WPS Benefits News

April 2023 Edition: Financial Focus & Hootie Cares

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In This Issue:

  • Share Newsletter Feedback & Be Entered to Win a Budget Planner
  • Saving Money & Time By Switching to Mail-Order Prescriptions
  • Planning for Your Retirement
  • WPS Insider on Linkedin: Reminding Us to Not Leave Free Benefits Behind
  • Hope Hootie Made It to Your Mailbox!
  • When We Were Young Photo Project
  • Employee Benefits Contact Information
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We valued your feedback on our recent Open Enrollment Survey so much that we wanted to take the time to get your thoughts on an additional topic: our newsletter. We are in the process of lining out topics for the coming year and wellness/ learning campaigns that may be of interest to you.

  • Please take the time to use the google forms link below to give us your feedback about our newsletter: https://forms.gle/ChJsJUL7Kx8mc6bG8
  • Feedback received by Friday, April 28th will be entered into a drawing to win a Budget Planner to help you on your financial journey.

The journal includes places to record financial goals, debt trackers, monthly expenses, emergency fund savings, and even holiday budget planning. It even comes with 2 pages of cool stickers if you want to try to make budgeting fun! Cash envelopes are included if you want to branch out and try sticking to a cash budget if you have a goal to avoid use of credit cards.

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If you or family members are covered under either of the district health plans (UMR or Surest), your prescription coverage is through Maxor Pharmacy. Certain maintenance medications may qualify for the convenient mail service program through MaxorPlus. "Maintenance" medications refer to medicines you take on a regular basis but not things like antibiotics that you would only get a few times a year. Please keep in mind also that there are some medicines you may take on an ongoing basis that may not qualify for mail-order, including some controlled substance medications such as pain medications.

Think of the time you could save not waiting in long pharmacy lines, not to mention the dollars you could put back in your pocket! Medication can be delivered right to your mailbox.

You have a few different options if you want to look into whether your medications could qualify for this benefit:

  • Ask your doctor for a new prescription written for up to a 90-day supply with refills for up to one year. The doctor may fax, send electronically, call, or give you a written prescription.
  • You may go online and activate your mail order account at www.maxorplus.com.
  • You may download and print a Mail Order Form, fill it out, and mail it to the pharmacy, along with your prescription and payment.
  • You may call Maxor at 1-800-687-8629 and speak to Member Advocate who will help you activate your mail order account or you can call MaxorPlus Member Services at 1-800-687-0707.

Source: Maxor Pharmacy/MaxorPlus

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If you are a benefitted employee, 6% of your wages are deducted and contributed on your behalf to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS).

When you are ready to retire, Alexis Summers in Employee Benefits can help guide you through this paperwork as you take this big step. She can be reached at (316)973-4590 or asummers@usd259.net, and her contact info is also provided at end of this newsletter. This is a service many public agencies do not have with employees in most agencies instructed to work directly with KPERS. This is one of the many ways we continue to try to bring a personal touch to the benefits we provide. Please keep in mind that during certain high-volume times of year that we do prioritize retirements on the horizon to ensure paperwork is processed timely, so simple estimates may at times be deferred to KPERS for faster service if we are experiencing a high volume of actual retirements.

The district also offers multiple retirement savings plan options to supplement your KPERS. While these are not directly managed by district employees, they can be payroll deducted. For additional information, see these links:

403b information:

https://www.usd259.org/Page/17448 or https://www.omni403b.com/PlanDetail.aspx?tml=7529

457 information:

https://www.usd259.org/Page/17447 or contact Deb Anton at RPA (Retirement Plan Advisors) at danton@retirementplanadvisors.com or (316)210-5049

SOURCES: USD 259 Total Rewards Statement, USD 259 District Home Page

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Employee Benefits was excited to be able to partner with Strategic Communications over the last month in only their second installment of the WPS Insider, a newsletter stemming from the WPS Linkedin page. You can check that article out here, entitled Prioritizing Benefits and Work-life Balance:


Not only is the article a great recruitment tool for our district, but also a reminder of some of the FREE benefits available to us. One of Hootie's main missions is to keep you wise, and that means not leaving money on the table and maximizing not only your financial savings, but your health (both physical and mental!).

The article highlights just a few of the free services we don't want you to forget about:

  • Free counseling and work/life services through ComPsych for ALL employees and members of their household
  • Two free dental cleanings and exams per calendar year for anyone on either of the dental plans
  • Free annual vision exam each calendar year for anyone on either of the vision plans
  • Multiple free preventative exams on either health plan including annual physical with lab work, mammogram, well woman or well man exam, colonoscopy and CDC-approved vaccinations

In the long run, getting these services done will help you save money over time as well. Studies show putting off these services can result in higher costs later due to untreated or undiscovered issues. This can especially be seen in data we have seen on our dental plans, so be proud of that beautiful smile and go get a free dental visit!

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This magnet was mailed out along with a postcard to all employees at home addresses on file last month. We were excited to have something tangible hit your homes and remind you that we care. Your mental health matters to us and is an important part of your whole health. In today's electronic age, getting mail is just not that common anymore so we hope you enjoyed the delivery. Please keep this handy for yourself or any person living under your roof.

Despite having access to these free services, we also understand that there are high needs currently in the area of mental health and that many providers are stretched thin so far as availability. We we want to hear from you if you do reach out to ComPsych and have difficulty accessing what you need. We will respect your privacy and get you in touch with someone that can provide assistance to you. This was a service we sought out and enhanced to ensure employees had access to what they needed, so we certainly want to make sure it is serving the purpose intended!

You can reach out to Boni Burkhart, our supervisor specializing in employee health and wellness and the face of this program at bburkhart@usd259.net or (316)973-4737 or Danielle Dettmer, the department manager, at ddettmer1@usd259.net or (316)973-4561.

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When We Were Young Photo Project

Consider the "When We Were Young" project with your co-workers. If you are in a school, your students may love seeing who you once were (or maybe still are inside!). We saw a similar project years ago at a school we visited in another city. That and the project the photo above is taken from gave way to us adapting this. Many of us have these young photos outside of our door with a snapshot of facts about our younger selves.

Source: https://petapixel.com/2013/08/28/reflections-portraits-of-the-elderly-seeing-their-younger-selves/

Here is one for you to guess for now, someone you may know from Human Resources/Employee Benefits...

  • 2nd grade photo
  • Wanted to be a dentist when he grew up
  • Favorites: Music, roller coasters, building rockets, and playing baseball
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Employee Benefits Team

Back Row: Gina Wiedemann, Alexis Summers, Douglas Mumma, Nicole Heizelman, Sandra Cruz

Front Row: Terry Fields, Boni Burkhart, Danielle Dettmer, Jeana Melton

Missing and to be added in near future: Nathan Werner (New team member to Employee Benefits)

Gina Wiedemann - Benefit Analyst

  • Administration of employee and retiree health plan which includes medical, dental, vision, pharmacy benefits, and flexible spending accounts
  • Annual open enrollment



Alexis Summers- Retirement Specialist

  • Serves as the district retirement liaison
  • Acts as the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) designated agent for USD 259



Douglas Mumma - Risk Compliance Analyst

  • Property & Casualty Insurance Claims related to damage to district property and buildings
  • Risk Analysis
  • Bodily Injury Claims for Students & Members of Public



Nicole Heizelman - Employee Benefits Health, Wellness & Disability Technician (Certified Staff)

  • Certified staff contact for Medical Leave
  • Certified staff contact for FMLA
  • Certified staff contact for Maternity/Parental/Adoptive Leave
  • Unpaid Health Leave of Absences



Sandra Cruz - Workers' Compensation Technician

  • Administering all aspects of the district's Workers' Compensation program
  • Authorization and coordination of care as directed by Kansas State Statutes under the KS Department of Labor



Nathan Werner - Workers' Compensation Claims Assistant

  • Providing support to the Workers' Compensation program in timely and accurate assistance in claims processing of employee claims in accordance with best practices and state regulations



Terry Fields - Benefits & Budget Assistant

  • District life insurance & supplemental life insurance
  • New hire benefits enrollment
  • Annual open enrollment
  • Budget tracking assistance for department



Boni Burkhart - Supervisor of Employee Health, Wellness & Disability Programs

  • Supervising Workers' Compensation, FMLA and Medical Leave Programs
  • Managing mandatory referrals to, and promotion of, ComPsych EAP (Employee Assistance Program)
  • Administration of Catastrophic Leave Pool and benefit applications



Danielle Dettmer - Manager of Employee Benefits & Insurance Management

  • Facilitating strategic goals that bring competitive and diverse benefit choices to USD 259 employees
  • Developing communications and educational resources for employees to help them become independent consumers of their own benefits
  • Overseeing multiple benefit specialty areas for the district and managing a team of subject matter experts
  • Aligning benefit offerings with district mission and vision



Jeana Melton - Employee Benefits Health, Wellness & Disability Technician (Classified Staff)

  • Classified staff contact for Medical Leave
  • Classified staff contact for FMLA
  • Classified staff contact for Maternity/Parental/Adoptive Leave



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Danielle Dettmer

Manager of Employee Benefits

HR/Employee Benefits & Insurance Management

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