The Resource

In This Issue

Preparing to Retire
Money Matters
Career Development
The Whole U
Home Loan Program

Published: February 12, 2014

Compensation at the University of Washington goes beyond salary. The UW offers a vast range of benefits—from the traditional to those offered by other premier employers to those that are truly unique to working at the UW. The Resource—UWHR's e-newsletter—keeps you informed of all of these offerings so that you can make the most out of your UW employment.


Selecting a Primary Care Provider Should Benefit You
While not all plans, such as the Classic Plans, require you to select a primary care provider (PCP), having one is the right thing to do for your health. With a PCP, you get care from someone who knows you and can coordinate your care if you need specialty treatment. You're also more likely to get preventive care screenings when you have a primary care provider, and less likely to visit the emergency room. Think of a PCP as your personal care provider—the one person who knows the most about your health history and can provide or recommend services based on your needs. To learn more, go to your plan’s website and choose “Provider Search.” Bonus for Uniform Medical Plan enrollees: you can earn 15,000 possible lifetime reward points by designating a PCP.


Keep Current by Registering at PEBB
Your health insurance is an important part of your benefits package. Stay apprised of upcoming changes in your health plans by creating an account at the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) “My Account” webpage so you can receive coverage details, statements, and important notices by email. Visit PEBB's website and select My Account to get started.


Health Counts—UMP's Rewards Program for Good Health Habits
Health Counts is Uniform Medical Plan's wellness program that offers you the tools, encouragement, and rewards to help you improve or maintain your health. When you engage in healthy behaviors and participate in Health Counts, you earn points and gift cards—up to $85 worth, provided that you complete a General Health Assessment by June 30, 2014. Visit to report your progress on activities and programs. Health Counts is open to all adult UMP enrollees, including spouses and children ages 18 and older. Learn more about Health Counts.


Health Profile for Group Health Members
As a Group Health member, you can get a jump on better health with an online report that assesses your risks and offers ways to improve your health. To access the Health Profile, you must first register on “MyGroupHealth for Members” so you have access to your personal online services. Choose Health Profile after you log in to your secure home page Get started today.


MammoVan to Visit Campus
Women, we know it's not always easy for you to find time to get a routine mammogram to screen for breast cancer. Thanks to the UW’s partnership with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), there's a faster and more convenient way to get screened: the MammoVan. This state-of-the-art mobile mammography service is scheduled to be in the Henry Art Gallery vicinity on March 4. View the 2014 schedule and make your appointment today.

Note: Women 40+ who are enrolled by a PEBB health plan are allowed one “free” mammogram screening per calendar year when seeing an in-network provider such as SCCA. Because it's preventive, it’s covered at 100% and not subject to the medical deductible, so you pay nothing!

Also, the Uniform Medical Plans (Classic and CDHP) covers screening (preventive) mammograms for women under age 40 with risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer. Learn more about this coverage.


New Weight Watchers Session at Harborview
Get a solid start to a healthy new year by joining Weight Watchers @ Work. A new group has formed for the convenience of Harborview employees! Learn what Weight Watchers has to offer and meet Marjorie McKinney, the new team leader who successfully leads other campus groups.

Thursday, February 13
Norm Melang Building Room 111/112
11:45 to 12:15 p.m.—Confidential Weigh-in
12:15 to 12:45 p.m.—Group meeting

Questions? Please email the group leader, Marjorie McKinney. Ready to join Weight Watchers? Please register at UWellness.

Preparing to Retire  

Ready to Retire?
If you're planning to retire from the UW within the next 12 months, be sure to attend a free retirement workshop to help you plan for this major milestone. Each workshop is geared toward your specific retirement plan—UWRP, PERS, TRS, or LEOFF. Topics include arranging details for retirement, tailoring your benefits to best meet retirement income needs, and continuing your health plans. Timelines, forms, and procedures are also covered—plus you’ll receive all of the materials necessary to file for retirement. The next workshops will be held on:

  • Retiring from UW Retirement Plan (UWRP)—March 12; April 2, 9, 17, and 23
  • Retiring from Public Employee Retirement System (PERS)—February 27; March 11 and 25; April 8 and 24

Remember, you must apply for PEBB retiree benefits (or deferral of insurance) within 60 days after UW-paid or COBRA coverage ends. If you miss that deadline, you will have to go back to work to re-qualify for PEBB retiree coverage.

Access workshop information and free registration.


Social Security: A Foundation for Your Future
A secure, comfortable retirement is everyone's dream. And now, because we're living longer, healthier lives, we expect to spend more time in retirement than our parents and grandparents did. "Social Security: A Foundation for Planning Your Future" is an informative seminar where you will gain a better understanding of how Social Security and Medicare work, hear what benefits to expect from Social Security, and find out when benefits can be available to you and your family. Presented by the Social Security Administration, this seminar will be held on March 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the UW Tower in Seattle. Open to UW faculty, staff, students, and retirees. Access seminar information and free registration.


How Do Your Savings Stack Up?
Experienced financial professionals from Fidelity or TIAA-CREF are available to meet with UW employees in person or over the phone to help maximize retirement savings and other financial goals. Take advantage of this opportunity to:

  • See how you can save more through Voluntary Investment Program (VIP) contributions, either pre-tax or after-tax (Roth).
  • Evaluate investment choices that meet your needs.
  • Create an action plan to get and stay on track for retirement.
  • Review retirement income options.

Whether your retirement is years away or just around the corner, schedule a free retirement planning guidance appointment today!

Money Matters  

Financial Yoga: Stretching Your Hard-Earned Dollars
Stretching a paycheck is more important than ever. Learn tips that will help you gain control of your finances and reduce financial stress. Presented by School Employees Credit Union, this seminar will be held on February 20 at Health Sciences. Access free event registration and information.


Scams, Shams & Identity Theft
Identity theft is a continual threat that catches people unaware. This workshop will bring you up-to-date on the latest statistics, explain how identity theft happens, offer ways to prevent it from happening to you, and educate you on ways to protect yourself from scammers. For those affected by fraud or identity theft, we offer advice and support to help you make a full recovery and restoration of your good name. Come to this seminar so you can better protect yourself, your money, and your personal information. Presented by Washington State Employees Credit Union, this seminar will be held on March 4 at the UW Tower. Access free event registration and information.


Social Media & Your Child’s Financial Future
Social media can help or hurt your child’s chances of getting into college, landing a job, and gaining financial independence. Focusing on Facebook, you’ll learn effective strategies for your child and the top 10 social media mistakes to avoid. Presented by School Employees Credit Union, this seminar will be held on March 11 at South Lake Union. Access free event registration and information.


America Saves Week—Save for All that Life Entails
Join UW Benefits and saving partners like Fidelity Investments and three local credit unions in “Support America Saves Week,” February 24–March 1. This national campaign involves more than 2,000 nonprofit, government, and corporate groups that encourage individuals and families to plan and save for what matters most to them. Pledge to save, test your savings knowledge, picture your savings goals, read saver stories, and more at America Saves Week.


TurboTax Discount Available
Fidelity has teamed up with TurboTax® to extend their tax preparation software and support at a discounted price to UW faculty and staff including those without an existing Fidelity account.* As a result, you can prepare and file your taxes with confidence and save money too! This is a limited time offer so take advantage of discount pricing of up to $20 on TurboTax Federal products. Visit this special Turbo Tax site to get started.

Also, remember to call 866.811.6042 to speak with a Fidelity Workplace Planning and Guidance Consultant to review the tax benefits of your retirement savings and other savings options now, or at any time of the year.

*Note, this offer cannot be retroactively applied towards previously purchased TurboTax software.


Are You Taking Your Health to Heart?
In honor of American Heart Month, UW CareLink will broadcast “Eight Steps to a Healthy Heart,” a one-hour webinar, on February 18 at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Utilizing Mayo Clinic’s Heart Healthy Diet concepts, this webinar will review the eight steps for preventing and reducing your chances of heart disease. You must pre-register at least one hour before the presentation by visiting (use “UW” as the company code) and visit the Online Seminars section. Select the presentation and then register by clicking on the first or second session option. The webinar will be archived on the site and available for viewing by the beginning of March.

Changing your lifestyle to increase your heart health may seem overwhelming at first. It helps to consider the small steps you might take in your daily routine to achieve the larger goal. This month’s UW CareLink tip sheet offers some easy tasks to get you started today.

Your emotional well-being is also a key component to overall heart health. Chronic stress can take a physical toll. Benefits-eligible faculty and staff, their household members, and their dependent children are eligible to make use of UW CareLink’s free, confidential counseling services. To find out more call 866-598-3978 or visit (use “UW” as the company code) and click the LiveConnect button on the upper right of your screen.

Career Development  

Professional & Organizational Development (POD) courses are open to all UW employees, subject to supervisor/budgetary approval and UW’s release time policy. Please view our policy page for additional information.


Determine Your Direction
Do you have great expectations but no idea how to get to where you want to go? Acquire road-tested tools for setting strategic direction, and explore methods for tackling emergent situations where even the best-laid plans don’t always work. Register for Strategic Planning Tools.


Take Your Turn at the Wheel
Are you a passive passenger, or—worse—asleep at the wheel? Determine where you could benefit from having more influence in your work life, discover how you can become a better partner to your colleagues, and learn how you can become more adept at “managing up.” Register for Increasing Your Influence.


Get Up to Speed
Have you been so busy with tasks and projects that you’ve fallen behind on technology that could help you work more efficiently? POD Webinars offer short sessions that can easily fit into your work day. Upcoming webinars include Accomplishing More With Less, Advanced Excel PivotTables, Managing and Organizing Your Inbox in Outlook 2010, and Microsoft Excel 2010 Techniques. Register for POD Webinars.


Handle the Bumps in the Road
Do unexpected curves and jolts tend to throw you off course? In this interactive class, take a change style assessment to determine how you deal with change, and explore strategies for managing your reactions to change. Register for Navigating Change in a Complex World.


Get Back on Track
Has your career taken an unplanned detour? One-on-one career counseling can help you assess your career fit, make the most of your strengths, prepare for a job search, or plot a new path for your career. Sessions are offered through Training and Organizational Development Consultant Susan Templeton; the fee is $95 per one-hour session if paid with a UW budget number (with supervisor approval) or $109.82 if paid with cash, check, or credit card (due to a mandatory institutional overhead fee). Learn more about career counseling.

The Whole U  

Whole U Launches Speaker Series
Register now to attend the Whole U’s first Speaker Series event. Bring your lunch and get ready to be inspired by UW’s own Coach Romar. In addition to being a UW alum and the beloved head coach of the men’s basketball team, Coach Romar is very active in the community. Along with his wife, he created the Lorenzo Romar Foundation for the prevention of domestic violence and educational assistance for disadvantaged youth. Just as importantly, he encourages his players to give back to the community too. We are excited to hear what Coach Romar has coming up in 2014 and to be inspired by his example. Coach Romar’s Playbook on Making a Difference in Your Community, Thursday, February 27, noon-1 p.m. at the Don James Center. This is a free event, but registration is required.


I Heart Discounts
If you haven’t completed your Valentine’s Day shopping yet, make sure to check out last minute ideas at a discount for UW faculty and staff. Be inspired to get something special for your Valentine or something for yourself with this Whole U blog post or explore the full list of discounts on the Whole U website.

Home Loan Program  

Ready to Buy a Home?
HomeStreet offers free lunchtime seminars to help you learn about a variety of homeownership issues related to budgeting, buying, remodeling, refinancing, and selling your home.

  • The Homebuying Process—Learn how to buy a home, starting with pre-qualification to mortgage applications, home inspections, and appraisals. Offered on February 20 at UW Bothell.
  • Selling in a Hot Market—This seminar will cover how to assemble your sales team, stage your home for the best impression, fixes to make before listing your home, and pricing strategies. Offered on February 18 at the UW Tower and March 20 at Health Sciences.
  • Buying a Condominium—Learn the pros and cons of condo ownership, how to find the right community, and how to secure the right financing. Offered on March 18 at the UW Tower and March 27 at Harborview.

Access free event registration and information.


Free Home Ownership Counseling
Thinking of buying or refinancing a home but not sure how to get started? Why not schedule a free personal home ownership counseling session with a HomeStreet representative who can walk you through the process? These 30-minute, one-on-one sessions are both private and informative. Your spouse, partner, or potential co-signer is welcome to attend with you.A representative is scheduled to visit on February 24 (UW Tower), February 25 (Health Sciences), March 24 (UW Tower), and March 26 (South Lake Union). Schedule an appointment by email or call 206-628-0207.


We Heart Rideshare Week
From February 10-14, 2014, Transportation Services and U-PASS will show some love to all campus carpoolers and vanpoolers. During We Heart Rideshare Week, you and your rideshare partners can pick up free care packages filled with goodies to help you enjoy your trip and encourage those around you to share their ride too. To get a care package, stop by any staffed campus gatehouse between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. in either an existing vanpool, in a carpool with a valid permit, or you can purchase a daily carpool permit on the spot. Either way you'll drive away with one of our exclusive care packages and you’ll save money on gas and parking too. Visit the links below for more event information and rideshare resources.

UW Transportation Services is working to improve your carpool and vanpool commute and we need your help to do it. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!


Sharpen Your Data Analysis Skills: UWIT Workshops
Are you a new or current user of Enterprise Data Warehouse data and tools? Sharpen your skills with these free workshops from UW Information Technology.

Tableau Hands-on Introduction Tableau software allows you to take large sets of data and then simplify their meaning by creating dynamic visualizations. This two-hour workshop provides a hands-on tour of Tableau Desktop. Participants will have the opportunity to practice with Tableau Desktop, navigate the user interface, and build basic visualizations.

Handling Data 101 While you may not have intended to become a data analyst, you are now in a position where you need to use and analyze data to be successful. In this two-hour workshop, learn how to begin to take control of your data and analyses to answer business questions and to make decisions. By gaining beginner Microsoft Excel PivotTable skills, you will see how hundreds or thousands of pieces of information swing into place, revealing the meanings behind the data.


Have You Signed Up for Alerts?
The University of Washington developed UW Alert to disseminate official information via email, text messages, telephones, loudspeakers, website banners, and other means to keep the campus community informed during emergencies and situations that might disrupt normal operations.

UW faculty, staff, and students in Bothell, Seattle, Tacoma, and at UW Medicine can subscribe to UW Alert. Unlike the Notifications of Criminal Incident sent out by the UW, faculty and staff must sign up to receive these emergency alerts. UW Alert delivers messages to subscribers using a third-party vendor. UW Alerts are also posted on Facebook and Twitter.


Social Security Changes in 2014
Effective this month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will no longer offer Social Security number printouts and benefit verification information through its field offices. To meet increasing demand for services, SSA reports they have invested in technology that offers more convenient, cost-effective, and secure options for customers to receive these services without visiting a local office. If you need proof of your Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits, you can get a benefit verification letter online instantly at any age by creating a “my Social Security” Account.


Take a Break
The UW School of Art’s 3D4M: Ceramics-Glass-Sculpture Program has two exhibits this month at the Ceramic and Metal Arts Building (CMA). One features work by 3D4M first-year graduate students and the other features 3D4M undergraduate work. The exhibition runs February 12-20. Hours are Mon-Fri noon–6:00 p.m. For more information, visit the UW Events calendar.

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