Summary of Employee Benefits
Group Insurance Commission (GIC)
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission (GIC) administers both health insurance and other benefits for eligible state employees, dependents, and retirees. Benefit options may be found on the
The Group Insurance Commission (GIC) offers the choice of 11 different health insurance plans, life insurance, long-term disability coverage, and flexible spending account options to Salem State’s benefit-eligible employees. Health insurance elections can be made at the time of hire and may be changed during the annual enrollment period. Want to compare the benefits of each provider? Check out the GIC’s Benefit Decision Guide for a summary of plan options.
Heath insurance benefits begin on the first of the month following 60 days from the date of hire, or two calendar months, whichever comes first.
You can request and complete forms electronically now. Just request the form(s) you need at myGIC Link.
Some requests will require you to upload supporting documentation to your form. Please review the Required Documentation for GIC Coverage to find out what you need to upload.
- Commonly used forms:
- to enroll, add/remove dependents, change, or cancel your insurance please request the Enrollment/Change Form 1.
- to add a dependent between the ages of 19-26 please request the Dependent Age 19-26 Enrollment/Change form.
- to change your life insurance beneficiaries, or are enrolling for the first time please request either Form 319 (3 or less beneficiaries) or Form G500 (4 or more beneficiaries).
Dental insurance is provided to benefit eligible employees and their qualified dependents. Dental coverage is determined by your employee category.
*Dental and vision care options vary depending on an employee’s collective bargaining unit.*
AFSCME Dental & Vision: employees and their qualified dependents are eligible for coverage under the Massachusetts Public Employees Fund Dental and Vision Care Plans beginning on the first day of the month following six months of employment. There is no employee cost for either individual or family coverage.
For more information, visit https://www.mpefund.org/.
APA and MSCA employees and their qualified dependents are eligible for coverage under the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education/Massachusetts Teacher Association Health and Welfare Trust Fund MetLife dental plan beginning 180 days from hire date. MetLife provides the Vision Access program as part of the dental plan program. There is no employee cost for the premium for either individual or family coverage. Benefits are administered by Health Plans, Inc.
For more information, visit https://bhe.healthplansinc.com/members/dental-plan-documents-mta/.
All Non-Unit employees and their qualified dependents are eligible for coverage under the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Non-Unit Employee dental plan beginning on the first day of the first month following completion of two full months of continuous employment. Health Plans, Inc. provides the Vision Access Program as part of the dental plan program. Dental insurance premiums (half of the monthly cost) are deducted on a post-tax basis from the first and second biweekly pay period of the month (an annual total of 24 payments). Benefits are administered by Health Plans, Inc.
For more information, visit https://bhe.healthplansinc.com/members/dental-plan-documents-non-unit/.
Non Unit Welcome Letter
Non Unit Enrollment/Change form
Non Unit Summary of Benefits
Unit Welcome Letter
Unit Summary of Benefits
Vision discount program
The MetLife Vision Access for the Unit and Non Unit is a discount program.
To finding a participating vision provider, the best tool to reference is on the website: https://bhe.healthplansinc.com/
Staff can login, click the link for MetLife, and find the Search for Discount Vision providers. Enter your zip code and participating providers are shown.
Commuter Benefit Program
Employee Assistance Program
There is a comprehensive suite of free mind/body and life/work resources available to GIC benefits-eligible employees and their families on liveandworkwell.com (access code: mass4you).
Additional benefits include:
- Three in-person or Tele-EAP (virtual) counseling visits per issue per year – at no cost.
- 30-minute telephonic or in-person legal or mediation consultation per issue per year – at no cost.
- Guidance from a financial advisor to help with debt, foreclosure, financial planning, and more.
- Referrals for a variety of Work-Life convenience services: child care, elder care, and more.
- Access to Optum’s 24/7 confidential Substance Abuse Treatment Helpline and a licensed clinician.
Workers Compensation Leave
Workers’ Compensation Insurance provides you salary protection and medical coverage if you have an injury or illness occurring from a work-related accident. Workers’ Compensation insurance is required by state law (Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 152.)
If you suffer from an on-the-job injury or job-related illness, and your claim is approved, you may receive benefits to cover medical costs and offset the loss of wages during your period of disability.
If you are involved in or witness an accident at work, you should report it immediately to your supervisor. Your supervisor will prepare a Notice of Injury/Illness Report and notify HRD of the accident. A delay or failure to report an on-the-job injury could jeopardize your workers’ compensation benefits.
All reported accidents and injuries will be reviewed by an HRD Workers’ Compensation Adjuster for liability, disability, and compensability. If your injuries result from your serious or willful misconduct or occur outside the scope of employment, you will not be covered by Workers’ Compensation.
State Employees Responding as Volunteers (SERV) Program
Under Executive Order 479, eligible regular state employees with at least six months of service may volunteer during work hours for a Massachusetts public or charter school or approved Massachusetts non-profit in the area of education, environment, health, human services, or public safety. The maximum SERV benefit is one day per month and requires pre-approval from your supervisor. For more information regarding the program, please visit the SERV website.
Are you about to turn 65? Check out this video to find out what to do about Medicare and your health insurance.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that all employees enroll in a qualified retirement plan. Retirement programs for state employees fall under either the State Employees’ Retirement System (MSERS) or the Department of Higher Education Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), an option for benefitted faculty, librarians and administrators. Membership in the State Employee Retirement System (a defined benefit plan) is mandatory for nearly all state employees who are regularly employed at least 50 percent of full-time hours. Benefitted faculty, librarians and administrators have the option to enroll in the Department of Higher Education Optional Retirement Program (a defined contribution plan). Part-time, seasonal or temporary employees of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are required to participate in an Alternate Retirement Plan (OBRA) through the SMART Plan. This plan is an alternative to Social Security as permitted by the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA).
Massachusetts state employees do not have Social Security taxes withheld from their earnings. Employees retiring from the commonwealth, who are eligible for Social Security benefits, may have their Social Security benefits reduced by Social Security’s windfall elimination provision or government pension offset. Please contact your local Social Security Office if you have questions regarding this information.
State Board of Retirement - for all benefited employees
Voluntary tax deferred savings plans, such as 403b or 457b accounts
Deferred Compensation (Save Money and Retire Tomorrow – SMART Plan)
One of your optional benefits is the Massachusetts Deferred Compensation SMART Plan, a supplemental retirement savings program offered through the State Treasurer and administered by a private financial services provider. Authorized under Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code, the SMART Plan allows you to save and invest pre-tax dollars for retirement through voluntary salary contributions. You decide, within IRS legal limits, how much of your income you want to defer as this account is solely funded by your own contribution and is not matched or contributed to by the Commonwealth. Your Payroll Department will reduce your paycheck by that amount before income taxes and your contributions will be invested, per your instructions, to one or more of the investment options offered under the Plan. There is no employer contribution match. If you participate, a nominal monthly administrative fee will be deducted from your account. Your contributions and earnings that accumulate over the years are not taxed until you withdraw funds.
You are allowed to receive a distribution if you separate from service, experience an unforeseeable emergency as defined by the IRS (your estate receives the distribution if you die while still employed). If you participate in the SMART Plan, your pension or Social Security benefits will not be replaced or reduced.
Comparison of Key Features between 457 and 403(b) Plans
403(b) Savings Plan
The Massachusetts 403(b) Elective Deferral Savings Plan gives employees the opportunity to supplement their core benefits of the state retirement plans (MSERS or ORP), and is an important component of your personal savings for retirement.
For more information, visit: 403(b) - Tax-Deferred Annuity
- Salary Reduction Agreement 2022 If you wish to participate in the 403B please complete the attached form, provide proof of enrollment with TIAA, Fidelity, or VALIC and send this form to Human Resources. If you have any questions please reach out to Logan Taylor, HR Generalist at email@example.com.
- 403B Provider Contacts to set up your account and provide proof of enrollment included below:
Elizabeth (Betsey) O’Boyle, Senior Financial Consultant
Laura Wilson, Administrative Assistant
97 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
457 Deferred Compensation SMART Plan
The 457 deferred compensation plan allows state employees to set aside a portion of earnings, through a payroll deduction, as an investment for retirement. The maximum contributions are defined by the IRS according to specific guidelines, including additional contributions if the individual is age 50 or older. The amounts contributed to the deferred compensation plan are not included in the employee’s income for the purposes of federal and state income tax withholding, but they are subject to Medicare taxes.
The Office of the State Treasurer manages the Commonwealth’s 457 Deferred Compensation SMART Plan. Empower is currently the third-party administrator for the SMART Plan.
For more information, visit https://www.mass.gov/smart-plan-for-public-employees
457 Smart Plan Contacts Michael O'Brien and Marianne Cole
Flexible Spending Accounts
The GIC offers participation in Health Care Spending Accounts (HCSA) and/or the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP). Learn more about the benefits of enrolling in a flexible spending program.
Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP)
You may be able to choose to pay certain dependent care expenses, such as childcare and day camp, with pre-tax dollars through the Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP). This plan is offered by the Group Insurance Commission and is administered by a third party administrator. If you participate, you can significantly reduce your federal and state income taxes. There is a nominal monthly pre-tax administrative fee. It is important to estimate your expenses carefully, as the Internal Revenue Service requires you to forfeit any unused funds at the end of the plan year. You are eligible for DCAP if you work at least half-time and have employment-related expenses for a dependent child under the age of 13 and/or an incapacitated child or adult in your residence. The Open Enrollment period takes place in the spring and coverage goes into effect July 1, following the fiscal year calendar. You must re-enroll each year in the plan if you would like to continue. Dependent Care Eligible Expenses
Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)
The HCSA program, offered through the Group Insurance Commission and administered through a third party administrator, may allow you to pay for certain non-covered health related expenses with pre-tax dollars, thus reducing your federal and state income taxes. Expenses must be medically related such as office visits and prescription drug co-payments, medical deductibles and coinsurance, eyeglasses, contact lenses not covered by your health or vision plan, orthodontia and dental benefits not covered by your dental plan and other covered expenses. HSA Eligible Expenses. (en español)
If you are allowed to participate in the HCSA, you will be charged a nominal monthly pre-tax administrative fee. It is important to estimate your expenses carefully, as the Internal Revenue Service requires that any unused funds in a participant’s account at plan year-end be forfeited. You are eligible to participate in the HCSA plan if you are eligible for GIC benefits. The waiting period to enroll is the same as for health benefits. This program operates on a fiscal year basis. You must re-enroll each year in the plan if you want to continue participating. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/flexible-spending-accounts-fsas
Life Insurance (Basic)
The Commonwealth offers $5,000 of basic life insurance if you enroll in one of our health insurance plans. You may choose to enroll in basic life insurance without enrolling in the health insurance plan. You and the Commonwealth share the cost of this insurance.
To learn more the life insurance coverage, please visit Metlife’s website at: https://www.metlife.com/gicbenefits/
To apply, please request and submit your GIC Enrollment/Change Form-1 online at MyGICLink.
Life Insurance (Optional)
This term insurance may cover you and pays your designated beneficiaries in the event of your death or certain other catastrophic events. You pay 100% of the premium. As a new employee, you may enroll in Optional Life Insurance for coverage up to eight times your salary without the need for any medical review. If you do not elect optional life insurance coverage when first eligible, or do not elect the maximum amount available, you can apply at any time by completing a medical application for the insurance carrier’s review and approval.
To learn more the life insurance coverage, please visit Metlife’s website at: https://www.metlife.com/gicbenefits/
To apply, please request and submit your GIC Enrollment/Change Form-1 online at MyGICLink.
Long-Term Disability Insurance (LTD)
LTD, offered to you by the Group Insurance Commission, is an income replacement program that protects you in the event you become disabled or are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your job. It allows you to receive a portion of your salary on a tax-free basis. Employees pay 100% of the premium. LTD Plan Summary.
If you are a new full-time or half time employee, who works at least 18.75 hours in a 37.5-hour workweek or 20 hours in a 40-hour workweek, you may be able to apply to enroll in the LTD plan without providing evidence of good health within 31 days of hire. If you do not enroll within 31 days of hire, you are eligible to enroll in the LTD plan at any time but you will be required to provide evidence of good health for the vendor’s approval to enter the plan.
Vacation/Sick/Personal Leave Benefits
Paid and unpaid leave benefits and accruals are provided in accordance with the respective collective bargaining agreements.
2022 Mileage Reimbursement Rate
Per MassArt policy, each year the per-mile reimbursement rate for business use of a personal vehicle is to be adjusted to match the IRS published rate. The new rate For the final 6 months of 2022, the standard mileage rate for business travel will be 62.5 cents per mile, up 4 cents from the rate effective at the start of the year.
se their employees for mileage.
IR-2022-124, June 9, 2022
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rate for the final 6 months of 2022. Taxpayers may use the optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and certain other purposes.
For the final 6 months of 2022, the standard mileage rate for business travel will be 62.5 cents per mile, up 4 cents from the rate effective at the start of the year. The new rate for deductible medical or moving expenses (available for active-duty members of the military) will be 22 cents for the remainder of 2022, up 4 cents from the rate effective at the start of 2022. These new rates become effective July 1, 2022. The IRS provided legal guidance on the new rates in Announcement 2022-13, issued today.
In recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2022. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year. For travel from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2022, taxpayers should use the rates set forth in Notice 2022-03.
"The IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the recent increase in fuel prices,"
said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "We are aware a number of unusual factors have come into play involving fuel costs, and we are taking this special step to help taxpayers, businesses and others who use this rate.”
While fuel costs are a significant factor in the mileage figure, other items enter into the calculation of mileage rates, such as depreciation and insurance and other fixed and variable costs.
The optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs. This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage.
Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.
The 14 cents per mile rate for charitable organizations remains unchanged as it is set by statute.
Midyear increases in the optional mileage rates are rare, the last time the IRS made such an increase was in 2011.
Mileage Rate Changes
|Purpose||Rates 1/1 through 6/30/2022||Rates 7/1 through 12/31/2022|
The reimbursement rate for travel that occurred in 2021 remains at $0.575/mile.
You may participate in a pre‐tax benefit program that includes two reimbursement accounts with a nominal monthly administrative fee. The Parking and Transit programs may allow you to set aside pre‐tax money from your paycheck to pay for certain transportation (public or private mass transportation) or parking expenses (commuter lot or lots near your workplace) and are reimbursed with tax‐free dollars from your account(s).
Transportation Subsidy (pdf)
Benefited faculty and staff are eligible for tuition benefits in accordance with BHE policy and their respective collective bargaining agreements or non-unit personnel policy handbook as outlined below.
Board of Higher Education Policy:
To obtain a tuition benefit, please complete the systemwide tuition remission form located here: tuition-remission-form.pdf
MassArt employees can receive a 10% discount on a monthly membership to the YMCA and 50% off joiner's fees. Just bring your MassArt ID when starting a membership. If you are already a member, stop by your local YMCA with your MassArt ID and tell them you are an employee at MassArt to receive your discount. You can find out more in the YMCA Workplace Wellness Flyer.
Rukkus offers a 10% discount to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design community to all theater, concert, and sporting events. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "MCADDiscount" using your MassArt email and a customer advocate will provide you with a personalized discount code.
Chestnut Hill Realty
MassArt employees will receive $250 - $1,000 off the first month when they move into a Chestnut Hill Realty location plus any additional move-in special the specific location is currently offering. Discounts vary between locations. You can find out more in the Preferred Employee Program Flyer.
Liberty Mutual Insurance (APA & AFSCME Only)
As a MassArt employee, you could save on Liberty Mutual Auto and Home Insurance.1 Please contact your local agent Joel Fanjoy at 617-451-2009 Ext. 52414 or visit https://www.libertymutual.com/mbhe for more information.
1Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. Please consult a Liberty Mutual sales representative for additional information.