November 18, 2013

Volume 8 | Issue 13 | November 18, 2013

Open enrollment for employees eligible for benefits

Open enrollment for employees who are eligible for benefits runs from today, Nov. 18, to Dec. 6. Open enrollment is your chance to make changes to your current benefit elections. These changes will take effect as of Jan. 1, 2014. Open enrollment is also your only opportunity to enroll in flexible spending accounts for 2014.

Because open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act exchange continues into early 2014, it’s more important than ever to realize that once you make your benefits elections, you may not make changes during the year unless you experience a qualified family status change. Only a life status change, like adding a dependent due to marriage or birth, may allow you to move from the exchange to the Whitman plan, or vice versa, during the plan year.

In 2014, employee premium rates for life and AD&D and medical insurance will not increase. That means your rates will remain the same unless you are moving into a new age band of life insurance or making other changes to your current elections. Dental premiums have actually decreased by 10 percent, and the new lower deductions will be effective as of your Jan. 31 paycheck.

Over the next week, you will receive an open enrollment email containing online links to all the additional forms and materials you may need. You and your family members can also access this information from the Human Resources webpage. You only need to print and complete those forms supporting any changes you elect. If you are satisfied with your current elections and do not want to participate in a flexible spending account in 2014, you don’t have to do anything.

Our deadline for open enrollment changes is Friday, Dec 6. All related forms must be completed and submitted to human resources by that date. As always, please feel free to contact human resources for additional information.

Informational meetings about Affordable Care Act for employees

In preparation for Affordable Care Act open enrollment in November and December, Whitman is hosting two general information sessions open to all employees. Sally Borte, an insurance broker from Parker, Smith and Feek will be on campus to answer your questions about the ACA.

The first session will be at noon, and the second session will be at 3:30 p.m. Both sessions are on Thursday, Nov. 21 in Memorial 331.

Borte will speak about how the ACA interfaces with college plans. She will also address exchanges and who may benefit from the exchanges. While regular and part-time employees working 30 hours or more per week will not be eligible for subsidies, it is possible that some part-time employees working fewer hours and paying a higher percentage of the premium may be subsidy-eligible through the exchanges.

Because the room has limited capacity, please RSVP to if you plan to attend either meeting.

AFLAC representative available for questions

Do you have questions about your current AFLAC supplemental benefits? Are you unsure of how to claim your wellness benefit? Do you want to know more about AFLAC and the reduced rates available to Whitman College employees?

An AFLAC representative will be available to meet with employees about supplemental insurance options on three different dates. On Wednesday, Nov. 20, meet with a representative in Memorial 135 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The representative will be available again in Memorial 135 from 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Dec. 3, and then available from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Reid 110 on Wednesday, Dec. 4. You do not need an appointment to meet with the representative – just drop in.

Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund Accepting Applicants

Would you like to see an efficiency improvement on campus, but aren't sure where to turn? Apply for the Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund!

The SRLF is a $50,000 line of credit set aside by the college to improve campus efficiency, to reduce waste and pollution and to increase awareness about our environmental impact. Projects pay back their loan via financial savings within five years. Approximately $10,000 is available each year. More information is available here.

This year's application is now open, and staff and faculty involvement is encouraged. The application is available here. If you have any questions, contact Campus Sustainability Coordinator Tristan Sewell at

Sustainability Advisory Committee Meeting Thursday

The third Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting is this Thursday, Nov. 21 at noon in the Center for Teaching and Learning. October's minutes are available here. The agenda will be available on the Committees and Staff portion of the Sustainability website when finalized.

Campus Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Tuesday, Nov. 19
Ceremony. To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, Whitman College worked in collaboration with Walla Walla University, Walla Walla Community College, the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center to host two events. The first event is “Pain in the Glass,” a competition in which participants write the best business proposal to solve the issue of glass recycling in the community. The second is “ARTrepreneurship,” an opportunity for students to tell the stories of local businesses through artistic media. At this reception, the “Pain in the Glass” winner will be announced, and an exhibit of “ARTrepreneurship” work will be on display. Food and drink will be provided. 6 p.m. in Reid.

Athletic Events – Home Games

Tuesday, Nov. 19
Men's Basketball vs. Old Westbury - 8 p.m.

Parting Shot
By Matt Banderas, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

Cold and rainy outside. Perfect weather for rock climbing inside.
Full size.

Whitman College

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