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Employees' insurance offers extra benefits

by Mary Helen Yarborough
Public Relations
As most would admit, being a state employee comes with a bounty of benefits. To discover the extra goodies available to state employees, the State Insurance Benefits Guide overlines many of these low and no cost benefits.
Among these benefits include basic wills, adoption assistance and free tobacco cessation programs (in addition to programs offered through Health 1st) and a travel assistance program. Many of these services are offered by vendors who appear at campus events, such as the MUSC Annual Benefits Fair.

Basic wills
Pre-Paid Legal is a legal services company that offers a limited amount of services to MUSC and MUHA employees for $15.95 per month. The benefits of having a Pre-Paid Legal membership may be having access to the various legal forms and on-call services for legal services, including wills, durable power of attorney, living wills, etc.
Through the state employees’ life insurance plan, similar services are available, some of which are free to MUSC and MUHA employees (see Insurance Benefits Guide, pg. 123). “The state life insurance policy offers a complementary online simple will and estate guidance. For those employees with more complex situations, they may want to seek financial and/or legal counsel,” said Dee Crawford, University Human Resources Management benefits coordinator.
In addition, Crawford cited a few more programs available to state employees, many of those offered by outside vendors at little or  no cost.

Adoption assistance
Employees interested in adoption may contact the Employee Insurance Program at (803) 734-1696 to obtain information about assistance.

Health 1st
Health 1st is an employee wellness program sponsored by the Employee Insurance Program. Informational sessions (such as smoking cessation and health topics) are presented, often on the MUSC campus. In addition, opportunities for various health screenings are available. Information is communicated through Broadcast Messages and is also available in Room 102, Harborview Office Tower. 

Travel assistance
At MUSC, travel assistance is provided by the Europ Assistance (EA) Program and is available through the state employees’ life insurance plan. Those who are enrolled in the basic, optional or dependent life insurance policies can obtain help from the Europ Assistance Program sponsored by The Hartford. Travel assistance is available to those traveling 100 miles or more from home for 90 consecutive days or less. Enrollees can call 800-243-6108 which provides 24-hour access to emergency assistance in the United States and Canada.

Emergency medical assistance
EA is not intended to replace one’s health insurance or traditional travel insurance, so prior to leaving for a trip refer to the chapter on your health plan or call your plan’s customer service line to learn how urgent and emergency care are handled when you are away from home.
While being treated for a medical emergency, professional case managers, including physicians and nurses, will communicate with your attending local physicians to make sure that you receive an appropriate level of care and to determine whether further intervention, medical evacuation or even repatriation (return to the United States) is needed.
In specific situations, EA may recommend that you be transported to the closest adequate medical facility that can provide relevant care for your medical emergency. EA will make all arrangements and will pay for all associated evacuation expenses. EA’s physician team will make all decisions regarding the medical necessity of such a transport.
If EA’s physician, after consulting with your local attending physician, determines that you need further medical hospital care or long-term rehabilitation, EA will arrange and pay for you to be brought back home.

Traveling companion assistance
If your travel companion loses previously made travel arrangements due to your medical emergency, EA will arrange and pay for your companion’s return home by the most direct and economical route. If any dependent children traveling with you are left unattended, because you are hospitalized, EA will arrange and pay for their transportation home if necessary.


Friday, May 30, 2008
Catalyst Online is published weekly, updated as needed and improved from time to time by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.