Lincoln Public Schools

LPS Benefit Program Questions and Answers

What benefit plans does the District offer?
The district offers health insurance (Blue Cross/Blue Shield or HMO Nebraska), dental insurance, term and/or permanent life insurance, disability insurance, vision insurance, cancer and accident insurance. Premiums are not taxed.

Who is eligible to enroll in the benefit options available through Lincoln Public Schools?
Certificated employees (other than substitutes) who have an F.T.E. of .4 or who work at least 75 days during the school year with an F.T.E. of 1.0 are eligible to enroll in either of the health insurance programs. Classified staff who work at least 17 1/2 hours per week are eligible to enroll in either of the health insurance programs. An employee must work 20 hours per week (.5 FTE) to be eligible to enroll in disability insurance, and 15 hours per week for term and/or permanent life insurance and the flexible benefit plan. Your paycheck must be enough to cover the entire premium.

When can I apply for health insurance?
A new hire must apply within 30 days after the first day of employment, and the insurance is effective the first of the month following the first 30 days. Current employees may also apply within 30 days of a change in family status (see definition below). There is a 12-month waiting period for pre-existing conditions decreased by creditable coverage.

My spouse's employer is raising the cost of its health insurance premiums. She is thinking about dropping her insurance through her employer. Can I add her to my single health insurance policy?
No. You may apply only within the 1st 30 days of employment or within 30 days of a change in family status. See definition below.

How do I cancel my insurance?
Insurance can only be canceled during the month of September unless there is a change in family status. If you wish to cancel your insurance, please contact Human Resources for a Change of Family Status form and cancellation form. This must be done within 30 days of the change of family status.

What is considered a change in family status?
A Change in Family Status may include the employee's marriage or divorce, the death of the employee's spouse or dependent, a child of the employee is born or adopted, or the employee's spouse begins or ends employment. A Change of Family Status form is available from Human Resources and must accompany the enrollment form or drop form. This must be done within 30 days of the change of family status.

If I resign from Lincoln Public Schools can my health insurance be continued?
Federal legislation known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) requires group health plans to allow the employee (or qualified beneficiaries where applicable) to continue their group coverage for 18 months upon the occurrence of a qualifying event such as termination of employment (other than by reason of the employee's gross misconduct) or reduction of hours. In the case of the death of an employee, a divorce or legal separation, the employee becomes entitled to Medicare, or a dependent child ceases to be a dependent, continuation can be up to 36 months for the qualified beneficiary.

I have been hired as a "one year only" teacher. Should I sign up for health insurance?
If you do enroll in one of the health insurance programs within the first 30days of employment and are not re-hired for the next school year, COBRA would apply. Keep in mind, if you do not enroll in health insurance for the "one year only" assignment and are re-hired for the next school year and wish to enroll in health insurance, you are not considered a "new hire" by the insurance carriers and may not be able to enroll.

I have heard LPS has a complete IRS Section 125 Plan. What does that mean?
IRS Section 125 Plan is another name for a flexible benefit plan whereby employees can reduce their gross salary to pay various kinds of expenditures on a non-taxed basis. LPS allows employees to pay all insurance premiums through LPS with non-taxed dollars. Dependent care costs and unreimbursed medical expenses have been included as additional items that can be paid for with non-taxed dollars.

What is the difference between the Death Benefit that LPS provides and Term Life Insurance offered through Jefferson Pilot Financial?
The Board of Education provides a death benefit for each employee at no cost to the employee. Term life insurance is also available through Lincoln National Life at a cost of $1.90/per $10,000 of coverage per month. You must enroll within the first 30 days of employment or during the month of September.

One of my fringe options is disability insurance. How does this work?
The district's disability insurance plan provides 60% of the employee's monthly income as long as the employee is disabled according to the provisions of the plan. It should be noted that total disability caused by pregnancy or complications of pregnancy will be covered on the same basis as sickness. Disability benefits begin when all accumulated sick leave is exhausted. The cost of disability insurance is based upon monthly salary and accumulated sick leave, so as you accumulate sick leave, the cost of disability insurance will decrease per $1,000 of monthly salary.

Do I get any dental insurance with my basic health insurance?
Dental coverage is available through Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Health-Dent, Inc. Blue Cross/Blue Shield provides basic preventive and maintenance dental coverage for the policyholder only as part of both individual, employee/spouse, employee/ children, and family health insurance plans. All employees may purchase more extended dental coverage as a separate plan from Blue Cross/Blue Shield either an individual or family basis.

 

NOTE: Please understand that these answers are informational in nature and do not substitute for the actual rules and regulations published by the insurance companies.

v4.5