YNHHS announces Compensation and Benefits 2021 plan

Yale New Haven Health has announced details of the 2021 compensation and benefits program – a comprehensive and competitive package that includes a modest pay increase, one single medical plan, several PTO changes, and certain benefits enhancements for YNHHS employees.

“As a result of YNHHS’ anticipated and significant operating loss this year due to COVID-19, we’ve had to make difficult decisions in order to reduce this loss while minimizing the impact on patient care and staff,” said Kevin A. Myatt, senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “The 2021 compensation and benefits program is consistent with our values, and is competitive, contemporary and cost-effective.” 

Compensation program for 2021 

YNHHS values its staff and was determined to provide an increase this year, in addition to the 5 percent COVID Special Achievement Award paid in May. Despite the health system’s financial challenges, there will be a salary increase of 2 percent for most employees, effective with the Dec. 10, 2020 paycheck. Directors and above, and per diem employees, are ineligible for the increase. Employees at or near their salary range maximum will receive any portion of the increase up to their range maximum in their base pay and the remainder as a lump sum bonus payment over 26 bi-weekly pay periods. Employees hired after Nov. 24, 2019 will have a prorated increase based on hire date. 

Additional highlights include:

  • Due to the pandemic, most PIP goals were not achieved. As a result, there will be no PIP payout in December 2020.
  • The Special Achievement Award program remains in place with a maximum payout of 2 percent of eligible earnings.

PTO program changes 

YNHHS’ Paid Time Off (PTO) program is designed to support employee health and well-being. The changes to the PTO program encourage staff to take well-deserved time off while reducing the ongoing liability issues caused by accrued but unused PTO.

  • All benefits-eligible staff with one or more years of service will be required to take a minimum of 80 hours of PTO each year (including holidays but excluding hours elected for PTO cash-in during 2021).
  • For PTO cash-in, the maximum number of hours allowed to be cashed-in are reduced by 50 percent. The PTO cash-in option will be eliminated beginning year 2022.
  • Payout of PTO balances - at retirement, employees will receive 100 percent of PTO balance if age 65 or older with 10 or more years of service on/before December 31, 2022; 50 percent after Dec. 31, 2022. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, retirement before age 65 will pay out 50 percent.
  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, at termination, employees will receive 50 percent of their PTO balance with sufficient notice and 1 year of service; and $0 if insufficient notice or less than 1 year of service.
  • Beginning January 1, 2023, there will no longer be a grandfathered maximum number of hours in PTO banks. Employees currently at 1.5 times their maximum accrual have until December 31, 2022 to bring their maximum hours down to or below 1 times their maximum accrual. Any amount over one times the maximum will be forfeited as of that date.

New YNHHS medical plan for 2021 

For 2021, YNHHS will offer a new, single medical plan (replacing the current Advantage and Advantage Plus plans) that will significantly reduce out-of-pocket costs when using YNHHS providers and facilities. The single medical plan offers three tiers, with the level of coverage based on the providers you choose:

Tier 1- Signature Network is a newly expanded in-system network offering significant reductions in out-of-pocket costs for using YNHHS and certain other designated facilities and providers included in the Signature Network. Additional benefits include flat copays, and no deductibles or coinsurance for an inpatient or outpatient visit within the network (including physician professional fees).

Tier 2 - Anthem PPO Network that includes facilities and providers that are not part of YNHHS, but covered by Anthem. The out-of-pocket costs/maximum will be higher, including increased deductibles and coinsurance.

Tier 3 - Out-of-Network facilities and providers. Out-of-pocket costs/maximum will be higher—in some cases significantly.

With just the single plan, the tier is determined at the point of service. Employees who need either routine or emergent medical care when out-of-state may access Anthem’s extensive national network of hospitals and providers, and be covered at Tier 2 levels.

Employees currently in the Advantage Plan will see an increase in their medical premiums and those in the Advantage Plus Plan will see a slight decrease. Medical premiums will continue to be based on salary and employees who meet certain salary requirements and complete Know Your Numbers will continue to be eligible for free medical coverage.

Additional benefits highlights include:

  • No changes to dental or vision plans or premiums for 2021.
  • A new Patient Resource Coordinator will be available (in Nov./Dec.) to assist in explaining tier coverage and potential costs, finding providers, making appointments, and assisting with billing issues. Until this role is implemented, staff may email POPHEALTHCI@ynhh.org to find out if their clinician(s) will be included.
  • All employees and their covered dependents will be automatically enrolled in livingwell CARES (LWC), the free concierge service to support and navigate employees to health resources. (See LWC article in this issue.) A LWC clinical nurse specialist will contact those with a diagnosis of high blood pressure and/or diabetes to work with them on illness prevention and care management. Employees or spouses living with a chronic condition may qualify for waived or reduced copays on select medications or supplies. Employees may opt out if desired.
  • New Student Loan Counseling & Refinancing Program offering free counseling on the consolidation of employee, spouse and dependent’s student loans.
  • New Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program administrator named “HSA Bank.” Benefits-eligible employees may continue to elect to have a portion of their salary deducted on a before-tax basis to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare or dependent care expenses.

Yale New Haven Health launched a new Benefits portal www.ynhhsbenefitsconnection.org during Open Enrollment (Oct. 26 – Nov. 6, 2020), which contains detailed information on 2021 benefits, including a chart comparing medical benefit coverage by tier and a list of Tier 1/Signature Network providers.

Eligible employees currently enrolled in a YNHHS medical plan who failed to enroll automatically defaulted to the new YNHHS medical plan. Those who currently waived coverage defaulted to waive coverage.

Employees may find comprehensive benefits info at HRConnect, YNHHS’ benefits service center, at www.ynhhs.org/hrconnect or at 1-844-543-2147 Monday through Friday, 7:30 am – 5 pm.