Information you need, right at your fingertips
Remember that old jingle advertising the Yellow Pages, telling you that information was “at your fingertips” whenever you used the phone book? Times have changed, that’s for sure.
Today, our fingertips are much more often at a keyboard and mouse, connected to the Internet. Temple is taking advantage of that convenience by improving online tools and information so that employees can get information about their benefits, and update their personal information, virtually around the clock.
Why the move to self-service? Simple. It saves time. It’s more convenient. It’s accurate, providing up-to-date information. And it reduces or even eliminates paper.
Self-service Web site
The most recent improvement was made earlier this year, when the first phase of the Employee Self-Service Web Site became available in May. Employee Self-Service is a Web-based system that enables employees to view and/or update their own personal, work and leave-related information form the Human Resource Information System.
Through it, employees can submit changes to some of the data maintained in the HRIS, such as emergency contact information and work location mailing address. In subsequent phases, they will be able to view hierarchy data, update home addresses, sign up for direct deposit, change tax withholdings, and view pay and benefit information.
The ESS Web site at http://ess.temple.edu is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The system is accessible from home or work — all you need is your AccessNet user name and password to log on.
The Independence Blue Cross Web site at www.ibx.com is a rich resource for information that can help employees make the most of their Temple medical benefits. For example, it contains:
Participating providers: Using a doctor or hospital from Independence Blue Cross’ extensive network can lower out-of-pocket expenses, such as co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance.
Wellness benefits: Online Health Assessments to help identify health problems, and information about:
• Reimbursements for wellness programs to quit smoking, lose weight or start an exercise program.
• Maternity programs for all stages of pregnancy.
• The Connections Health Management program to support employees and their family members with chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung or breathing problems or heart conditions. Available 24 hours a day, every day of the year by calling toll-free 1-800-ASK-BLUE.
Health information from nationally recognized health sources on screenings, general health and safety, family health and seasonal topics, and an online magazine, Health & You.
“HRMatters: Benefits Edition” newsletters are posted on the Human Resources Web site, at www.temple.edu/hr/benefitsNewsletters.html. They’re loaded with even more online resources and information.
At www.wageworks.com, eligible employees can take advantage of the online tools to view expenses that can be submitted to the healthcare and/or dependent care accounts. Be sure to keep close track of expenses, in order to exhaust the entire account by the end of the year.
Enrollment for pre-tax transportation benefits also can be completed online.
Employees can easily get to forms to update their contributions and information about their investments.
Forms to enroll in the program are available at www.temple.edu/hr/benpage.html under “Tax Sheltered Annuity.” Simply print the Enrollment and Authorization form, and complete and submit it to the Benefits Office at the University Services Building, room 608.
Employees can track their accounts’ investment performance, change their investments easily and make appointments to talk with investment counselors about their retirement goals. Simply visit www.tiaa-cref.org or www.fidelity.com/atwork or call Fidelity’s customer service line at 1-800-343-0860.
Temple’s employee assistance plan helps eligible employees get support easily for day-to-day problems. The program, called LifeWorks from Ceridian, delivers support and information quickly to help you deal with personal and work-related issues whenever you need it.
Its professionally trained consultants help with family problems, marital concerns, financial and legal matters, stress, depression and other problems affecting your personal or work life.
LifeWorks also has an award-winning Web site with hundreds of articles, calculators, worksheets, workshops and bulletin boards. Go to www.lifeworks.com for these resources.
Forms to update benefit information are available online all day, every day.
Benefits forms are available at www.temple.edu/hr. Simply click on “Information and Forms” in the “Benefits Corner.” You’ll find medical and dental claim forms, life and AD&D insurance beneficiary forms and tax-Sheltered annuity enrollment and authorization forms.
Temple’s personal data forms, authorizations for direct deposit and other human resources forms are at http://webserv.adminsvc.temple.edu/employeeforms/humanresources.htm.
For tax-related forms such as the 2005 Form W-4, go to www.irs.gov/formspubs, and click on “Forms and Instructions.”
Let your fingers do the walking — to all of the online resources and tools to maintain your records and use your employee benefits well.