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Annual Flu Shot Clinic

Tuesday, October 3, 9am-2pm, Anderson University Center, CK East

HR is hosting a flu shot clinic at no cost to you. The clinic is open to all current faculty and staff, and no appointment is necessary. Although there is no cost for your immunization, please bring your PLU Kaiser Permanente insurance card, if enrolled.

All employees will be required to fill out an Immunization Form. To save time, please download the form, complete it in advance, and bring it with you on October 3. If you have questions regarding the forms, please call Aileen at ext. 8146.
Immunization Form – With PLU Kaiser Coverage
Immunization Form – Without PLU Kaiser Coverage

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for nearly everyone 6 months or older. Influenza vaccines are designed to protect against infection and illness caused by the flu viruses research indicates will be most common during the flu season. These viruses can make even healthy people very sick and lead to thousands of hospitalizations and deaths every year.
lady with klenex - flu

A few people should not get the flu shot. Talk to your health care provider if you have a history of allergic reactions to the vaccine components, have had the paralytic illness Guillain-Barre syndrome, or you are moderately or severely ill. The vaccine is not approved for children less than 6 months old.

For the rest of us, the best time for vaccination against seasonal flu is autumn. Your protection starts in 1 to 2 weeks and generally lasts at least 6 to 8 months.

For more information, visit:

Kaiser Permanente – Merger Update

Since the Kaiser Permanente – Group Health Cooperative merge (effective February 1, 2017), things have been moving forward very quickly. Members have all received new ID cards and are seeing the new signage around the facilities. Kaiser is investing in the member experience, including upgrades to clinics, technology, and access to care. We hope that PLU employees and family members have had a similar positive experience.

If there are any questions or concerns with services from Kaiser, please contact the Kaiser Member Services Department at 888-901-4636 or visit Kaiser Member Services online.

PLU's Health Savings Account Plan

The PLU Health Savings Account (HSA) plan is one of the three options for health insurance. If you’re currently enrolled or are considering enrolling in the HSA plan and need more information, continue reading for some helpful facts and tools about the HSA plan.

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is like a 401(k) for healthcare. It is a tax-advantaged personal savings or investment account that individuals can use to save and pay for qualified health expenses, now or in the future. Paired with a high deductible health plan (HDHP), an HSA is a powerful financial tool that empowers consumers to be more actively involved in their health care decisions. Our HSA account is through HealthEquity.

Find out more about HSAs: Click on the links – “How Do HSAs Work?” and HSA FAQs and List of HSA Eligible Expenses. HealthEquity also has a variety of videos that are helpful in understanding HSAs:

Employer Contributions: For 2017-2018 plan year, PLU is contributing $75 per month (employee only) / $150 per month (employee and dependents) to the employee’s Health Savings Account.

Willamette Dental Group Moves Kent Office to New, Improved Location

Responding to record business growth in the area and demand for high quality dental care, Willamette Dental Group has opened a new office in Kent (new office address: 510 Washington Ave North). This state-of-the-art office replaces a previous location, also located in Kent. The new office includes 6,000 square feet of space, 16 dental operatory and exam rooms and new dental equipment. Visit Willamette Dental to see a full listing of provider locations.

Did You Know?

  • You own the Health Savings Account (HSA) and all contributions. The entire HSA balance rolls over each year and remains yours even if you change health plans, retire or leave PLU. This is not a “use it or lose it” account.
  • You can change your contributions at any time during the year.
  • The average American couple will need $265,000 (on average) to cover out-of-pocket health care costs in retirement. An HSA can help fill this Medicare gap as well as dental, hearing and vision expenses. Qualified medical expenses remain tax-free, even into retirement.
  • Once your account balance reaches $2,000, you can increase your earning potential by investing any funds over that amount in mutual funds. A comprehensive line-up of mutual funds is offered with options designed to fit your individual needs. PLU’s HSA account is through HealthEquity and you can manage the funds on your own or let one of their advisors do all of the work.
  • HealthEquity has a mobile app for you to use, on-the-go access and history, the ability to initiate claims and view their status, and manage debit card transactions all from the convenience of your phone. Click here to get more detail on how to download the mobile app to your phone.
  • HealthEquity has Health Account Mentors available to help if you have questions. Give them a call at 866-346-5800.

Individual Medical Coverage - When is it the Right Choice?

Are you looking for an alternative to PLU’s group plan for your children or your spouse?

Plans through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange may provide coverage options for your dependents.

As a reminder, Health Care Reform included an Individual Mandate, requiring everyone to have health care coverage, either through one’s employer or directly with an insurer. If you or your dependents do not have coverage, you could be subject to fines by the IRS. PLU’s Medical Plans satisfy this mandate, for those who are eligible and enrolled.

A. The next Qualified Health Plan Open Enrollment with the Exchange is November 1, 2017 to January 15, 2018. The deadline is December 15, 2017 for coverage to be effective January 1, 2018. Individual plans, outside of the Exchange, have a similar “open enrollment” window. However if you’re terminating employment or coming off COBRA coverage, you will have 60 days from the last day of coverage to get enrolled on an individual plan of your choosing.

A. Let’s say you have a child, age 20, who needs coverage. He can be enrolled on your PLU plan as your dependent. Or, he could enroll through the Exchange. If he selects a Kaiser Flex Silver plan with a $1,750 deductible and he is a non-smoking male, the premium could be as low as $156.87 per month. There are a variety of plan designs, identified as bronze, silver, etc. Plan costs differ based on the enrollee’s age and the plan design.

If benefits eligible employees or dependents opt out of PLU’s health plan, plans are available through Washington State’s HealthPlanFinder, but subsidized coverage may not be available.

Albers & Company is our benefits broker. Albers & Company has partnered with Bob May, a local independent agent specializing in Individual Medical and Medicare products, to give you peace of mind through times of transition. Bob has over 30 years of experience in the health insurance industry and is committed to finding the best coverage for you and your family’s needs. Please contact Bob May for more information on your Individual or Medicare insurance needs:

Bob May |
Local: 253-460-9444 | Toll Free: 888-770-0234


PLU offers regional transit passes to benefits eligible employees. Faculty and staff receive their ORCA card preloaded with an annual pass good from June through May. The majority of the pass’ cost is covered by PLU, but a small fee is charged to employees.

The cost of this benefit to employees is only $21.86 for the fiscal year. Bring your valid PLU ID to the Concierge Desk in the Anderson University Center to purchase an ORCA card.

To renew your ORCA card for fiscal year 2017-2018 (June-May), you’ll need to visit the Concierge Desk to fill out a renewal form and pay the employee portion of the benefit. You will not receive a new ORCA card. A valid PLU ID and ORCA card are required at the time of renewal. Please make it clear to the Concierge Desk staff that you are renewing your ORCA card.

Visit Commute Smart for more information. Contact Gretchen at ext. 7329 with questions.

Did You Know?

The deductibles on PLU medical plans are calculated on a calendar year basis, however, there is a 3-month carryover on individual (not family) deductible expenses. This means that claims incurred in October, November, and December that are applied to your 2017 deductible will also be applied to your 2018 deductible. This carryover occurs regardless of whether you meet your calendar year individual deductible or not.

Presenters Welcome for Annual Development Opportunities Event

Human Resources offers Personal and Professional Development Opportunities each spring for all employees. A wide variety of free workshops, presentations, and demonstrations are provided. If you and/or your department are interested in presenting a workshop as part of the Personal and Professional Development Opportunities in Spring 2018, please let us know.

Human Resources will welcome workshop proposals through November 1. To submit your proposal, please email a one-paragraph description of your workshop, including the name(s) of the presenter(s), to Laura Silcox at


This is a summary of the annual report of PLU’s Medical, Dental, Life, Supplemental Life, Long Term Disability, Travel Accident Plans, EIN 91-0565571, and Welfare Plans for the period of June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2017. The annual reports have been filed with the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), as required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

Insurance Information:

The Plan had contracts with the following insurance companies to pay claims incurred under the terms of the plans as follows:

Insurance CompanyPlan #Type of ClaimsPremiums PaidTotal Claims Paid
Principal Life Insurance Company501 & 503Long Term Disability, Life, AD&D, Supplemental Life$290,395Claims data not available
Kaiser Permanente
(formerly Group Health Options, Inc.)
Gerber Life & Accident Insurance Company508Travel Accident$1,275Claims data not available
Delta Dental of Washington510Dental$295,375*$258,693
Willamette Dental Plan510Dental$175,879*$142,426

*Estimated net premiums (gross premiums minus administrative expenses, Affordable Care Act taxes and Washington State premium taxes, as applicable.)

Benefits under PLU’s Flexible Benefit Plan are not funded (insured).  PLU has committed itself to pay reimbursement benefits incurred under the terms of the plan out of its general assets and from employee contributions made through its cafeteria plan.

Your Rights to Additional Information:

You have the right to receive a copy of the full annual report, or any part thereof, on request.

To obtain a copy of the full annual report, or any part thereof, write or call the office of Teri Phillips who is the Associate VP of Human Resources, Pacific Lutheran University, Human Resources Department, Tacoma, WA 98447; (253) 535-7185.  There will be no charge to cover copying costs for the full report or any part thereof.

You also have the right to receive from the Plan Administrator, on request and at no charge, a statement of the assets and liabilities of the plan and accompanying notes, or a statement of income and expenses of the plan and accompanying notes, or both. If you request a copy of the full annual report from the Plan Administrator, these two statements and accompanying notes will be included as part of that report.

You also have the legally protected right to examine the annual report at the main office of the Plan (Pacific Lutheran University, Human Resources Department, Tacoma, WA 98447) and at the U. S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., or to obtain a copy from the U. S. Department of Labor upon payment of copying costs.  Request to the Department should be addressed to: Public Disclosure Room, N-5638, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, U. S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210.

Three students celebrating at commencement

Tuition Benefits

Attention: Parents of High School Seniors
A reminder to all faculty and staff with dependent high school seniors who are considering the Tuition Exchange or ELCA programs for 2018-2019: it is not too early to apply. In fact, we encourage you to make application a priority this fall, as some of the schools’ 2018-2019 deadlines are before December. Remember, these programs are highly competitive and this is not a guaranteed benefit.

For more information on the Tuition Exchange program, visit If you are interested in applying for either program, you must complete an application. Please call Gretchen at ext. 7329 or Teri at ext. 7187 to help you through the process, answer questions, or to request a list of participating ELCA schools.

Title IX

PLU has adopted a Mandatory Reporting policy under Title IX. At PLU all employees are mandatory reporters; each of us is obligated to report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct of which we become aware. This obligation extends to all of us (except the Health Center, Counseling Center, Campus Pastor, and the Victim Advocates – these entities are considered confidential reporting sources) because of the University’s responsibility under Title IX.

For more information on Title IX, please visit PLU’s Title IX site.

Title IX Resources

PLU is committed to preventing and eliminating sexual harassment and discrimination. There are a number of resources available to members of the campus community who (1) believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination or (2) have witnessed someone being subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination. Working together, we can maintain a respectful and healthy campus.

Brave + Radical: Justice Recipes for Honest Dialogue on Power Structures & Racism

Led by Anna Czarnik-Neimeyer
Saturday, October 7, 2-4pm, Anderson University Center, CK East

Most of us feel we are good people doing mostly good things, just trying to get by. Yet we also see terrible injustice, both in recent news and in the structures we’re part of: our schools, our churches, our families, our government. We may want to act and have dialogue across difference, but aren’t always sure how to do it “right,” be heard, and start difficult conversations. It can feel scary & challenging. We’ll discuss creative ways to uncover, critique, and understand power structures, learn from scholars and activists doing this work, and consider the question: “How am I called to authentic action & courageous dialogue, starting right here, right now?”

Welcome New Faculty!

Emergency Resource Links

Please see the following resource links to prepare for personal, family, home and school emergencies:

Get Prepared for Winter Weather

Before winter arrives, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:

  • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
  • Sand to improve traction.
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
  • Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Matches in a waterproof container.
  • Adequate clothing and blankets or sleeping bags to keep you warm.

Sign-ups for Fall Wellness Classes Still Open

We are currently offering the following fall classes: Core Fitness, Walk Live, Yoga/Pilates, and Cardio Kick. Please see our Wellness page for a list of current classes, their descriptions, and to sign up.

yoga class

To be Safe is Well; To be Well is Safe. THAT'S SWELL.

There is a direct connection between safety and wellness. Employees who are healthy and feel well are more likely to be motivated and engaged. Without connecting safety and wellness, accidents, injuries, and lost productivity often result, as well as higher insurance costs. Additionally, product and service quality suffers and a drop in employee engagement can occur. Here are a few SWELL ideas for creating an integrated safety and wellness program that could fit your lifestyle and be most effective:

S – Sustainable Lifestyle

Actively participate in various activities, such as taking a health assessment, walking five days a week, joining in a Fitbit group, practicing yoga, cycling, joining a health club, or other imaginative ideas that can be maintained for a lifetime.

W – Wellness Programs

Faculty and staff are encouraged to visit PLU’s Human Resources wellness web page to register for upcoming classes:

E – Emergency Preparedness

Disasters don’t plan ahead…you can. Prepare thoughtfully what you may need to keep yourself, family and friends healthy and safe during an emergency. Do you have sufficient food, water, and clothing? Is your cell phone charged? Does a friend or loved one know where you will be? Visit FEMA’s National Preparedness website for additional information:

L – Love & Live

Love yourself enough to live a safe and healthy lifestyle. The professional counselors at First Choice EAP provide a free problem assessment and referral service where employees and their immediate family members can go for help in solving a variety of emotional, behavioral, family, relationship, financial, elder care, and mental health or chemical dependency concerns. Complete confidentiality is assured.

L – Leadership

Develop a strategic plan that will be your road-map to a positive impact on personal morale, satisfaction, attitude, and reduced health risks.

Additional Resources

Calendar of Events

October 3: Flu Shot Clinic

October 7: Brave + Radical: Justice Recipes for Honest Dialogue on Power Structures and Racism

October 11: Campus-wide Earthquake Drill

October 25-26: Individual Appointments with the TIAA Consultant

November 21-22: Individual Appointments with the TIAA Consultant

November 23-24: Thanksgiving Break

December 14: Christmas Celebration

December 19-20: Individual Appointments with the TIAA Consultant

December 25-January 1: Christmas Break

January 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

February 19: President’s Day Holiday

February 28-March 1: Personal and Professional Development Opportunities