TO: Schools Participating in the Rainbow Plan
FROM: Brian C. Meekhof, Benefits Administrator
Rainbow Plan Reenrollment
I am pleased to provide you with a Rainbow Plan reenrollment package for the Plan year beginning September 1, 1997. Although September 1 may seem to be a long way off, starting the reenrollment process now does have an advantage. Every step of the process completed now while employees are in school is one less step that needs to be completed while employees are away for the summer.
Follow These Enrollment Procedures for:
- · Complete the Reenrollment Information Sheet, Key Employee List and Authorization Letter.
- · The sample notice may be used to announce the reenrollment period to all eligible employees and to communicate enrollment instructions.
2. Eligible Employees Defined as: ¨ teaching staff working 500 or more classroom hours per year, and
¨ all other employees working 20 or more hours per week.
Distribute to each eligible employee:
- · The Rainbow Plan Enrollment Booklet. The booklet explains the Plan and the worksheet in the booklet assists participants in estimating the amount to contribute through the Rainbow Plan. (Extra worksheets are also included.)
- · Enrollment Authorization and Waiver Forms. All eligible employees must complete this form to choose to participate or waive participation in the Plan. Forms preprinted with the employee name and personal information are provided for those currently participating in the Plan; blank forms are provided for all other eligible employees.
- · “Answers to Common Questions”. This answers many questions related to orthodontia, dependent care, benefit election changes during the Plan year and forfeitures.
Distribute to employees participating in the dependent care account:
- · Dependent Care Eligibility Form. Any employee choosing to participate in the dependent care account must also complete this form. There is a change in eligibility for kindergarten expenses beginning September 1, 1997: kindergarten expenses no longer qualify as eligible expenses and cannot be reimbursed under the Rainbow Plan.
For employees who receive cash in lieu of benefits (see Communique 19 dated September 18, 1996):
- · If your school offers a cash incentive to employees who are eligible to opt out of the school’s insurance program (cash in lieu of benefits), the employees taking the cash incentive must complete an additional enrollment form. Contact me to receive the proper form.
Review and Verify Enrollments Before Sending to CSI:
þ Verify that the number of signed Enrollment Authorization/Waiver forms equals the number of eligible employees that you reported on the reenrollment information sheets. IRS regulations require that each eligible employee make an election or waive participation.
þ Verify that the annual elections of each participating employee do not exceed the following maximums:
Medical Expense: $ 2,500
Dependent Care: $ 5,000 ($2,500 if married but not filing a joint tax return)
Total Contributions: $ 10,000
þ Verify that the premium elections employees have made are consistent with school records. If health insurance rates (and consequently the required employee contributions) for the upcoming Plan year are not known when employees complete the enrollment form, a school may complete the premium portion of the election on the employees' behalf when the rates become available. Many schools have found this to be the least confusing for employees. (CSI insurance rates for the 1997/1998 Plan year were mailed April 21; contact me if you have not received a copy.) Do not include premium for optional life or long term disability coverage in the Rainbow Plan.
Return Enrollment Materials to CSI:
Many schools distribute and collect completed enrollment materials prior to summer vacation. Under this approach an employee may change the withholding amount during the summer by completing a new Enrollment and Authorization Waiver form. As long as the form is signed prior to September 1, the change can be made. The key advantage of this method is that it eliminates the need to collect forms from employees during the summer.
Send these completed enrollment materials to the CSI office as soon as possible:
· Reenrollment Information Sheet, Key Employee List, and Authorization Letter
· Signed Enrollment Authorization/Waiver forms for each eligible employee
· Dependent care eligibility forms for employees participating in the dependent care account
- All enrollment materials must be received by CSI no later than August 8, 1997.
(New employees have 30 days to sign up for the Plan; do not wait for new staff before mailing the enrollment materials back to CSI.)
If you have any questions regarding the reenrollment process or if I can be of any assistance to you, please contact me at (800) 635-8288, extension 267. I am here to help you make the Rainbow Plan work for you.