Go to navigation Go to content
opener

Total Rewards frequently asked questions

Browse FAQs or filter by topic, audience, or program.

Audience
Program
Topic
 
What are leaves of absence used for?

Leaves of absence are used to help employees retain their employment rights and benefits. A leave of absence without pay may be granted when such leave is for prolonged illness or injury, or for any exceptional personal or institutional reason.

A leave of absence may be granted only after vacation and sick leave have been used. However, this policy does not require using personal days be used, except under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Link to this FAQ

What is COBRA?

COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985. COBRA requires that a medical plan offer covered employees and dependents the opportunity to continue coverage when it ends for certain specified reasons. Learn more about eligibility for continued coverage.

Link to this FAQ

How long may a leave of absence last?

Leaves of absence without pay of 30 calendar days or more must be approved in accordance with the current delegation of authority. Leaves of absence of less than 30 days may be handled as excused absences. If Long-Term Disability benefits begin, a leave of absence without pay ends. Approved leaves of absence are not to exceed one year.

Link to this FAQ

How much is the tobacco-free discount?

The tobacco-free discount is $50/month on medical insurance premiums.

Link to this FAQ

Do cross-listed credit courses affect the Affordable Care Act (PPACA) teaching equivalency?

No. The teaching equivalency is 3 1/3 hours worked per credit hour taught. Since the course is a single course, the individual would receive 3 1/3 hours worked for each course credit hour.

Visit the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) page for more information.

Link to this FAQ

Do I have to use vacation if I am on leave due to temporary shutdown/my unit closing for a time?

If you are on leave due to a temporary shutdown, this leave is at the employer's request, so you do not have to exhaust vacation.

If you are employed in a unit which regularly closes down or reduces its operations for a specific time period of up to three months, you may be granted a leave of absence during these periods if it is agreed that you will return to work at the earliest date your services are required. You will not be required to exhaust your vacation or sick leave to obtain a leave of absence for this reason.

Link to this FAQ

Who is eligible for the tobacco-free discount on medical insurance premiums?

Active, benefit-eligible faculty and staff who are enrolled in a University of Missouri medical insurance plan are eligible. In addition, the employee and all family members enrolled on their plan must be either tobacco free or in a cessation program.

Link to this FAQ

Does my leave of absence count toward my length of service under the retirement plan?

Unless for extended illness or injury, military service, research or development leave, or employee Family and Medical Leave, the period of a leave of absence without pay will not be computed into the length of your service under the university retirement plan, and therefore it will not count toward vesting. However, unpaid leave is not counted as an interruption of service. Your contributions to the UM Retirement, Disability and Death Benefit or ERIP plans are not required for leave of absence periods for which no salary is paid. You will be required to contribute, however, for leave of absence periods that are recognized as service credit under the plan for which partial or full salary is paid.

Link to this FAQ

How will eligibility be confirmed for purposes of the tobacco-free discount program?

When enrolling in a University medical plan, you will be required to sign a Tobacco Attestation. In order to qualify for the Tobacco Discount, you must certify that you and all dependents covered by a University medical plan:

  • have been tobacco free at least three months prior to the effective date of coverage and will continue to be tobacco free for the plan year or
  • are enrolled in a tobacco cessation program. 

During Annual Enrollment each year, all faculty and staff will be required to submit a new Tobacco Attestation for the upcoming plan year, effective January 1. View the full Tobacco Attestation for more information.

Link to this FAQ

If I must go on a leave of absence, will I still retain my benefits?

Yes. During a leave of absence, you are eligible to continue to participate in the University of Missouri's staff benefit program (medical, dental, life, accidental death, and long-term disability).

Link to this FAQ

Will I receive holiday pay, vacation time, or sick leave while on a leave of absence?

During a leave of absence, you will not receive holiday pay unless you are on leave with partial pay of 75% FTE or greater. Additionally, you will not accumulate vacation or sick leave. You will receive personal days, but they may not be used during a leave of absence. These personal days will be lost at the end of the anniversary year if unused.

Link to this FAQ

Can I return to work earlier than the expiration date of my leave?

It is at the department's discretion whether to allow you to return to work earlier than expected (except FMLA leaves which only requires you to give two days notice of intent to return to work). Normally, your department should permit you to return to work early unless no position is available.

Link to this FAQ

What happens when I return to work from my leave of absence?

Upon expiration of a leave of absence, you are eligible for reinstatement to your former position or to one of similar requirements and compensation in the same department or division from which your leave was granted. If the same or a similar position is unavailable, the department chairperson or administrative head can request an extension for placement of up to six months.

Link to this FAQ

What is the definition of tobacco-free?

“Tobacco-free” means that the employee and all dependents covered by a university medical plan have been and will continue to be tobacco free starting at least three months prior the effective date of coverage and will not use tobacco products through December 31 of the plan year.

Link to this FAQ

How do I obtain a leave of absence?

A leave of absence without pay of 30 calendar days or more must first be requested by you, then recommended by your department chairperson or administrative head, and finally approved in accordance with the current delegation of authority. To learn about procedures for obtaining a leave of absence, visit the leave of absence page.

Link to this FAQ

What is the definition of tobacco?

Under this discount program, “tobacco” includes any form of tobacco products that are smoked (e.g., cigarettes, cigars, pipes), applied to the gums (e.g., dipping or chewing leaf tobacco), and/or inhaled (e.g., snuff or electronic cigarettes).

Link to this FAQ

Under the Affordable Care Act, how should FTE be calculated when a course is shared by professors?

To calculate the full-time equivalency (FTE) for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), follow the agreed upon methodology of 3 1/3 worked hours per each credit hour taught for the course, and prorate the worked hours among the multiple professors based on the distribution of teaching effort.

Visit the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) page for more information.

Link to this FAQ

Who is eligible for military leave?

Any University of Missouri employee who becomes a member of the armed forces will be granted a military leave of absence. This includes fully benefit-eligible academic, regular administrative, service, and support, variable hour or probationary and student employees. Service in the uniformed services means duty on a voluntary or involuntary basis in a uniformed service, including: active duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, inactive duty training, full-time National Guard duty, or an absence from work for an examination to determine a person's fitness for any of these types of duty.

Link to this FAQ

Why are e-cigarettes included as part of the definition of tobacco?

We looked at similar programs offered by higher education institutions and elsewhere in the industry, and the inclusion of e-cigarettes is common. Secondly, due to lack of regulation, e-cigarette companies are not mandated to disclose product ingredients or health effects. Additional research is needed to determine what ingredients e-cigarettes contain and the health implications they have on users.

Link to this FAQ

How do I maximize my Express Scripts prescription drug benefit?

In order to make the most of your prescription drug benefit through Express Scripts, it’s a good idea to use FDA-approved generic drugs whenever possible. If you are taking a brand-name drug that is not on the plan’s preferred drug list (called a “formulary”), ask your doctor if a preferred- brand drug or a generic would be right for you.

Similarly, fill prescriptions through a retail pharmacy in the Express Scripts network, or via home delivery from the Express Scripts PharmacySM. (Filling a greater than a 32 day supply of maintenance prescriptions at a University pharmacy is the same copay as home delivery.) Of course, many local pharmacies offer other low-cost generic programs, so it’s always a good idea to compare prices at all pharmacies to ensure the best price.

(This FAQ answer provided by Express Scripts.)

Link to this FAQ

If I’m 62 or older, can I continue to work in the UM System (UM) after retirement?

If you are at least age 62 at retirement, you may be eligible to return to work after retirement. Please note:

  • You must complete all the necessary paperwork to apply for and initiate your retirement.
  • You may only return to work on a part-time basis. In other words, you may work at less than 75% full-time equivalency (FTE) at department and University discretion.
  • The “less than 75% FTE” threshold is measured by including all appointments you may hold at any given time.
  • The decision of whether you will be offered continued employment is at the discretion of the department and the University.

Link to this FAQ

Who decides what drugs are covered in the ExpressScripts Step Therapy program?

Step therapy is developed under the guidance and direction of independent, licensed doctors, pharmacists and other medical experts. Together with Express Scripts — the company chosen to manage your pharmacy benefit plan — they review the most current research on thousands of drugs tested and approved by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. Then they recommend appropriate prescription drugs for the step therapy program, and your organization’s pharmacy benefit plan chooses the drugs that will be covered. (This FAQ answer provided by ExpressScripts.)

Link to this FAQ

I have a newborn; Can/should I complete the Tobacco Attestation with the Family Status Change form?

No, the Tobacco Attestation is not required to be completed for newborn children, and adding a newborn does not allow you to change your tobacco status.

Link to this FAQ

What happens if I enter active duty?

A fully benefit-eligible academic, regular administrative, service, and support, variable hour or probationary employee entering the Armed Forces for regular active duty will be granted a military leave of absence without pay for the initial term of military service up to a period of five (5) years.

Link to this FAQ

What if I have to attend an initial period of active duty for military training?

If you are a fully benefit-eligible academic, regular administrative, service, and support, variable hour or probationary employee who enlists in the National Guard, a National Reserve or commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard, you will be granted a military leave of absence with pay if you are ordered to attend an initial period of active duty for training. Compensation for such leave shall not exceed a total of 15 scheduled working days (prorated for less than 100 percent FTE employees).

Link to this FAQ

If I go on military leave, can I continue to receive my benefits?

Yes. If you are a fully benefit-eligible employee who has completed your probationary period, you can stay enrolled in some or all of the benefits in which you are already enrolled if you pay the amount that would normally have been deducted from you paycheck for you monthly premiums*.

*Note that the university's plans have a specific war exclusion. For details, see the appropriate plan’s Summary Plan Description (SPD) under the forms and guides section of the military leave: information on university benefits page.

Link to this FAQ

If I meet eligibility requirements, what UM health insurance plans can I enroll in as a retiree?

If eligible, a retiree may enroll in the plans they were enrolled in immediately prior to their retirement date. For more information, access the Retiree Insurance Eligibility webpage.

Link to this FAQ

Under what conditions can I change my tobacco status mid-year to earn the discount?

There are two conditions that will allow you to change your tobacco status midyear:

  • Family Status Change – If you experience a family status change, or FSC, in which you remove tobacco using dependent(s) (child or spouse/sponsored adult dependent) and you and all other covered dependents are tobacco free, then you will qualify for the discount at that time. Your contributions would change to the discounted rate on the first of the month following the family status change if you submit the required paperwork within 31 days of the event.
  • Midyear Recertification – All faculty and staff who are currently in a non-discount status and become tobacco free or enroll in a tobacco cessation program before June 30 have the opportunity to qualify for the discounted rates from July 1 – December 31 of the plan year. Complete and submit the Midyear Attestation if you qualify.

Link to this FAQ

What is the teaching equivalency for courses taught on less than a 16-week standard semester?

The teaching equivalency for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), 3 1/3 hours worked per credit hour taught, remains the same: 1 credit hour taught equals 3 1/3 worked hours, regardless of the time period the class covers.

Visit the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) page for more information.

Link to this FAQ

If I am currently in a tobacco cessation program, when can I recertify again?

You must recertify with the Midyear Attestation by June 30 and again during Annual Enrollment each year.

Link to this FAQ

What if I choose to suspend coverage while I’m on military leave?

If you choose to suspend coverage while on leave, you must resume your coverage within 31 days of your return to benefit-eligible university employment. If you suspend coverage, coverage is also suspended for all your dependents. Upon your return to work, the coverage for your dependents may be resumed along with your own coverage.

If you choose to suspend coverage while on military leave, coverage is also suspended for your dependents. However, you may enroll your family in a separate military health plan for dependents if you are called to active duty for more than 30 days. Immediately contact the appropriate Armed Forces personnel for information related to these plans, or visit Tricare for more information.

When you do return to benefit-eligible university employment, coverage for your dependents may be resumed along with your own coverage.

Link to this FAQ

Can dependents on active duty be covered under university benefits?

Dependents (including spouses) on active duty are not eligible for the university's medical or dental insurance coverage.

Link to this FAQ

I’m enrolling in a tobacco cessation program. When can I get a discount on my insurance premiums?

If you are enrolling in a cessation program, or re-enrolling in a cessation program, you must be tobacco free for at least 3 months or enrolled in a new tobacco cessation program prior to submitting your tobacco attestation.

Please keep in mind that if you begin using tobacco products at any time during the plan year, you must submit a new tobacco attestation to your Campus Benefit Representative or the HR Service Center at the time you begin using the product(s).

Link to this FAQ

What happens when I return to work from a leave of absence due to active duty?

When you return from a military leave of absence, you will be compensated at the rate of pay you would have received had you continued working during the period of leave. All time spent on a military leave of absence will be counted with previous university experience in calculating seniority and compensation.

If you become physically or mentally unqualified to perform the duties of your former position, you shall be offered employment in a position for which you are qualified.

Use the table below to find out how and when to return to work, based on your type and length of military leave:

Annual training session or emergency mobilization (1-30 days) Emergency mobilizations (31-180 days) Emergency mobilizations (181+ days)

Return to work the first regularly scheduled work day that would fall eight (8) hours after the person returns home.

An application for re-employment must be submitted no later than 14 days after completion of service.

 

An application for re-employment must be submitted no later than 90 days after completion of service; and the employee is qualified to perform the duties of the position.

Learn more about your options when taking a military leave of absence from a university job.

Link to this FAQ

Who receives a 1099-R?

Anyone who receives a distribution from the Retirement, Disability and Death Benefit Plan (i.e., receives a pension payout) during the tax year, will receive Form 1099-R from the University.

Link to this FAQ

How should employees with both teaching and non-teaching assignments record hours under PPACA?

For the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), employees that have both teaching and non‐teaching responsibilities (e.g., a part‐time academic employee who teaches classes and also works in a research lab), use the full-time equivalency (FTE) to determine the hours worked. The FTE should include the credit given using the teaching equivalency(3 1/3 hours worked per credit hour taught), as well as a reasonable estimation of the hours spent doing non‐teaching assignments.

Visit the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) page for more information.

Link to this FAQ

Who can apply for development leave?

All regular employees are eligible to apply for development leave for a time period extending up to a full year.

Link to this FAQ

How should hours for teaching clinical courses be tracked under the Affordable Care Act (PPACA)?

Hours worked in a clinical setting should be tracked in the same manner as a variable-hour, non‐teaching exempt employee by recording actual worked hours using a non‐pay time reporting code in the time reporting system.

Link to this FAQ

When will I receive Form 1099-R?

If you receive a pension payout, Form 1099-R will be available to you in myHR.  To access the form, select the “Payroll” tile, then in the left-hand menu choose “View Your 1099-R Form.”  You will be prompted to enter your password to access the electronic form. 

Retirees do not have the option to provide electronic consent for the 1099-R form so a paper form will be postmarked to you by the end of January (or early February if the end of January falls on a weekend) for delivery by the US Postal Service. Please allow 10 business days for delivery.

Link to this FAQ

Where can I get information on tobacco cessation programs?

The Total Rewards website has information for each of the campuses regarding cessation programs with local resources.

Link to this FAQ

Will I get paid if I go on development leave?

It's improtant that you seek external grants or fellowships to help fund your development leave, but whether you receive external fellowships and grants or not, you can receive up to your full salary during development leave.

If you don’t remain employed at the university in full-time status for the same amount of time that you were on development leave, though, you will have to reimburse the university for salary and benefits accumulated during your development leave. You will have three months to make this reimbursement.

Link to this FAQ

Do I receive holiday pay, sick leave, and vacation while on development leave?

If you are in pay status, you will receive holiday pay. You will also accumulate sick and vacation leave. While on leave, you can also retain your maximum personal days, but you have to use these days before the end of the anniversary year or they will expire.

Link to this FAQ

If I start using tobacco, when do my contributions change from discount to non-discount?

Contributions would change to the non-discounted rate on the first of the month following the date you submit your revised tobacco attestation.

Link to this FAQ

I didn’t receive my Form 1099-R. How can I obtain a reprint?

Form 1099-R will be postmarked by the end of January (or early February in year's where the end of January falls on a weekend) for delivery by the US Postal Service. Please allow 10 business days for delivery. If you have not received your 1099-R form by February 16, please contact the HR Service Center to request a reprint via.

The 1099-R form is also accessible in myHR. To access the form, select the “Payroll” tile, then in the left-hand menu choose “View Your 1099-R Form.”  You will be prompted to enter your password to access the electronic form. 

Link to this FAQ

What happens if I’m not a tobacco user but I marry a tobacco user mid-year?

 If you begin covering your new spouse on your medical plan, your premiums will change from discounted rates to non-discounted tobacco rates beginning the first of the month following the date of marriage. You will be required to sign a benefit change form, a new attestation, and provide proof of relationship.

Link to this FAQ

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides employees the right to take a leave of absence for family, medical reasons, and leave for military families while maintaining job protection. Qualifying absences under FMLA will not be considered in calculating occurrences of absence that may lead to disciplinary action.

Link to this FAQ

How should hours for teaching clinical courses be tracked under the Affordable Care Act (PPACA)?

For the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), hours worked in a clinical setting should be tracked in the same manner as a variable-hour, non‐teaching exempt employee: by recording actual worked hours using a non‐pay time reporting code in the time reporting system.

Visit the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) page for more information.

Link to this FAQ

What happens if I’m not a tobacco user but my dependent child is?

You will need to mark "tobacco user" on the Tobacco Attestation and pay the non-discounted premium rates.

Link to this FAQ

Who is eligible to obtain FMLA leave?

Anyone employed by the university for at least 12 months and who  has worked at least 1250 hours in the 12-month period preceding is eligible for a family or medical leave. Special limitations may apply to highly compensated employees.

Link to this FAQ