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November 12, 2009

Pitt Benefits

The Great American Smokeout – November 19th

Thursday, November 19th, is the American Cancer Society’s 33rd Great American Smokeout. The Great American Smokeout was launched to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for just one day, and it remains a great opportunity to support people to commit to a long-term plan to quit for good. It usually takes more than one attempt to successfully quit smoking, but the University believes the Great American Smokeout is a great time to start.

The University understands the struggle many faculty and staff and/or their family members experience when trying to quit smoking, and supports those trying to quit by providing smoking cessation benefits through the Fitness for Life initiative.


Since the Fitness for Life program was initiated in July 2004, there have been numerous faculty and staff success stories as a direct result of the smoking cessation program. The smoking cessation benefits provided include coverage for:

  • Telephone-based health coaching
  • Face-to-face smoking cessation counseling
  • Smoking cessation prescription medication, such as Chantix and generic Zyban
  • Nicotine replacement products, such as nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, nasal spray and oral inhalers

In addition, reimbursement of the copayments for the covered smoking cessation medication will be provided for up to two courses of medication during each benefit plan year to faculty and staff members and their adult dependents who are covered under the University’s medical plan and who participate in the MyHealth Ready to Quit™ program. This reimbursement is contingent on the participant completing the 90-day follow-up assignment as part of the MyHealth Ready to Quit program. Participation in the smoking cessation program may be completed:

  • Online
  • By telephone
  • In person through LifeSolutions

If you smoke and are thinking about quitting, please visit the Fitness for Life Web site to learn more:

University of Pittsburgh Retirement Savings Plan

Certain changes in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations require organizations to update or amend Plan Documents and Summary Plan Descriptions (SPD). This applies to all of the University’s Retirement Savings Plans. The documents have been re-stated and re-filed in compliance with IRS regulations and are now available for review.

The University of Pittsburgh Retirement Program continues without any changes to the existing plan design, including the schedule of contribution rates, vesting rules and eligibility.

The new SPDs include an overview of the Plans with explanations of participation, vesting, contributions and allocations, and benefits.  Applicability of these provisions is subject to final determination of eligibility.

The complete text of the Plans and SPDs are available to you by visiting the Benefits Department Web site:

If you do not have access to the documents online, please contact the Benefits Department at (412) 624-8160 to request a hard copy.

A letter announcing the availability of the re-filed Plans and the new SPDs will be sent to the campus addresses of faculty and staff in November.

If you have questions about the Plans or SPDs, please contact:

Stan Charie:

Laura Phillips:

Flexible Spending Account Deadlines

As another reminder…

For the 2009 benefit plan year which ran from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009.

The claim submission deadline for Health Care and Dependent Care expenses is December 31, 2009.

File your claims now to avoid the loss of any funds remaining in your account! The Benefits Department will not grant extensions for any Plan Year 2009 Health Care and/or Dependent Care claims submitted after December 31, 2009.

A brief listing of eligible flexible spending account expenses may be found at:

A more detailed explanation of eligible expenses may be obtained by logging on to your flexible spending online account on EBDS’s Web site at:

Please note that EBDS has been acquired by Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Over the next few months, the name of HM Benefits and Highmark will begin to appear on correspondences.

Important Vendor Contact Information

Benefits Department

Office Hours 8am-5pm EST

200B Craig Hall

412-624-8160 – Main Line • 412-624-3485 – Fax

Please visit our Web site for more FAQ’s, downloadable forms and other benefits information.


UPMC Health Plan

1-888-499-6885 •


United Concordia

1-877-215-3616 •


Davis Vision

1-800-999-5431 •



1-800-842-2776 •


1-800-523-1188 •

Flexible Spending Accts.


1-800-207-9310 •


1-866-647-3432 •


412-624-8070 •

Faculty Records


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