Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting

Minutes, October 25, 2004

2:30 – 4:00


The following committee members were present: Dale Atkins, Michael Chang, Michael Elliott, Blair Funderburk, John Grovenstein, Jean Hudgins and Gayle Warren.

Long Term Care Insurance

The Benefits Committee recommended against institution of a long term care insurance benefit for Georgia Tech. We acknowledged some advantages associated with a long term care benefit, namely that employees would probably receive a ten percent reduction in premium payment relative to what they would pay as an individual and, at least for the year of initial offering and for all future new hires, employees would be guaranteed issue. At the same time, we were concerned with the following:

·        uncertain future costs of the insurance and of the cost of long term care,

·        uncertain trends in government policy concerning long term care amongst the elderly,

·        the complexity of the insurance program,

·        the expense of the insurance, especially during a time when employees real incomes have been dropping (salary increases have not kept up with increases in health care costs and other inflationary impacts),

·        our expectation that only 4 to 8% of employees would purchase the insurance,

·        the concern that employees would trust the insurance vehicle simply because Georgia Tech had given it a “seal of approval” by offering this benefit, and

·        the high administrative costs associated with informing employees about options would mean that Tech would rely on the insurance company to provide that information.

The committee vote was as follows: three against recommending that Georgia Tech add long tern care insurance as a benefit, one for recommending and one abstaining.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave at Georgia Tech is treated like any other medical issue. With a doctor’s certification that the leave is medically necessary, employees can use sick leave to cover a maternity leave; otherwise the employee must use vacation hours. In Atlanta, doctors will usually certify 6 weeks of leave for a normal delivery and 8 weeks for a cesarean birth. New employees planning on having a baby can buy short-term disability insurance (which covers disability leaves over 31 days long) until they accumulate enough sick leave. Employees accumulate 12 days of sick leave per year of employment.

The Benefits Committee will be examining a policy of individuals contributing their sick leave to others, including those who may need maternity leave.

Short term disability leave only covers the health of the mother, and therefore does not cover leaves necessitated by when the child is sick. Sick leave would cover this situation.

Open Enrollment

As of today, 360 employees have completed their benefits review on the new Techworks system, while another 200 employees have entered the system but not finalized their choices. Approximately 2,000 additional employees are expected to make changes to their benefits (largely because they use medical or childcare spending accounts, which must be renewed each year). OHR will send out several more emails to remind employees to finalize their selections.

Next Meeting

The final fall semester meeting is scheduled for 2:30 to 4:00, on November 22nd.