Benefits News

2018 Annual Enrollment

The benefits annual enrollment period is here!  Annual enrollment begins Monday, November 5th and continues through Monday, November 12th. 

What You Need To Do:

Review who is covered on your group health, dental, and vision plans.  If you, your spouse, or children are not enrolled, this is your opportunity to do so.  Benefit eligible employees, spouse, and children currently enrolled are automatically enrolled each year, and no action on your part is required.


This is the time to enroll in the Medical and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).  Enrollment is required every year for these accounts.  During this enrollment period, you may also purchase additional life insurance without having to submit evidence of insurability to buy-up one level of coverage.


For detailed information about these important benefit options, plan rates, and what you need to do to enroll, click on each of the following links.  The coverage effective date for all plans is January 1, 2019.


  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).  Annual enrollment is required if you choose to participate.  Click the link for details about the medical and dependent care FSA and how you can enroll online via MyNMU.  The accounts are administered by takecare WageWorks.

  • Health and Prescription Drugs; 24/7 Online Doctor’s Visits:   Click the link to find more information about coverage and plan rates for the NMU group health plan (Blue Cross Blue Shield) which includes Rx benefits with CVS/Caremark, and get details about the Blue Cross (24/7) online doctor’s visits.

  • Dental:  Click the link for details about the plan including enrollment and plan rates in the group dental plan (Blue Cross Blue Shield).

  • Vision:  Click the link for details about the group vision plan through EyeMed Vision Care.

Please feel free to contact Ms. Kimberly Hongisto at x2470 or e-mail or me at x1030 or with any questions.  We are happy to assist you!

Michigan’s 529 College Savings Plan

A Little Planning Can Make a Big Difference


The Michigan Education Savings Plan (MESP) is Michigan’s direct-sold 529 college savings plan designed to help families save for a future student’s college education.  MESP is administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc.


How does MESP Work?


Just as a 401(k) or 403(b) Plan are for retirement, the MESP is for college.  Contributions are made after tax and grow tax deferred.  Withdrawals are tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses.  Qualified higher education expenses include tuition and fees, certain room and board expenses, books, supplies, computers, and just about anything that the college requires for attendance.  Keep in mind the NMU tuition scholarship program covers tuition only—it does not pa


How much can I contribute?


You can open an MESP account with a low initial contribution of only $25.  Parents, grandparents, or other relatives or friends at any income level can contribute to an account for your child or loved-one or open an account on your loved one’s behalf.  There are a variety of ways to contribute including setting up a payroll deduction as a direct deposit, mailing a personal check, or setting up automatic contributions through your bank account.


How does it benefit me?


Michigan taxpayers are eligible to receive a Michigan income tax deduction of up to $10,000 a year for married couples filing jointly and $5,000 a year for individuals filing single on contributions made to the MESP.  Limitations apply and a disclosure booklet is available for more details.


Is the account transferable to another eligible beneficiary?


The account owner is the only one who maintains control of the account, regardless of age of the beneficiary.  If the funds are not needed for the specified beneficiary for any reason, the account owner can change the beneficiary to another eligible family member of the current beneficiary.


What are the investment options?


MESP offers multiple Investment Options that vary in investment strategy and degree of risk.  You can invest contributions in one or a combination of the Investment Options.


How do I get started?  


For more information about MESP, go to  You may also contact the Human Resources Department at 227-2470 and request a packet of information.