – could we explore ability of an educational statement?

-Peter/Erica: we should support the process (open/communicative); and not get into details.

-Susan: would a forensic session be helpful?

General consensus that the Senate is not well-educated enough to appreciate it.

Greg: There are two continuing issues: role of Penn State Health, and access in the Western part of PA Additionally, there are issues with regard to savings to be had, but the mechanics are not that simple. Conversation should in fact first be with Mt. Nittany. 1/3 of total expense (comparing Mt Nittany and Hershey, Mt Nittany is the highest – critical mass – and the majority of users do not use Hershey.) Can we get hometown discount assuredly? Penn State Health is still profit driven. Pinnacle deal falling through with Hershey exacerbates issue. Broaden conversation with Geisinger/MT Nittany, and seek western provider – who is establishing this network – how do we partner with Aetna, Highmark. Or, we just go to these providers directly. What are the key areas of profitability and how can we negotiate. We should be exploring options such as bundled pricing reimbursement, when lifecycle rate of that event is set. We are better positioned to have these direct conversations in the near term. As we get more information about the Commonwealth, we can explore this. Allegheny Health Network and UPMC as western counterpart to Highmark.

General consensus to affirm/support the explanation/communication and process. Steering committee is looking for provider that is able to give us best overall plan;

Would a supplement informational report be helpful, showing that innovative strategies need to be explored? Useful if not prescriptive, but rather one that reinforces the importance of exploring innovative strategies to leverage Penn State Health and other providers. Puts Senate ahead of the issue.

Political value in doing something. The issue is festering and benefits should take the lead.

Renee will draft A&C report in favor of the process.

A.4. Gap Insurance (A&C) (January/March)

Greg: this is being explored (cover some of deductible); part of an overall 2018 strategy for plan design.

Susan: uncertainty about federal government transition makes a prescriptive plan unclear. There is also a psychology of over-insuring that needs to be acknowledged, given that often it is not needed.

Greg: end of spring, 2018 health plan should ready to communicate. Gap decisions should be incorporated at that time.

Move this to April meeting? Yes.

A.5. Roles of FB, JCIB, HCAC (January 2017)
Jamie has previously described this, but not written down. There is not really a hierarchy – but a collaborative, 3-pronged approach.

Jamie agreed to write up this summary.

C.1. Faculty salary report (April 2017)
Not discussed

Mark Horn explored sabbatical health benefits. Travel Safety Network/GeoBlue. Students are covered through HPH. Faculty covered, but family is not. Formula to calculate.

Can there be a cost savings for included dependents in sabbatical-related coverage?

Travel clinic – now cancelled. Primary care physician can be more expensive.

Cassandra working on it. Risk Management is developing a new plan for faculty.

A.1. New Members form – done

A.8. JCIB report – done

A.6. Health Care Plan Updates – done

The meeting was adjourned at 10:34 AM.
Notes prepared by Erica Smithwick

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October 18, 2016

Members Present:  Renee Borromeo, Erica Smithwick, Peter Jurs, Victor Brundsen, James Miles, Cassandra Kitko, Amy Dietz, Greg Stoner, Jamie Myers, Mark Horn

Members Absent:  None

Gary Scheidecker, PSU OHR
Rick Branco, TIAA

On phone from Cammack:
Jeff Levy
Elina Babadzhanova
Diana Lettera
Mike Webb

Motion to approve the meeting minutes of September 2016 meeting; Victor Brundsen moved; seconded; Minutes approved at 8:34


Announcements from the Chair- none

Announcements from JCIB
–Issue of salary cap on premiums of health care plans
–Will review claims data that justifies increases in retirement health care plan costs (for people who are retired but not yet 65).

No old business


Investment Management fees under the Alternate Retirement Plan/TDAs
From last meeting, some concern about this.

Mike Webb presents overview of slide presentation

Current State

      • fees generally decreasing (more than 50% over last 5 years; benchmarked well against other academic peers)
      • investment fees per 10k across different index funds typically between 4 and 12$ per year; individual can choose index funds or TIAA lifecycle index (in which TIAA sets these for the individual; a tad more expensive, was $12, but just dropped, so now only 10 basis points ($10).
      • There are funds that are more expensive (TIAA Real Estate Fund, for example is $88.50 per $10k invested, highest). Yet, less than 1% (100$) is still considered very good.
      • There are other thresholds that can further reduce the fees; once the plan reaches these high benchmarks, the index funds can have lower fees;

How did we get here?  The process.

      • Retirement Oversight Committee works to optimize the plan continuously. Meets quarterly.  Includes representatives from faculty and independent experts (Cammack Retirement)
      • Enhancements adopted by the committee include recordkeeping consolidation, new low-cost investment lineup, fee reductions, participant revenue credits, recordkeeper services (onsite meeting and wealth management services), operational efficiencies (overhaul of the plan’s loan program). Example:  Vanguard Extended Market Index fund being reduced from 7 basis points to 5 (third investment in the array with an expensive ratio of 5 basis points or less)
      • Driver of success/growth may be due to these lower fee portfolios (outpacing national benchmarks and peers)

Moving Forward

      • Litigation threats/scrutiny of higher ed retirement plans means this focus on fees will need to continue to be state-of-the-art
      • The offer of a low-cost investment array; the asset-weighted expense ratio is 40 basis points (still competitive, but room for improvement).
      • Many participants invest in legacy TIAA variable annuities with higher basis points (25.5 to 88.5; still low cost relative to peers); These funds were implemented many years ago, and cannot be moved without individual consent, so any Penn State effort to restrict basis points in array could only be done in a prescriptive way. Frozen vs. active funds might add confusion.  Fifty percent of Penn State’s holding are in legacy funds; variable annuities used to be the only choice for older employees.
      • TIAA Real Estate is a different fund (Real estate properties), unlike others;
      • Trend in industry is to offer annuities; purchasing annuity on open market place is more expensive than doing within plan because individuals are getting subsidized annuity rate. There is an additional cost for annuity benefit through TIAA, even if you are not going to annuitize.  TIAA, by law, has to retain reserves; excess reserves released occasionally which reduces overall plan cost.  Tiered investment approach (CREF stock and fixed).  Most contributions going to target date fund; most participants not purchasing annuities as first option.  If you don’t pay the annuity fees all along, you could annuitize at the end, but you wouldn’t get the same deal; on the other hand, you might have more money to invest.

Question from Jamie: TIAA traditional/fixed annuities; variable annuities (real estate) would be converted to fixed annuity at retirement;

Revenue Sharing

      • Common industry practice; fund family pays fees to record keeper to provide services it would otherwise have to provide without the record-keeper’s presence.  Not ideal arrangement.  Penn State accounts for revenue-sharing and ensure that not a dime is wasted; any excess is accounted for and distributed back to participants.
      • TIAA recently reduced the revenue sharing for its annuities. Committee is working with TIAA to continue to reduce those revenue sharing costs and to be a watchdog for their distribution.
      • Jim: fiduciary planning; we need those revenue sharing funds to pay for the plan.  Wouldn’t it be more equitable to charge revenue sharing from people outside of legacy funds?  Cammack answer:  this is something that is being considered; trend toward more equitable participation in revenue sharing (fixed per head, offset by any revenue sharing in the plan).
      • But…variable annuities cannot be negotiated; they are registered funds and would require approval by regulatory agencies.  TIAA having more ability to record-keep and make everyone more comfortable so will continue to be reviewed.
      • Complicated by people switching funds.
      • Jamie: has the oversight committee explored the portfolio recommendations based on risk-adverse rating, and the funds in each portfolio? Cammack answer:  yes, but an independent model because of fiduciary rules (not made with revenue sharing information). May need to be modified in the future.

Bud Alcock email – concern that letter about retirement was unclear

Jamie – there was advance warning about undescriptive letter that would be coming and that notification included a copy of invoice

Greg – taking the concern into consideration, and trying to improve communication to retirees; but many others have shown positive response to program.

A.1. New Members form –
No new information.  Under consideration by senate.

A.2. Smoking policy report
General consensus that a Task Force is appropriate next step; Mont Alto student project in statistics class, 89% were not interested in any change.   Faculty and staff were most supportive; students discussing individual freedoms/rights.  Anecdotal evidence that we need to spend more time on discussing it.  Larger issue than FB or even the Faculty Senate.

A.8. JCIB report
Jamie will stand for questions

A.6. Health Care Plan Update
Susan Basso and Greg Stoner will present Benefits Overview; most information available on website; will provide examples and worst case scenarios.  Informational and understandable and personalizable.

Jim – create graph between cost/expenditures to examine cross-overs?  Aggregate data will be shown today; worksheet should provide that on a personal basis.  If allowable charges are more than X, choose plan A vs. B.  Jamie – would need to be based on salary.

Mark – Engineering caucus: person reports difficulty of using the VBBD benefit.  Greg: Individual needs to reach out to Highmark membership services to enroll in VBBD.  Listed under PPO Blue fliers area on webpage.  Lists which services are provided.

Future meetings

A.9. Childcare (December)

Modifications to report (for December meeting)
-Clearly designate the center location – eg. UP for BFC
– add Waitlist # – acknowledge typical waitlist number and time
– Restructure the budget – ensure the numbers make sense;
– More upfront justification about the ‘subsidy’ (e.g., like tuition benefit) – the university chooses to subsidize…

A.3. RFP/TPA considerations

      • Charge from Chair Strauss to examine Advisory and Consultation report about RFP; A separate meeting with Renee, Erica, Cassandra, and Greg – Leveraging our own family through Penn State health. Report will describe the steering committee membership.
      • Request for information (Signa, aetna, United, Highmark); All 4 want to be part of the RFP;  UPMC has limited capabilities across commonwealth so they were not included in this stage, but there is an opportunity to bring them into a mix for regional coverage in the RFP.
      • Steering Committee will meet in a month.
      • Negotiating a one dollar savings per member fees with provider would have significant cost-savings to Penn State. These are the kind of things that will be explored
      • Jim – do universities ever have multiple providers? Greg:  yes, very common with business models if it is the best decision for the university. 99-100% of claims paid in network – showing that Highmark has broad reach, but there are other considerations.  What we don’t have is the flexibility to talk with Penn State health to arrange for services with, and individually contract with, providers directly.  Ohio State model and University of Pennsylvania.  Would have to replicate the full suite of services that our TPA provides.  Peter – would be an administrative nightmare, given the regional breadth of the campuses
      • Mark: Quest services – how/when?  Greg:  nonurgent work can be done at the two facilities in state college, and the negotiated rates will be less.  Already 1000 labs processed through Hershey facilities; already 30K reduction in total charges. Sign up at;   Do all Geisinger offices have the arrangement?  Yes, in State College; Wilkes-Barre.under process.
      • Mark: concern that the mailing was not enough to communicate about Quest services.
      • Information was not sent to over 65 retirees; getting Medicare rate anyway

None-urgent care and wellness center at UP (sponsored informational report by Paula Milone-Nuzzo)

International travel insurance (future topic)

      • Cassandra working on matrix about how to find information about international travel insurance option;
      • Mark – put through Travel Safety Network; importance of global penn state
      • Erica – should be part of RFP process; also coordinate with Global Programs
      • Cassandra can provide an informational report

A.4. Gap Insurance (A&C) (January/March)

      • Timing of report depends where we are in the process of the RFP
      • Greg: for employees with high deductible health plans, there is a question of whether indemnity coverage can be offered to offset some of that initial deductible, and/or for critical condition diagnosis.  Voluntary benefit portfolio is something that Greg may start to look at more.  March likely better, but keep open as possibility for January.
      • Most employees would work with voluntary benefits company; they would negotiate a group rate with Penn State so would be cost-effective to offer to employees. X% per month but would cover risk.  Would be available to anyone in Blue or Savings plan.

A.5. Roles of FB, JCIB, HCAC (January 2017)
A&C report; Renee will work on this and pull folks together

WorkLion Report (informational Report – March 2017) – Susan

C.1. Faculty salary report (April 2017) – Renee will work with this new person

Other issues:

      • Jamie – compensation for teaching a course can sometimes be better than teaching a summer course. Summer session salary at UP (worse at other campuses); if moved to World Campus, the compensation is much better.

Willie – other campuses particularly vulnerable

      • Mark – who decided the cap of maximum salary?
        • Greg: 17-18% to be covered through employee premiums…university looks at best combination.  Also need to be competitive for recruitment of top tier faculty and administration.
        • Jamie – JCIB is going to look at this specific issue and see if there is a principle that can be used moving forward.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:39 AM.

Notes prepared by Erica Smithwick

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September 6, 2016 Minutes

Members Present: Renee Borromeo (Chair, Erica Smithwick (vice-Chair), Victor Brundsen, Willie Ofosu, Amy Dietz, Peter Jurs, james Miles, Sussan Basso, Cassandra Kitko, Greg Stoner, Jamie Myers (phone), Mark Horn

Members Absent:

Guests: n/a


Approval of minutes from April 19, 2016 at 8:44am


Next meeting Oct 18th 8:30am in James Elliot Building

OLD BUSINESS  No old business


      1. Review of Committee Charges (see FB Priority Form)
        1. (A1) New member document re-formatted; general consensus that statement as reworded in new working document reflects purpose of the committee; Renee will check the process for finalizing changes to our mission statement (CC&R process) – see details below
        2. (A2) Healthy Campus, Tobacco Free (Forensic for Sept 6 meeting; Advisory and Consultative for October meeting; need quick turnaround – by Sept 16)
        3. (A3) Cost savings and Synergies; Greg – this can be advanced; Renee – can it be Advisory and Consultative? Does Senate have enough information and would the timing (March) be effective? Greg – likely that a longer implementation would be necessary if a switch of carrier would happen.  Renee – would an informational report be better showing how are decisions made?
        4. (A4) Gap insurance (Advisory and Consultative); Greg – this is part of an overall voluntary strategy that is being considered; Susan – such gaps could also be filled with salary pro-rated seed to begin next year (<$60,000); what additional seed money models could assist with this? March timeline seems reasonable?  Susan – no, because 2018 plan would need to be set by then.  Greg will present 2017 Time to Choose details in October meeting.  HR has budget (high claims year); some of this will be communicated in October.  Likely need to communicate this earlier.
        5. (A5) Compare JCIB, FB, HCAC coordination and data flow; HCAC may not be as closely linked as they should be and Susan relayed that more senate involvement is welcome.  Would be good to have this formalized.  More FB participation in particular would be good.  Chair of FB AND Senate Chair should be on it.  Susan will ask David Gray to invite Jim Strauss (Chair of Senate).
        6. (A6); SusanOctober presentation
        7. (A7): Nursing Dean Paul Milone-Nuzzo; will also be a co-presentation with HR.
        8. (A8); Informational report on costs/benefits/plan/per-employee cost; Seems similar to Forensic JCIB report from Spring 2016; How similar to JCIB Annual Report this year?  Susan – this report is critical for transparency; there should be a template, mandated annual report; general concensus. Jamie can compare previous year report with this year – moving toward a template.  October or December?  JCIB ready for October; so FB should sponsor JCIB report; ready by Sept 16.  If data is missing – could consider another effort.
        9. (A9); move Childcare Report to December;
        10. new A10?; Susan – WorkLion will go live in July – Susan is surprised this isn’t on Priority Form; should be in front of faculty. There is a faculty advisory group; informational report was presented last year.  New HR portal; EESIC going away.  There will be more flexibility (multiple accounts for automatic deposits; personal portal for benefits) – Susan would like to communicate this.  WorkDay is a cloud-based system.  Implementation partner is Accenture; all on track.  On time, under budget.  March would be good timeline for demo for Senate.  Faculty Advisory Committee members include Renee, Jamie, others.
        11. James – decision tool for deductible plans needs improvement; Greg – this is happening; realistic examples, cost-transparency, data warehouse, consumer-based plan more progress there for 2018; bring into A6.  Cassandra – E-magazine
      2. Reports for Full Senate Meeting:
        1. New Members form
          1. Membership (we are currently at minimum # of senators); set by CC&R Senate Standing Rules, Article II, section 6.0); Renee – are we happy with these requirements?  E.g. no Greg or Cassandra positions named.
            1. Recommend to CC&R that we also list that 2 other administrative resource members (non-voting) be included);
          2. Duties recommend change to CC&R: “total compensation (salaries and benefits), and any other associated perquisites affecting conditions of faculty employment.”  Full statement should now read:

          “The Committee on Faculty Benefits shall investigate and be the faculty’s voice on the adequacy and other attributes of the University’s provisions for total compensation (salaries and benefits), and any other associated perquisites affecting conditions of faculty employment. It shall maintain liaison with the Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits (JCIB) and the Health Care Advisory Committee (HCAC).

          1. Mandated Reports
            1. Only Faculty Salary report on there now.
            2. Recommend to CC&R two new mandated reports;  sponsor JCIB report about health benefits and Childcare report
          2. Relevant policies
            1. HR policies being majorly revised now anyway.  Susan will remove many of the HR policies to Academic policies. Some of these might come through FB.  No major changes through WorkLion, so will have next year to socialize these policies changes.  E.g., Leave policy changes (new short-term disability policy, maternity). Some need updating; some need modernization.
          3. We need to prepare proposal and present to CC&R for these set of changes.
        2. Tobacco-free University: Forensic Report
          1. Strong administrative and student push to support/advocate
          2. “Wrinkles” not included in current student document, e.g., bargaining issue for Teamsters;
          3. individual rights, cost evidence ($3000pp/yr for each smoker); health evidence, “big brother” concern, “slippery slope” concern (e.g., what about obesity?); HR supportive of president’s interest but not driving this. Renee – lack of history of implementation effects from other institutions.  Victor – international cultures may be affected; community/business implications – smoking may occur off-campus in less desirable locations; ensure there are exemptions
          4. Renee will take initiative in leading A&C report – due Sept 16
          5. Susan and Cassandra – get information from Big10 – was there backlash/support?
      3. JCIB Report: Jamie Myers
        1. No revisions from JCIB yet.  Greg and Cassandra can update the committee on yellow blocks that still need to be updated.
        2. Greg/Cassandra: Need to ensure corporate controller’s office data matches the report. Should be able to get those updates quickly.
        3. Retirement plans: Jim –are annuities being evaluated?  (see g, below) Why is the 10-15 points getting us? Inequitable distribution of fees, which is unethical and unnecessary.  Greg – revenue-sharing still present; these remain purview of the oversight committee; also an issue of contract evolution.  Why not fee-charged (would it divulge it as a cost)?   Greg will raise this at oversight meeting tomorrow.  The duty of the oversight committee is to ensure that those charges are fair.
      4. Health Care Insurance Updates: Greg Stoner
        1. Laboratory providers (e.g., QUEST) – preview of materials being prepared.  Mailings going out today as part of awareness program.  Two exceptions (Dubois and Hershey zipcodes).  Soft launch now.  2017 no change.  Will incorporate full year of information before implementation.  Lab card, closest location based on radius (personalized).
        2. Shared handout from 2017 Medical Plan Design and Cost Sharing powerpoint presentation.  HCAC/Gray – vetting 3rd party admin for pharmaceuticals?  Communications starting next week.  Please provide feedback.  E.g., tools/resources.  Other items not thorough or transparent? Let Greg/Cassandra know.
      5. Retirement Incentive Program
        1. Frieden letter;
          1. Greg: some inaccuracies Procedural issues; application for retirement vs. consideration.  Agreement doesn’t get signed until agreement date.  They will get that 45 days before retirement date.
          2. Age discrimination vetted through Legal Council; “business reasons,” even by unit.
          3. Wait to hear Chair Strauss perspective
          4. Victor:  this has been offered before; what’s different?
          5. Provost has vetted this with academic leadership; vetted by ARSSA; lowering the age limit would have resulted in too much “brain drain.”
      6. Childcare Report: Erica Smithwick
        1. Place in December
      7. Retirement Plan Issues article in Inside Higher Education
        1. Greg will update at next meeting based on meeting with oversight committee, and any updates from JCIB report.
        2. Make a more regular report? Informational report together for this spring? Sponsored by retirement committee, on which faculty sit.Best to be proactive on this issue.
        3. High praise by Evan Hugh professor that it was clear; so some faculty are supportive.
        4. Voluntary; significant cost savings to university

The meeting was adjourned at 10:41.
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