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2019 open enrollment for participants of State ORP

December 28, 2018

The annual open enrollment period for all participants of the State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) is January 1 to March 1 of each year. During this period, State ORP participants may change their State ORP service provider or, if eligible, may irrevocably elect to participate in the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS).

 

Details about the 2019 open enrollment period are available online.

 

Retirement Systems PAFR published for fiscal year ended June 30, 2018

December 21, 2018

The Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) for the South Carolina Retirement Systems for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, is now available. The 2017 PAFR is available on the Archives page.

 

Retirement Systems CAFR published for fiscal year ended June 30, 2018

November 28, 2018

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the South Carolina Retirement Systems for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, is now available. The 2017 CAFR is available on the Archives page.

 

IRS increases 2019 contribution limit for MSAs

November 28, 2018

Last week, the IRS announced an increase in the contribution limit for Medical Spending Accounts (MSAs) for 2019. The limit increased from $2,650 to $2,700. Employees who elected to contribute to an MSA during open enrollment may increase their contribution if they wish. Employees cannot decrease the contribution they elected during open enrollment.

 

Employees must complete a paper Notice of Election form and return to PEBA by December 15, 2018, to increase their contribution. Note, the NOE currently indicates $2,650 as the maximum contribution, but that will be updated to $2,700 soon.

 

IRS increases 2019 contribution limits for 401(k), 457 plans

November 28, 2018

The IRS announced an increase in the maximum deferral limit for 401(k) and 457 plans in 2019. For those who participate in the South Carolina Deferred Compensation Program (Program), the maximum deferral will increase from $18,500 to $19,000. This is the amount an employee can contribute to the Program from his paycheck. A Program participant may contribute up to $19,000 in the 401(k) plan and 457 plan, for a combined maximum of $38,000. Those who participate in an employer-sponsored 403(b) plan must coordinate deferrals to that plan with Program's 401(k) deferrals.

 

For participants who are age 50 and older, the catch-up limit remains the same for 2019 at an additional $6,000 in deferrals allowed under both the 401(k) and 457 plans. The special catch-up provision available under the 457 plan will increase from $37,000 to $38,000. A participant in the 457 plan may apply the greater of the regular catch-up provision or the special 457 catch-up provision, but not both.

 

IRS changes DCSA threshold for highly compensated employees

November 28, 2018

The contribution limit for a Dependent Care Spending Account (DCSA) is capped at $1,700 for highly compensated employees. The IRS recently announced the salary used to define these employees will be $125,000 or greater in 2019. This is up from $120,000 in 2018. The contribution limit cap remains unchanged.

 

Employees who make $120,000, but less than $125,000, no longer have a cap on their DCSA contribution. As such, if they elected to contribute to a DCSA during open enrollment, they may increase their contribution if they wish. Their maximum contribution is determined by their tax filing status. Contribution limits are available here. Employees cannot decrease the contribution they elected during open enrollment.

 

Employees must complete a paper Notice of Election form and return to PEBA by December 15, 2018, to increase their contribution.

 

MoneyPlus online services restored

October 16, 2018

Power has been restored to PEBA’s MoneyPlus administrator, WageWorks, which is located in Tallahassee, Florida. This means the FBMC systems used to access MoneyPlus accounts are now available.

 

Blue CareOnDemand visits offered at no cost to State Health Plan primary members impacted by Hurricane Florence

September 12, 2018

 

Blue CareOnDemand video visits are being offered at no cost to State Health Plan primary members of zones impacted by Hurricane Florence. Through a video chat, which is available 24/7, members can talk to a doctor about issues like cold and flu symptoms, allergies, sinus infections, migraines, rashes and more. Doctors can even call in a prescription to the nearest pharmacy, if appropriate. Members can access Blue CareOnDemand through the mobile app or at www.bluecareondemandsc.com. Members should select “Hurricane Support” when starting their visit. This program has ended.

 

PEBA Board elects officers

July 27, 2018

 

At its July 25, 2018, meeting, the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) Board of Directors elected John A. Sowards chairman and Joe W. “Rocky” Pearce, Jr.,  vice-chairman of the PEBA Board.

 

Sowards has served on the PEBA Board since September 2012. He is former chairman of the board for Nexsen Pruet, a position in which he was responsible for shaping the firm’s vision and strategy. A leader within Nexsen Pruet, his practice is focused on the areas of real estate, corporate and finance law.

 

Pearce, also a Board member since September 2012, has served as vice chairman since the Board's first elections in December 2012. He also chairs the Board’s Health Care Policy Committee. Pearce, now retired, was Head of Student Health for American International Group (AIG).

 

What covered employers need to know about July 1, 2018, contribution increases, pension funding allocation process

July 2, 2018

The Retirement System Funding and Administration Act of 2017 set a schedule for retirement contribution rate increases for SCRS and PORS. Under the schedule, employer contributions rates for fiscal year 2019 increase by 1 percent. Employers should implement the scheduled rate increase July 1, 2018, and begin reporting and remitting contributions accordingly.

 

There are no member contribution rate increases scheduled for July 1, 2018.

 

New rates, same calculation

Employers should continue to calculate employee and employer contributions as they have always done, taking into account the increase in the employer rates. Employers should calculate and submit their remittances using the new rates.

 

State funding

The State has appropriated funds for the General Fund and EIA share of the 1 percent increase in the employer contribution rate effective July 1, 2018. The Executive Budget Office will allocate these funds to state agencies and school districts.

 

The General Assembly has also funded a one-time credit, similar to that received last year, for employer contributions for most employers in SCRS and PORS for fiscal year 2019. However, credits will not be issued for certain employers for fiscal year 2019, including:

  • Special purpose districts or other non-profit corporations;
  • Hospitals; and
  • Participating service organizations or associations as defined in Section 9-1-10(11)(e) of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

Additionally, credits will not be issued for the employer contributions related to covered employees who are funded with federal funds. PEBA will collaborate with the Department of Administration, Executive Budget Office and the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office to determine the credit amount excluded for federally-funded employees employed by state agencies.

 

Just as last year, this amount will not flow through the normal appropriations process. Rather, the General Funds have been appropriated directly to PEBA to issue a credit invoice to applicable employers in SCRS and PORS. The employer’s credit amount is available on PEBA’s website at www.peba.sc.gov/assets/pensionfundingallocationcredit.pdf.

 

The credit invoice will be a one-time credit. Employers can use this credit invoice for the quarterly deposit for the quarter ending September 30, 2018 (due to PEBA by October 31, 2018). An employer cannot use the credit on a monthly deposit or for the quarter ending June 30, 2018, since the funds are allocated specifically for fiscal year 2019.

 

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Employer Services at employerservices@peba.sc.gov. You may also contact Jennifer Dolder at 803.737.4075, George Hazin at 803.737.6882 or Paul Graham at 803.737.4388.

 

Adult well visits covered by Standard Plan beginning January 1, 2019

June 29, 2018

The General Assembly included in the Appropriations Act the addition of adult well visits as a contractual service for the State Health Plan Standard Plan effective January 1, 2019. Governor McMaster must review the Act before it becomes law.

 

Adult well visits are not currently covered by the Standard Plan. Beginning with the 2019 plan year, adult well visits will be subject to copayments, deductibles and coinsurance. A member who has not met his deductible will have to pay the applicable copayment plus the remaining allowed amount for the visit. A member who has met his deductible will pay the applicable copayment plus his coinsurance for the well visit.

 

The benefit will be available to all non-Medicare primary adults age 19 and older who are covered by the Standard Plan. Adult members can take advantage of this benefit at a network provider specializing in General Practice, Family Practice, Internal Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology. The Plan will only cover one visit in covered years based on the following schedule:

  • Ages 19-39, one visit every three years;
  • Ages 40-49, one visit every two years; and
  • Ages 50 and up, one visit per year.

 

Eligible female members may use their well visit at their gynecologist or their primary care physician, but not both, in a covered year. If a female visits both doctors for a well visit in the same covered year, only the first office visit for which a claim is received will be allowed.

 

Services included as part of an adult well visit

Well visits are a key part of preventive care. They can reassure members they are as healthy as they feel, or prompt them to ask questions about their health. Evidence-based services, with an A or B recommendation by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), will be included as part of an adult well visit under the State Health Plan.1

 

Services not included as part of an adult well visit

Services not included as part of the adult well visit are those without an A or B recommendation by the USPSTF. Find these recommendations at www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org. Other services, including a complete blood count (CBC), EKG, PSA test and basic metabolic panel are only covered if ordered by your physician to treat a specific condition, and are subject to the copayment, deductible and coinsurance, as well as normal Plan provisions. Follow-up visits and services as a result of your well visit are also subject to normal Plan provisions.

 

More information

Details about specific services and other member resources will be available in September 2018.

 

1Beginning January 1, 2019, Savings Plan members’ covered well visits will only include those based on USPSTF A and B recommendations.

 

Flexible benefits contract awarded for 2019

June 22, 2018

ASIFlex was awarded the contract for the state flexible benefits plan beginning January 1, 2019. The flexible benefits plan, known as the MoneyPlus program, allows employees to pay insurance premiums before taxes come out of their paycheck for health, dental, vision and up to $50,000 of Optional Life coverage. The program also includes medical spending accounts, dependent care spending accounts and health savings accounts. MoneyPlus helps employees save pretax money to use for their health care expenses.

 

The initial contract term is three years with two one-year extensions. The maximum contract term is January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2023. We restructured this contract and included new requirements with three main goals:

  1. Increase participation in the MoneyPlus program;
  2. Improve the ease of use for participants; and
  3. Focus on customer service for both participants and employers.

There are also performance guarantees associated with the contract to ensure the vendor complies with the requirements. An example of a performance guarantee is that health savings account contributions must be available in a participant's account within five business days. There are several changes to the MoneyPlus program, which will take place with this new contract.

 

Enrollment

Employees will be able to enroll in MoneyPlus through MyBenefits and employers will use EBS to finalize enrollment just like other benefits. PEBA will send daily electronic enrollment and eligibility files to ASIFlex.

 

Claims processing

ASIFlex will receive data from other insurance vendors for health, dental and vision services to substantiate debit card transactions and other claims submitted by the participant for reimbursement. If transaction amounts equal those shown on the explanation of benefits, participants will not need to submit documentation for services because the insurers will automatically forward the information to ASIFlex. Reimbursements will be made to participants within three business days following receipt of an accurate and complete reimbursement claim. Participants will have the option to set up a direct deposit for all claims reimbursement.

 

Payroll submission

To facilitate efficient and cost-effective coordination of payroll data, ASIFlex will implement one common payroll submission mode (electronic data exchange file format) to process and report payroll data during calendar year 2019. ASIFlex will work with each employer to set up the electronic file format. Payrolls received electronically will be posted to participants' accounts within one business day following availability. During the first year, payrolls provided manually will be posted to participants' accounts no later than 72 hours from receipt.

 

PEBA Releases Request for Proposal for Fiduciary Liability Insurance

April 5, 2018

The South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to provide Fiduciary Liability Insurance. The RFP is located here. Please see the RFP for instructions on asking questions or requesting additional information.

 

State Health Plan covers Shingrix vaccine at no cost

March 15, 2018

Beginning March 15, 2018, State Health Plan primary members age 50 and older can receive the Shingrix vaccine for a $0 copayment. Shingrix is a new vaccine to prevent shingles. The CDC recommends adults age 50 and older receive the vaccine to prevent shingles and the complications of the disease.

 

Shingrix is a two dose vaccination. After the initial shot is administered, a second shot will be required within two to six months to complete the vaccination process. Members who have had the Zostavax vaccination are encouraged to also receive the Shingrix vaccine. Members should talk to their healthcare provider to determine the best time to get the Shingrix vaccine.

 

The State Health Plan covers adult vaccinations as recommended by the CDC at no cost to the member through PEBA Perks. A member can receive a vaccination at a network pharmacy without a prescription. Coverage includes the cost of the vaccine and administration fee if a member receives the shot in a network doctor’s office. Any associated office visit charges will follow regular Plan coverage rules.

 

Learn more at www.PEBAPerks.com.

 

PEBA releases request for qualifications to prospective offerors for a new benefits administration system

March 14, 2018

PEBA has released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to solicit information from prospective offerors interested in providing a new benefits administration system for PEBA. The RFQ is located here.

 

PEBA releases request for proposal for flexible benefits

February 5, 2018

The South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) released a request for proposal (RFP) for third party administration of the State Flexible Benefits Plan. The RFP is located here.

 

2018 open enrollment for participants of State ORP

January 8, 2018

The annual open enrollment period for all participants of the State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) is January 1 to March 1 of each year. During this period, State ORP participants may change their State ORP service provider or, if eligible, may irrevocably elect to participate in the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS).

 

Details about the 2018 open enrollment period are available online.

 

PEBA releases request for proposal for brokerage services for Cyber Risk Insurance Services

January 4, 2018

The South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to Provide Brokerage Services for Cyber Risk Insurance Services. The RFP is located here. Please see the RFP for instructions on asking questions or requesting additional information.

 

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