HR News 2017

Stay informed by reviewing all HR news releases for 2017 here! 

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HR News

HR is holding the annual Health and Benefits Fair on November 8th from 10:00-2:00 in the Arkansas Union – Verizon Ballroom. Join us for free T-Shirts for the first 300 attendees, Flu shots provided by Pat Walker Health Center (Remember your insurance card!), Wellness Activities provided in partnership with UREC and Pat Walker Health Center, and many vendors including Abbott Diabetes Care, The Breast Center, Mercy, Washington Regional Medical Center, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, and many more!

Open Enrollment for the University of Arkansas benefits plans will begin November 1, 2017, and will end November 30, 2017.  No enrollments or changes after November 30, 2017, will be accepted.  Open Enrollment changes are effective 1/1/2018. 

 Human Resources is hosting a series of insurance presentations to allow faculty and staff the opportunity to hear about the changes, discuss anticipated changes, and to ask questions.  The schedule for these sessions is:

Or you can join the GoTo meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
          United States: +1 (646) 749-3122
          Access Code: 209-695-093
Joining from a video-conferencing room or system?
          Cisco devices: 209695093@
Or you can join the GoTo meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
          United States: +1 (646) 749-3131
          Access Code: 582-213-653
Joining from a video-conferencing room or system?
          Cisco devices: 582213653@
Or you can join the GoTo meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
          United States: +1 (646) 749-3131
          Access Code: 413-690-757
Joining from a video-conferencing room or system?
          Cisco devices: 413690757@

We anticipate each session lasting about an hour, depending on questions.   There is no need to attend multiple sessions – the same information will be presented each time. 

Human Resources has partnered with the experts from Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA) to offer a workshop discussing steps you can take to keep your identity safe. Topics will include problems that occur with identity theft, what to do if it happens, and how to protect yourself in the future. The workshop will take place September 7th, 2017, 2p.m. – 3:30p.m., Arkansas Union Room 504. Please register for this training through the EDP Training Calendar. We will also broadcast online via GoToMeeting. See instructions below. Any questions can be addressed with Valerie Casey at 575-5351.

Log in to the GoTo Meeting broadcast from your computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Audio can be accessed through your computer speakers, or you can dial in using your phone. * United States: +1 (312) 757-3117

Access Code: 981-268-981

*Please note, the dial in option is a long-distance phone number. To avoid charges, please use your computer audio.

Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 402.1, Background Checks and Substance Abuse has been expanded to support the University of Arkansas’ efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for the University community.  This update aligns our campus with recent updates to the UA System background check policy, and is consistent with best practices in higher education and among major employers.  The policy changes apply to new faculty, staff, volunteer, graduate assistant and applicable student hourly positions posted on or after September 1, 2017.  At a minimum, persons hired into these positions must submit to a criminal background and registered sex offender check.  Depending on the nature of the position, substance abuse testing and/or financial history checks may also be required.  For complete details on Background Checks and a listing, by position title, of required checks, please visit our background checks page. 

Benefits-eligible employees can now enroll in Identity Theft Protection and Legal Protection. Identity Theft Protection through ID Watchdog provides a 24/7 Customer Care Center and fully managed resolution services and will guarantee security and peace of mind for you and your family. Legal Protection through LegalShield will provide you with personal advice from a lawyer without the worry of expensive hourly rates. You can enroll at any time and will enroll and pay your premium directly through ID Watchdog and LegalShield.

Employees enrolled in UA health coverage have until 9/30/2017 to complete the wellness requirements (completing the on-line health assessment, including agreeing to the tobacco pledge, and completing the biometric screenings). Employees who successfully complete these requirements no later than 9/30/2017 will receive a $1,400 reduction in their 2018 health plan out-of-pocket maximum. The out-of-pocket maximum is the combined copayment, deductible, and coinsurance participants pay during the calendar year.  For more information about the 2018 Wellness period, see the announcements sent to employees home address by Onlife and the email notice sent by Human Resources

Access to Equifax, our third-party vendor for electronic versions of employee W-2 forms, has been permanently shut down.  Employees who need copies of their W-2 should contact Human Resources at (479) 575-5351.

The University of Arkansas System announces changes to the 403(b)/457(b) Retirement Plan. New funds are available 5/10/2017 and existing funds not available in the new tiered line up will be remapped 10/2/2017. Click here for additional information and for copies of information distributed to participants. Spanish translation of the Transition Brochure is also available. El Folleto de Transición está disponible en Español.

Access to electronic versions of employee W-2 forms has been temporarily disabled while the university works with its third-party vendor, Equifax, to enhance security features related to accessing these forms from the vendor’s site.

We apologize for the inconvenience and are working closely with the vendor to once again provide online access to these forms for employees who have elected to use this service as soon as possible.

If you have questions regarding your W-2 form, please contact Jacque Linebarger, University of Arkansas Director of Human Resources Administration: (479) 575-6209 or

Effective February 6, 2017, new employees can enroll in benefits online through webBASIS! Once an employee receives their UARK credentials, you may log on to webBASIS to complete the process. Click here for instructions. Reminder: you have 31 days from your appointment date to enroll in benefits. Existing employees can change or enroll in Optional & Dependent Life Insurance (underwriting required), disability insurance, Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance and may designate their beneficiaries for life and AD&D insurance.  

Any questions can be addressed to Human Resources at 575-5351 or

Beginning with the November 2016 Open Enrollment period, dependent documentation must be provided by UA employees who wish to add a spouse or dependent children to their health, dental or vision coverages.   Enrollments will not be processed until documentation is received in Human Resources.

Bariatric Surgery will be covered for members meeting medical and prior authorization guidelines.  See the 2017 Medical Plan Summary Plan Description (pages 8, 18, 73, 94, 138 & 160) for details.

Effective 1/1/2017 the Baptist Health Care facilities in Central Arkansas, which include the Baptist Hospital in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Conway, and the Arkansas Heart Hospital will be participating providers in the UA health plan.

In compliance with the Affordable Care Act Section 1557 regulations which were issued mid-year in 2016, the University’s health plan scheduled Gender Dysphoria coverage for implementation on January 1, 2017.  On December 31, 2016, the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction on the Affordable Care Act regulations covering gender identity.   More specifically the injunction prohibits Health and Human Services from enforcing regulations addressing gender identity and the coverage of treatment for gender dysphoria.   

The frequent changes and uncertainty of the ACA regulations are challenging for both health plans and for plan participants, particularly when dealing with coverage issues such as gender dysphoria which involve a long-term plan of treatment.   Given the most current court ruling, the University of Arkansas System will suspend gender dysphoria coverage pending the final legal outcome of the injunction or further clarification of the ACA coverage guidelines.  However, in accordance with the requirements of the ACA, the plan will cover services received on or before March 6, 2017