• Benefits


    Eligibility

    All regular full-time employees are eligible to participate in a District sponsored medical and/or dental plan. Your eligible dependents include:

    • your legal spouse
    • your common-law spouse
    • your domestic partner (same and opposite sex)
    • your ex-spouse
    • your natural child up to the age of 26
    • your legally adopted child up to the age of 26
    • your step child up to the age of 26
    • child for whom you are court-ordered guardian up to the age of 26
    • child who is subject of a qualified medical child support order up to the age of 26
    • foster child up to the age of 26
    • grandchild if you legally adopt the child or become the legal guardian up to the age of 26
    • child over age 26 with mental or physical disabilities if the child is chiefly dependent upon you for support and care (more than 50%)

    Dependent children are eligible for dental coverage through the end of the calendar year in which they turn:

    • Administration - 25 years old
    • Non-Union - 25 years old
    • Local 808 Non-Certified - 19 years old
    • Local 808 Transportation - 19 years old
    • Westerly Teachers' Association - 19 years old

    Effective and Termination Date of Coverage

    Medical and dental coverage will become effective on the first day of the month following your hire date and will terminate on the last day of the month of your termination date unless stated otherwise in your collective bargaining agreement or COBRA is elected.

    The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events. Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102% of the cost to the plan.

    Should an employee fail to make contributions for their medical and/or dental plan, the coverage will be terminated.


    Enrolling in Coverage and Changes to Benefit Elections

    To enroll in coverage you must submit a Benefits Authorization Form within 30 days of your hire date, during Spring or Fall open enrollment, or if you experience a qualifying life event.

    A qualifying life event is the only circumstance under which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules allow you to make changes during the plan year to your medical, prescription, dental, dependent coverage and Flexible Spending Account contribution elections. Examples of a qualifying life event include, but are not limited to, marriage, divorce or legal separation, birth, adoption, or death of a dependent, a dependent that ceases to meet or begins to meet eligibility requirements, or a significant change in your spouse’s employment/benefit coverage. If you experience a qualifying life event, you must submit a Benefits Authorization Form within 30 days of the event to change your benefit elections. If you do not submit the form within 30 days, you will not be able to make changes until the next annual enrollment period.


    Medical and Dental Coverage

    The District contributes 80% towards medical and dental coverage and employees' are responsible for the remaining 20% through bi-weekly payroll deductions. If an eligible employee participates in the District's wellness program, than the District's medical and dental contributions are increased to 82.5% and the employee contributions are reduced to 17.5%.

    Westerly Teachers' Association members that elect the BlueSolutions High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with Health Savings Account (HSA) are responsible for a 15% coshare and members that elect the HealthMate Coast to Coast PPO are responsible for a 22% coshare.

    Newly hired or newly enrolling administration and non-union employees are only eligible to participate in the HDHP with HSA. Employees who move from the HealthMate Coast to Coast plan to the HDHP with HSA will not be able to switch back to the HealthMate Coast to Coast plan.

    All regular full-time non-union, administration, and Westerly Teachers' Association members are eligible to receive medical and/or dental buyback if you opt not to receive coverage through Westerly Public Schools. Local 808 (Non-Certified) and Westerly Teachers' Association members should review their collective bargaining agreements for buyback provisions.

    Administration

    Non-Union

    Local 808 (Non-Certified)

    Local 808 (Transportation)

    Westerly Teachers' Association


    Telemedicine

    Amwell Telemedicine is now included in all available medical plans! Telemedicine makes it easy for you to talk to board-certified doctors anywhere, anytime, using video chat from your smart phone, tablet, or computer. Members should enter key code: “BCBSRI” to ensure they are captured as BCBSRI members. WPS case number is 1100797. 


    High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and Health Savings Account (HSA) Basics

    Health Savings Account (HSA) is a type of savings account regulated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that allows you to set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. A HSA can be used only if you have a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). By using the untaxed funds in an HSA to pay for expenses before you reach your deductible and other out-of-pocket costs like copayments, you reduce your overall health care costs. HSA funds roll over year to year if you don't spend them.


    Medical and Dental Monthly Costs

    Employees who do not work a full calendar year may have their deductions taken out over 21 paychecks instead of 26 which will affect the monthly calculations below.


    Vision

    All employees are eligible to elect vision coverage through Vision Service Plan (VSP), an optional benefit completely funded through employee bi-weekly payroll deductions as shown below. For a small copay this benefit will include annual eye exams, prescription glasses or contacts, and more! Additionally, VSP Vision Care members can save up to 60% on the latest brand-name hearing aids.

    Individual - $10.08/month
    Individual + 1 - $16.13/month
    Individual + Children - $16.47/month
    Family - $26.55/month


    Employee Assistance Program

    All employees are eligible to utilize the Coastline Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which makes professional counseling available for you and your family on a free, confidential, and voluntary basis. In addition, employees can create a confidential personal profile to access wellness tools, including courses, assessments, calculators, videos,  articles, view monthly webinars (recorded and available anytime) on work/life topics, and build resilience through The Resilience Journey, an interactive experience online. Login with Westerly Schools. The EAP is available to help you with:

    • Counseling
      • stress, anxiety, depression, anger, grief, etc.
      • couples, family
      • addiction
    • Legal
      • free 30 minute consultation
      • discounted lawyer fees
      • no employment related legal issues
    • Financial
      • debt management, bankruptcy, budgeting
      • heating assistance programs, food stamps
      • identity theft recovery
    • Childcare
      • licensed daycare centers
      • sports programs, summer camp
      • tutoring
    • Eldercare
      • nursing homes and assisted living
      • home care agencies, adult day care
      • eldercare lawyers and case managers

    Flexible Spending Accounts

    All regular full-time employees can save money and reduce taxes by contributing to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for eligible healthcare and dependent care expenses on a pre-tax basis. As a result, you have more buying power than if you paid for the same expense with after-tax dollars. Any money left in your FSA at the end of the year will be forfeited in accordance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations. The District offers 2 FSA options:

    Healthcare Flexible Spending Account
    When you contribute to a Healthcare FSA, you will be reimbursed for any out-of-pocket healthcare expenses incurred by you or your eligible dependents. Examples of eligible expenses include medical, prescription and dental plan deductibles and co-pays, eye exams and glasses. Employees who have a Health Savings Account (HSA) in addition to a Healthcare FSA will be eligible for a Limited Purpose FSA which can be used for dental and vision expenses only.

    Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
    When you contribute to a Dependent Care FSA, you will be reimbursed for eligible dependent care expenses that are necessary for you and your spouse or domestic partner to work. Eligible expenses on the days you are working include licensed nursery schools, day care centers, baby sitting in or out of your home and disabled dependent day care services.


    403(b)

    All employees are eligible to contribute to a 403(b) plan from an approved 403(b) vendor listed below through bi-weekly payroll deductions. The District contributes 10% of eligible non-union employees' pay, even if you do not contribute. You may start, stop, or make changes anytime throughout the year. All 403(b) plans are governed by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations. Employees are responsible for opening up a 403(b) account from one of the approved vendors below and then submitting a Salary Reduction Authorization Form before contributions can be made.


    Life Insurance

    All regular full-time non-union, administration, Local 808, and Westerly Teachers' Association members receive life insurance at no cost through Symetra as listed below. Those employees who receive life insurance and wish to continue their coverage after retirement may elect to do so and will be responsible for paying the entire cost of the insurance. Employees must complete the Symetra Change of Beneficiary Designation Form to designate or change beneficiaries.

    Supplemental life insurance is available for all employees, their spouse (maximum benefit 50% of employee selection), and children as an additional bi-weekly payroll deduction. The cost for supplemental life insurance is based on age and coverage amount. Please click on one of the links below based on your work year to view the rate calculations.


    Long Term Disability

    All regular full-time non-union, administration, and Westerly Teachers' Association members receive Long Term Disability (LTD) at no cost through Symetra which helps to replace a portion of your income if you are sick or injured due to an occupational or non-occupational disability and are unable to work. LTD benefits are based on a 60% benefit percentage of your base pay up to a maximum dollar amount per month as specified below after an elimination period has been met. All LTD benefit payments are subject to reduction in benefits from other sources of disability income such as Worker’s Compensation or Social Security disability payments.


    RI Temporary Caregiver Insurance/Temporary Disability Insurance

    Rhode Island Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) provides eligible claimants up to four weeks of caregiver benefits to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law or grandparent, or to bond with a newborn child, new adopted child or new foster-care child. You must apply for TCI benefits during the first 30 days after the first day of leave is taken for reasons of Bonding or Caregiving.

    Rhode Island Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) provides benefit payments to insured RI workers for weeks of unemployment caused by a temporary disability or injury. It protects workers against wage loss resulting from a non-work related illness or injury, and is funded exclusively by Rhode Island workers.


    Teacher Retirement

    The Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI) provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits to public school teachers. Employee and employer contribution rates are set by Rhode Island General Laws §36-10.3-4 and §36-10.3-5.

    Teachers do not pay social security tax which means that your earnings from this job are not covered under Social Security. When you retire, or if you become disabled, you may receive a pension based on earnings from this job. If you do, and you are also entitled to a benefit from Social Security based on either your own work or the work of your husband or wife, or former husband or wife, your pension may affect the amount of the Social Security benefit you receive. Your Medicare benefits, however, will not be affected. Under the Social Security law, there are two ways your Social Security benefit amount may be affected.

    Windfall Elimination Provision
    Under the Windfall Elimination Provision, your Social Security retirement or disability benefit is figured using a modified formula when you are also entitled to a pension from a job where you did not pay Social Security tax. As a result, you will receive a lower Social Security benefit than if you were not entitled to a pension from this job. For example, if you are age 62 in 2005, the maximum monthly reduction in your Social Security benefit as a result of this provision is $313.50. This amount is updated annually. This provision reduces, but does not totally eliminate, your Social Security benefit.

    Government Pension Offset Provision
    Under the Government Pension Offset Provision, any Social Security spouse or widow(er) benefit to which you become entitled will be offset if you also receive a Federal, State or local government pension based on work where you did not pay Social Security tax. The offset reduces the amount of your Social Security spouse or widow(er) benefit by two-thirds of the amount of your pension. For example, if you get a monthly pension of $600 based on earnings that are not covered under Social Security, two-thirds of that amount, $400, is used to offset your Social Security spouse or widow(er) benefit. If you are eligible for a $500 widow(er) benefit, you will receive $100 per month from Social Security ($500 - $400=$100). Even if your pension is high enough to totally offset your spouse or widow(er) Social Security benefit, you are still eligible for Medicare at age 65.


    Tuition Assistance

    All regular full-time non-union, administration, and Westerly Teachers' Association members are eligible for tuition assistance provided that:

    Westerly Teachers' Association members should review their collective bargaining agreements for tuition assistance provisions.

    • Courses must be pre-approved by the Superintendent
    • Courses must be related to improving the ability of the employee to carry out work responsibilities
    • Courses are taken at an accredited institution
    • Course reimbursement maximum is $1,050 annually
    • Reimbursement is based on actual costs incurred; scholarships and other sources of funds are deducted before reimbursement
    • Reimbursement shall be made upon receipt of payment and passing grade for the course

    Notice of Creditable Coverage

    Medicare Part D - Annual Enrollment


    All information contained above may vary based upon collective bargaining agreements and administrator employment contracts. Non-union employees should reference Policy 4510 and administrators should reference Policy 4610 for more information.