Floating Holiday Replaces Victory Day

Effective January 1, 2017, all non-union staff employees who were hired as of that date and who are otherwise eligible for paid holidays, received one floating holiday (or equivalent hours) to be used during Calendar Year 2017. Staff hired after January 1 will receive the floating holiday the following calendar year. This new floating holiday replaces Victory Day as a paid holiday for eligible staff.   

The floating holiday may be used on a day mutually agreeable to the staff member and supervisor. It will be pro-rated for part-time employees based on weekly scheduled hours and number of months worked. Unused days will not carry over year-to-year and are not eligible for payout upon termination. The floating holiday appears on the Time Off Worklet in Workday.

Union employees should consult their collective bargaining agreement for information regarding their paid holidays.

New Vendor for Flexible Spending, Commuter Transit and Parking

Sentinel Benefits is the administrator for 2017 contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts and the pre-tax Commuter Transit and Parking programs.  See the links below for more information about eligible expenses and Sentinel Benefits.

Sentinel FSA Brochure

Sentinel FSA Eligible Expenses

Sentinel FSA Plan Highlight Flyer

Note that all 2016 contributions will be reimbursed by Benefit Strategies.  If you have a Benefit Strategies debit card and intend to use the card for health care expenses during early 2017 (the “grace period”), you should keep your old card until you have used up the 2016 contributions.  Contact Benefit Strategies directly at the number on your card for more information.

Finally, if you enroll in Brown’s Consumer-Directed Health Plan administered by UnitedHealthcare, federal law prohibits you from receiving any reimbursement in 2017 from amounts contributed in 2016 to a flexible spending account.  You must spend your 2016 contributions by December 31, 2016.

Health Savings Accounts

If you are a faculty or staff member considering enrolling in the Consumer-Directed Health Plan, click this link for information about the benefits of Health Savings Accounts (HSA).

Telemedicine: What's All the Buzz About?

UnitedHealthcare Members 
You can consult a doctor virtually through UnitedHealthcare.  If you are a member of UHC's comprehensive plan, the virtual visit is free!  For CDHP members, the deductible applies. Please see the summary and FAQs below.

Virtual Visits Summary

Virtual Visits FAQs

Virtual Visits Video

BCBS Members
BCBS Members have access 24/7/365 to board-certified physicians through the phone or video consults via Teladoc. BCBS members on Brown's medical plan have no co-pays for Teledoc visits. Learn more at or click here to view their FAQs.

Are You an Empowered Consumer of Health Care?

Consumer Reports’ Choosing Wisely campaign provides tools and resources to help you talk about your care options with your doctor(s) to ensure you receive care that’s right for you.   Founded by the ABIM Foundation and supported by 60 different medical societies, Choosing Wisely offers topical articles and videos to help you make the most of your conversations with your doctor and to empower you to become an informed consumer of your health care. Brown University is now in its second year of supporting Choosing Wisely, which is being embraced by physicians and medical plans for it's ability to educate and positively influence patients. 

Click here to access the Brown Choosing Wisely Microsite.

Or learn more about how this tool is gaining state-wide and national attention:
Ask the Doctor: Making Informed Decisions
5 Ways to Relieve Back Pain

New Guide to Your Blue Cross Blue Shield Benefits!

Click here for a guide to using your BCBS benefits in 2017, including information on the My Health Toolkit and Teledoc virtual visits.