Mar 082016
 

If you are on NYSHIP, you should have received a notification in the mail that you would be receiving IRS form 1095-C, which the IRS sends to the state to prove that you had qualifying health insurance for 2015. Amidst all the tax related mail you’ve been receiving, you may be unsure for what to do with this form. Here’s all you need to do with it:

  1. Check it for accuracy: Read it over to make sure the information on it is accurate. If there are any mistakes, call the number listed on the right hand corner of the form.
  2. Retain it for your records: If the information on the form is correct, file it away some place safe.

That’s it: you don’t need to file it with your state or federal taxes and you don’t need to return he form to the state. Basically, this form serves to let you know that you and your enrolled dependents did indeed have qualifying health insurance for last year.

Note: if you are enrolled in Medicare, or have dependents enrolled in Medicaid, that enroll net info will not appear on this form, 1095-C; instead, you may be getting a 1095-B form from Medicaid.

Mar 082016
 

I know we’ve all dove in to our long to-do lists for the semester–creating lesson plans, taking new classes, figuring out dissertations and theses, checking the weather to decide whether to wear a t-shirt or a thick winter jacket–but don’t forget to make sure your NYSHIP account is up to date, especially if you work at a 2-year CUNY college or if you no longer adjunct at the CUNY school where last semester you had NYSHIP deductions taken out of your paycheck. Remember that if there has been a change to your job title or the campus from which you will be paid, you need to submit a transfer form. Keeping your NYSHIP account up-to-date will protect against NYSHIP in Albany terminating your coverage for premium nonpayment without prior notification, which could result in your being responsible for paying for medical services you thought were covered under the plan. This is also important for making sure dependents, such as newborn children, are definitely covered in your plan.

The forms noted below can be found at this link: http://www2.cuny.edu/about/administration/offices/hr/benefits/doctoral-students/


For students who are now enrolling or re-enrolling in NYSHIP coverage
: Here’s what you should know about the effective date of your coverage, based on when you enrolled:

  1. If the paperwork is received by Scott Voorhees prior to or as of the beginning date of the appointment, the coverage is effective as of the beginning date of the appointment.
  2. If the documentation is submitted within the first 45 days of the appointment date, the coverage is effective as of the date received, which means it is not retroactive to the beginning date of the appointment.
  3.  If documentation is submitted after the initial 45 days of the appointment date, the coverage is effective 30 days following the date it is received.

If you are switching from a fellowship to an adjunct position at CUNY, or vice versa: Fill out change of title and/or campus form (attached to this post) and send to Scott Voorhees, the Graduate Center NYSHIP liaison. This ensures that your health insurance is still being deducted from your paychecks and that you are still covered. Please check your future pay stubs to confirm that the NYSHIP deduction is being taken out.
If you are switching from one CUNY campus to another as an adjunct:
Fill out change of title and/or campus form (attached to this post) and send to Scott Voorhees. This ensures that your health insurance is still being deducted from your paychecks at the new campus and that you are still covered. Please check your future pay stubs to confirm that the NYSHIP deduction is being taken out.
If you are taking an adjunct position at a two year college: To be a participant in NYSHIP you must be a state employee. Community college adjuncts are considered city employees, so their payrolls must be transferred. In other words, in order to get state health insurance coverage, you need to get your paychecks through the Graduate Center payroll rather than through the community college payroll department. This transfer must be completed before being enrolled for NYSHIP coverage, and your payroll must be transferred every semester while you are employed at a community college. Hence, it is extremely important that you make sure ASAP that Scott Voorhees knows that you are working at a two-year CUNY school so that your paycheck gets to you on time and so that your health insurance costs are deducted from it; be sure as well to give him your appointment letter. Do this ASAP, because payroll transfers often take some time.
**If you are also working at a four-year CUNY school, these instructions do not apply: your health insurance payments will be deducted from your paycheck at the four-year school.
If you have changed addresses: Let Scott Voorhees know your new address; otherwise, any NYSHIP information, statement of benefits, bills, etc, will be sent to your old address. ID cards are not forwarded but are sent back to Albany. The change of address form is attached to this post.

 

Qualifying events: Qualifying events are events that allow for a change in your health insurance: for instance, getting married, entering into a domestic partnership, and having a child are events that allow you to add dependents to your NYSHIP insurance. There are also qualifying events that allow you to cancel your NYSHIP insurance, such as when a marriage or domestic partnership allows you to become eligible to be enrolled on your partner’s insurance plan, or divorce or the end of the relationship makes necessary the termination of a spouse or partner’s coverage. However, you must let Scott Voorhees know within 30 days of the effective date of any of these events. Otherwise, you may be subject to a thirty day waiting period until the changes become effective, or you may be unable to make that switch until the end of your current appointment term. You may be liable for covering medical costs that occurred while you believed that NYSHIP would cover your partner/children.

 

If your appointment is ending, you are taking a leave of absence or you are graduating: You will need to complete a Termination Request form (attached to this post) if your eligible appointment is ending and you do not have an eligible appointment for the subsequent semester, or if you are taking a leave of absence or graduating. Once your termination is processed, you will be offered continued coverage via COBRA by New York State Civil Service. If you have an eligible appointment in a subsequent semester or return from a leave of absence with an eligible appointment, you can be re-enrolled in NYSHIP. Please contact Scott Voorhees.

 

Note on pay stubs and NYSHIP: Retroactive NYSHIP charges/deductions from your paycheck will appear with the abbreviation “ADJ” which means adjustment, not adjunct. These charges are in addition to the regular bi-weekly deduction and are the result of adding a spouse, partner or child. It generally takes a couple of payroll periods after the effective date of the change before these deductions will appear on your pay stub. If you have any questions, you can contact Scott Voorhees.

Concerns/questions about your NYSHIP coverage or claims? You can contact Scott Voorhees and me (DSC Health and Wellness Officer). Once you set up a meeting with him, make sure you have both the medical bills from the provider and the NYSHIP statement of benefits forms that pertain to your concern. Keep the DSC aware of your concerns as well, so we know better how to advocate for you; I am happy to meet with you.

Contacting NYSHIP: You can contact NYSHIP at 1-877-769-7447, but be sure to document your call: ask for the name of the person you are speaking to and write down what that person says to you or record the call. Remember as well that you have a right to ask to speak to the supervisor of the person on the line in order to get more information, especially if you are unclear on what the person on the line is telling you.

Scott Voorhees’ contact information:
Email: svoorhees@gc.cuny.edu
Phone: (212) 817-7406
Office: Student Affairs, Rm 7301.05
My contact information:
Email: wellness@cunydsc.org
Office: DSC Room 5495; see my office hours on the Doctoral Student Council website (cunydsc.org).

Dec 182015
 

Let’s start with the bad news: NYSHIP’s biweekly premiums are going up for 2016. Here are the 2016 rates:

  • $14.09 for individual (used to be $13.06, so going up about a dollar per paycheck); $83.23 for family (used to be $78.01, so going up about 5 dollars per paycheck).
  • COBRA rates are also going up for 2016. Individual: $261 (previously $241). Family: $830 (previously $775).

To add insult to injury: the first time you’ll have money taken out of your check at this new rate is actually in 2015 (your December 24th paycheck). Something to keep in mind.

Some good news: the Finals Relief Salon seemed like it was invigorating to those who came by; even if you missed out on the free chair massages, we still have earplugs and self-care handouts (including one on yoga poses and stretches you can do from your chair).

Aromatherapy handout

Yoga poses at your desk handout

Yoga poses and stretches handout

Self care handout

Moreover, we continue to have safer sex materials available in the DSC office and in program bowls, and the Winter DSC party is this Friday at 8:30pm. There’s also a Pilates class over break if you’re interested; see Elise Perram in Student Affairs to sign up  (in other words, there are multiple options here to help relieve stress, depending on what works for you).

 

Dec 082015
 

Tip from a student on NYSHIP!:

Starting October 1st, there was a change in the billing codes providers have to use when they note a diagnosis to the insurance company; WHO has updated from the 9th edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-9) to the 10th edition (ICD-10). For example, if you were diagnosed with ADHD, predominantly inattentive type,  the code for it under ICD-9 would be 314.00; however, under ICD-10, the code would be F90.0, and that’s the billing code your provider would now use with insurance companies.

That means that if you or your provider put down an ICD-9 code on a claim, the claim will not be processed because the code will no longer be “compliant”; you may have to resubmit the claim, and there might be some delays in the processing of reimbursements for October bills. In fact, the student who alerted me to this shift found out about it when ValueOptions denied her claim because the provider wrote in an ICD-9 code rather than an ICD-10 one.

Below are reference websites to search for the ICD-10 code(s) that you need. The second site also includes a converter so you can convert the billing code from ICD9 to the billing code for IC-10.

https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/staticpages/icd-10-code-lookup.aspx
http://www.icd10data.com/

 

Dec 012015
 

Starting in December of this year, NYSHIP is conducting a Dependent Eligibility Audit; if you have family coverage, you will have to provide documentation to prove that the dependents you are claiming are actually eligible for NYSHIP coverage. A few things to note:

  1. There is an amnesty period till January 29th for voluntarily removing ineligible dependents from coverage (in other words, if you remove ineligible dependents by that date, you will not be liable for repaying claims already paid out for them). To clarify, if you’re removing ineligible dependents from your NYSHIP coverage, you should send the letter early enough so that the company doing this audit, HMS, receives it by January 29th, 2016 (look in your mail for an information packet on the process you need to go through to remove dependents).
  2. Once this amnesty period is over, you will have to provide proof of eligibility for each dependent you have enrolled in NYSHIP; check your mail in the first half of next year for an information packet with instructions on how to provide documentation and when you need to provide it by. Keep in mind that not sending in this documentation has these consequences: your dependent will end up removed from NYSHIP coverage, and, as the enrollee, you may be responsible for paying back insurance claim payments (the letter also notes that the Department of Civil Services may impose other penalties, but does not specify what those are).

See the attached scans of the letter from Civil Services for more information:

20151130_10323820151130_103249

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