BEnefits BE you. BE more. BE your best.
BE you. BE more. BE your best. At Choice Hotels®, our people make the difference. Choice Hotels offers a competitive total rewards package — which includes Choice Benefits — designed to engage, protect and reward you. BE you
BE in charge
We recognize that your personal goals may be different from those of your colleagues. Choice Hotels offers you many options so you can build a personal benefits package tailored to your specific needs.
You are in charge of the benefits decisions you make for yourself and your loved ones. Take the time to learn as much as you can about all of your benefits, so you can apply them to your lifestyle needs. Education is key to making informed and beneficial decisions so you can be your best.
Whether you’re single or married, raising children or nearing retirement, Choice Benefits provides a comprehensive program to help you meet your goals. We’re confident you’ll find Choice Benefits comprehensive, flexible, engaging and competitive.
You’ll hear the words “value” and “options”— a lot. That’s because the real value of your Choice Benefits is determined by you. And the way to get the most value from these programs is to make educated and informed choices. Choice’s benefit plans fall into three key areas:
Health and Wellness
Quality of Life
Retirement Savings and Investment Plan
Health Savings Account (HSA)
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Short Term Disability Insurance
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Long Term Disability Insurance
Group Term Life Insurance
Legal Service Plan
Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
And much more!
This guide summarizes the Choice Hotels benefits programs for associates. It is intended to present an overview of the various programs to help you make an informed choice about your benefits. Additional information can be found in individual plan booklets. Choice Hotels International® reserves the right to amend, suspend, or terminate any plan at any time and for any reason without prior notification. We have attempted to make the explanations of the plans in this booklet as accurate as possible. However, in the event of conflicts between this guide and Plan documents or group contracts, those documents or contracts will prevail. If you enroll in any of these programs, you agree to abide by their provisions. The Company intends to continue these programs indefinitely but reserves its right to terminate or change them at any time. The Company will inform you as soon as possible when changes occur. Please keep Plan changes with this booklet. Effective January 2014.
CONTENTS BE your best Your Health and Wellness Benefits.......................................................................3 Medical Coverage.......................................................................................................3 Prescription Drug Coverage..................................................................................4 Health Savings Account..............................................................................................5 Health Screening + Assessment...........................................................................6 Your HSA Contributions.........................................................................................6 Dental Coverage.........................................................................................................7 Vision Coverage..........................................................................................................7
BE invested Your Financial Security Benefits.............................................................................8 Retirement Savings and Investment Plan..................................................................8 Flexible Spending Accounts.....................................................................................10 Dependent Care Reimbursement Account.............................................................10 Health Care Reimbursement Account.....................................................................10 Limited Health Care Reimbursement Account.......................................................10 Short Term and Long Term Disability Insurance.....................................................11 Group Term Life Insurance.......................................................................................11 Accidental Death and Dismemberment..................................................................12
BE yourself Your Quality of Life Benefits.................................................................................13
BE enrolled Eligibility and Enrollment.......................................................................................15
Your Health and Wellness Benefits Good health is vital. The Choice Benefits program offers health and wellness benefits to help you maintain your overall health and put you on the road to recovery if you become ill or injured.
Medical Coverage At Choice Hotels, your good health is important to us. With health care costs continuing to rise, our goal is to help you with the costs associated with your medical insurance so that you and your family have access to quality and affordable care. Offering valuable benefits is one way we partner with you to ensure you and your dependents remain healthy. In addition to providing several wellness benefits, we offer financial incentives for you to engage in activities that benefit your health.
Health & Wellness
BE your best
Medical insurance helps pay for health care and prescription costs in the event of illness or injury. Choice Hotels offers coverage through Cigna, paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA) to help you pay for health care claims today and save for expenses in the future. With this Plan, you will pay the actual cost of your medical and pharmacy expenses until you reach your deductible. These payments can come from your Health Savings Account, which will be discussed in the next section. When you reach your deductible, the Medical Plan will share the costs of your medical care with you.
Medical Plan Highlights Deductible
• All family members contribute toward the family deductible. The Plan cannot pay an individual’s claims Dual or Family until the total family deductible has been met. $2,500 • The amount you pay for out-of-network services counts towards both your in-network and out-ofnetwork deductibles.
Dual or Family $6,000
Dual or Family $7,000
Dual or Family $10,000
What you pay / What the Plan pays
What you pay / What the Plan pays
Preventive care, including well-child care
No charge (Plan pays 100%)
40%* / 60%
20%* / 80%
40%* / 60%
Out-of-pocket maximum • All family members contribute towards the family outof-pocket maximum. The Plan cannot pay an individual’s covered expenses at 100% until the total family out-ofpocket maximum has been reached. • The amount you pay for out-of-network services counts towards both your in-network and out-of-network out-of-pocket maximums.
Lab, X-ray, diagnostic tests
20%* / 80%
40%* / 60%
20%* / 80%
40%* / 60%
20%* / 80%
40%* / 60%
Emergency room or urgent care center
20%* / 80%
20%* / 80%
Mental health and substance abuse (inpatient or outpatient)
20%* / 80%
40%* / 60%
* After the deductible is met. Please refer to the Summary of Benefits and Coverage for further Plan details.
Health & Wellness
Obtaining Medical Care Because selecting a physician is a personal choice, the Choice Medical Plan enables you to choose in-network or out-of-network care each time you need medical care. • In-Network: In-network doctors, hospitals and other health care providers that have contracted with Cigna. They have agreed to coordinate your care, obtain any required authorizations, and file claims for you. • Out-of-Network: When you seek care from an out-of-network provider, you will need to coordinate your own care. You will be responsible for obtaining any required authorizations. You will also be responsible for charges in excess of reasonable and customary fees for the area in which services were provided.
Preventive Care Often times, your health and wellness depend on your lifestyle choices. Through Choice Benefits, Choice Hotels does its part to help you and your loved ones prevent illness by offering a Medical Plan through which in-network preventive care is free.
BE informed »» Choice benefits cover the costs of in-network, preventive care exams and tests »» Once you’ve met your deductible, the co-payments for prescriptions are: Tier 1 – Generic*
Tier 2 – Preferred brand-name
Tier 3 – Non-preferred brand-name $55
»» Certain medications — such as those related to high-blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, heart disease and cholesterol — are available at no cost or at the co-pay level, before you’ve met your annual deductible.
It’s important to schedule routine checkups — they are an important part of staying healthy. For that reason, Choice Benefits covers the costs of in-network, preventive care exams and tests, including: • • • • • • • • •
Well-baby care Immunization shots Annual physicals GYN exams Mammograms Pap tests Colonoscopy Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test Associated preventive blood work
Prescription Drug Coverage When you enroll in the Medical Plan, you are automatically enrolled for prescription drug coverage with Cigna. Because you will pay the actual cost of your prescription drugs until you meet the Plan deductible, you should shop around for the best prices for your prescription medications. There can be a big difference in cost from pharmacy to pharmacy, and being an educated consumer will help keep some cash in your pocket.
Once you’ve met your deductible, the co-payments for prescriptions are: Tier 1 – Generic*
Tier 2 – Preferred brand-name
Tier 3 – Non-preferred brand-name $55 • Tier 1 – Generic drug: A generic drug is a prescription drug that by law must have the same chemical composition as a specific brand-name prescription drug. Generic medications that are recommended for use have been thoroughly evaluated and certified by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) as bioequivalent to their brand-name counterparts. All FDA-approved generic drugs appear on the Cigna formulary. • Tier 2 – Preferred brand-name drug: A brand-name drug is a prescription drug that has been given a name by a pharmaceutical company to distinguish it as produced or sold by a specific company. Cigna maintains a formulary list of brandname medications authorized to be sold at this tier’s co-payment rate. • Tier 3 – Non-preferred brand-name drug: Brand-name drugs that are not listed on the Cigna formulary list fall into this copayment category.
Preventive Drugs Certain medications — such as those related to high-blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, heart disease and cholesterol — are available at no cost or at the co-pay level, before you’ve met your annual deductible. A list of these medications is available on ChoiceCentral.com. The cost of these medications does not apply to your deductible.
Mail Order Pharmacy Cigna Home Delivery Pharmacy is designed for individuals who take prescription medications on a regular basis. You can order your medications online or over the phone. Through Home Delivery Pharmacy, you can obtain a 90-day supply of your medication for the price of two 30-day supplies from your local pharmacy. The discount will apply once you’ve met your deductible.
*Our Plan requires the substitution of a generic drug if available.
Health Savings Account There’s no doubt that medical expenses can make a dent in your wallet. But you don’t have to manage the costs on your own. To help you plan for medical expenses before you meet your deductible, Choice Hotels offers a Health Savings Account (HSA), and can contribute to your HSA on your behalf up to $950 in 2014 for individuals and $1,750 for families.
Health & Wellness
BE in charge
Those dollars can go a long way in helping you pay for your medical costs now or in the future.
HSA in a Nutshell Simply put, an HSA is a “bank account” for your medical expenses. Choice Hotels can deposit money into your HSA. You also have the option to make your own deposits on a before-tax basis. The money in your HSA belongs to you. Even if you don’t use all of it this year, or if you change employers, the money in your account is always yours to keep. You can use your HSA to accumulate money for medical, dental, vision or long-term care expenses in the future. You can even use these funds to pay for your COBRA premiums or Medicare expenses. JPMorgan Chase is the financial institution that will administer your HSA. You must open an account with JPMorgan Chase to receive Choice Hotels contributions to your HSA. Once you’ve established an HSA, you’ll receive a debit card that lets you conveniently pay for your medical expenses from your HSA whenever you are at your doctor’s office, another medical facility, or the pharmacy. Your HSA funds may be used for your eligible expenses or for those of your tax dependents, but not those of your domestic partner. Medicare-eligible associates are not eligible for the HSA, but may enroll in a Health Reimbursement Arrangement. Please contact the Benefits Department for more details. Unlike a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), where if you don’t use your funds, you lose them, HSA funds roll over and accumulate year
to year if they are not spent. If you don’t use all of the funds in your HSA by the end of the year, you can use them on medical expenses in the years to come. Over time, your contributions, coupled with those made by Choice Hotels on your behalf, can really add up. That’s why it’s important to fully engage in the choices you make regarding your health care. Your choices now can help you plan and pay for your future medical needs.
We’re in Your Corner Choice Hotels understands it can be financially challenging for you to cover the medical costs necessary prior to meeting your deductible especially if you have significant expenses before you’ve saved enough in your HSA.
BE informed »» Choice Hotels can contribute to your HSA on your behalf up to $950 per year for individuals and $1,750 for families. »» Unlike a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), where if you don’t use your funds, you lose them, HSA funds roll over and accumulate them year to year if they are not spent.
Because Choice Hotels is dedicated to helping you maintain your good health and believes preventive care is one key way to do that, the Choice Benefits program partners with you by adding an extra financial incentive for those who make a commitment to their wellness. To help pay for your medical expenses, Choice Hotels may make two different kinds of contributions to your HSA*: 1. Core Contributions are funds deposited into your account once per quarter. 2. Incentive contributions are funds that Choice Hotels will deposit to your account if you complete a wellness activity.
Choice Hotels Contributions
Employee + 1 Family
Core Contributions per Quarter
Available Annual Incentive Contributions
Up to $450
Up to $500
Up to $500
*You must be currently employed by Choice Hotels on the day the Core contribution and/or the Incentive contributions are made by Choice Hotels to receive an allocation of these contributions to your HSA. If your employee status as an active associate with Choice Hotels terminates for any reason prior to the date Choice Hotels makes either one of these contributions, then you will not be entitled to receive an allocation of such contribution to your HSA. An HSA is a tax-advantaged medical savings account available to associates who are enrolled in the 2014 Choice Medical Plan, a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). The funds contributed to an account are not subject to federal income tax at the time of deposit and are not subject to ERISA requirements, but they are subject to Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code. Opening an HSA is a financial contract between the Choice Hotels associate and JPMorgan Chase, which involves the agreement to specific terms and conditions as well as acceptance of fees associated with the HSA banking arrangement. You have the right to establish an HSA with any financial entity you choose. However, Choice Hotels contributions will only be made to HSAs established through JPMorgan Chase. This means, in order to get the maximum contributions, we encourage you to open your HSA through JPMorgan Chase.
Health & Wellness
Incentive HSA Contributions
Your HSA Contributions
Choice provides additional HSA contributions to associates who engage in wellness activities, such as health screenings, assessments, wellness challenges, annual physicals and other preventive exams. Incentive funds will be awarded quarterly.
You can make your own optional tax-free HSA contributions either through biweekly payroll deductions, or by sending a check directly to JPMorgan Chase. If you contribute $500 per year, and your tax rate is 25%, you will have an annual savings of $125. Think about it — you can save $500, but it will only feel like $375 was deducted from your pay.
On January 1, 2014, the mycigna.com website will feature “MotivateMe”, a handy resource for learning about possible incentives and tracking completed tasks. Look for more information at the start of the year. Choice’s goal in adding the funds to your HSA is twofold: To help ease your financial burden; and to reward you for being proactive and engaging in your wellness. In many instances, associates are made aware of potential medical issues after they participate in the health screening or other wellness activity. Once aware, associates can take action and take measures to stay healthy.
Health Screening + Assessment The health screening will measure your blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and body mass index. This information, along with personalized coaching, will provide you with important information about the current state of your health and how you can improve it. Choice Hotels hosts screening events each fall as part of the Annual Enrollment process. If you need to obtain a health screening another time during the year, you have two options: • See your personal physician for a physical. If he or she is a Cigna provider, your preventive visit should be covered in full. Ask your doctor to provide you with the results so that you may complete the health assessment. OR • Contact the Choice Benefits Department at firstname.lastname@example.org for a LabCorp screening voucher. The health assessment is an easy online questionnaire to learn more about the status of your health it only takes a few minutes to complete. Be sure to have your health screening information readily available when you begin the assessment, as you will be asked to enter the screening information. The assessment must be fully completed in order for you to receive the incentive contributions. See the insert at the front of this packet for instructions.
You may change the amount of your payroll deductions by completing an HSA Change Form (found on ChoiceCentral.com) and submitting it to the Choice Benefits Department by the 20th of the month. Your change will become effective on the first pay period of the following month.
“Triple Tax Savings” with Your HSA 1. All deposits to your HSA are made on a before-tax basis. 2. Interest earned on your account is tax-free. 3. Money you spend from your HSA on eligible expenses is income tax-free. The IRS limits the amount that individuals and families can contribute to an HSA. Currently, these limits are $3,300 for individuals and $6,550 for families. An additional $1,000 “catch-up contribution” may be made to your HSA if you are age 55 or older. These limits include any contributions Choice Hotels makes on your behalf. You are responsible for ensuring that contributions to your HSA account do not exceed the federal limit.
We all know it’s important to keep your pearly whites healthy. But we all have different dental needs. Some of us can get away with two check-ups per year, while others always seem to be sitting in that dental chair getting a root canal. At Choice Hotels, we offer dental coverage through Cigna’s Preferred Dentist Organization (PDO). Dental insurance covers preventive and diagnostic services for you and your eligible dependents. A complete list of dental coverage can be found in the Dental Plan booklet. With our Dental Plan, you may choose to visit an in-network or out-of-network dentist. The Plan covers preventive, diagnostic and
The Dental Plan covers 100% of the reasonable and customary charges for preventive and diagnostic services for one visit every six months. Covered services include oral exams, cleaning, fluoride treatments and X-rays. The Plan has a $50 deductible; the annual benefit maximum is $2,500 per participant. The Plan also covers orthodontic services for children under the age of 19, with a lifetime maximum of $1,500 per child. Please see the Dental Plan booklet for more information.
Preventive & Diagnostic Teeth cleaning, exams, X-rays
100%* allowance after deductible
80% allowance after Basic Restorative Filling, extractions, root canal therapy, deductible gum diseases
70%* allowance after deductible
50% allowance after deductible
50%* allowance after deductible
Major Restorative Crowns, dentures, bridgework, child orthodontics
Health & Wellness
Your dental options give you something to smile about
restorative services for you and your eligible dependents. We encourage you to use an in-network dentist whenever possible. Cigna has contracted with these providers to ensure the lowest possible rates for you and your dependents.
* Percentage of reasonable and customary charges
Vision Coverage Take a closer look at your vision coverage If you wear glasses or contacts, you know how costs can add up. Choice Benefits, through its Vision Plan, provides vision coverage to you and your eligible dependents for eye examinations, contacts, glasses and much more.
Using the benefit is easy with our vision carrier (VSP) — there are no ID cards. Simply find an in-network doctor at vsp.com (or call 800.877.7195). When you make your appointment, identify yourself as a VSP member. All claim forms are handled by your doctor’s office — you are only responsible for the co-payments. Although most VSP members receive services from in-network doctors, you may choose to see an out-ofnetwork provider. However, your out-ofpocket expenses will be greater.
Plastic lenses • Single vision • Bifocal vision • Trifocal vision OR Contact lenses
Laser vision correction
Computer VisionCare The Vision Plan also offers a benefit specifically for participating Choice Hotels associates — coverage for glasses designed to reduce eyestrain at the computer. As the majority of Choice Hotels associates spend a great deal of their day in front of a computer monitor, this benefit can provide a more comfortable working environment.
$55 $75 $95
BE invested Your Financial Security Benefits Building Financial Security ... and Peace of Mind No one can predict life’s highs and lows. That’s why it is best to be prepared. Building financial security helps you prepare for life’s ups and downs while building a little peace of mind. How do you build financial security? Your first investment is to spend time understanding your Financial Security Benefits Plans. The more you know about your Retirement Savings and Investment Plan and the other benefits included in Choice Benefits, the more valuable the plans become.
BE informed »» When you enroll in the 401(k) Plan, you take your first step to securing your financial future. »» Because the money you save is deducted from your paycheck before taxes are calculated, your reported taxable income is lower. »» Company match: The Company contributes to your 401(k) Plan on your behalf, further enhancing your growing nest egg.
Retirement Savings and Investment Plan At Choice Hotels, we are committed to investing in our associates’ future. The Retirement Savings and Investment Plan, or 401(k) Plan, offers you a powerful, taxeffective way to make your retirement dreams a reality. When you enroll in the 401(k) Plan, you take your first step to securing your financial future. Whether your retirement is just around the corner, or an entire career away, consider enrolling today. Someday, you’ll be very glad that you did.
Plan Highlights Our 401(k) Plan has important features that make it a great way to save and invest in your future: • Automatic savings: You contribute to the Plan through regular payroll deductions. Because the money is deducted before you even receive your paycheck, you’ll likely stick with the program, and soon, you won’t even think about spending those dollars. • Lower taxes now mean more savings later: Because the money you save is deducted from your paycheck before taxes are calculated, your reported taxable income is lower. Over time, this financial advantage can make a big difference in the value of your account. • Company match: The Company contributes to your 401(k) Plan on your behalf, further enhancing your growing nest egg.
• Easy access to information: Through Merrill Lynch’s toll-free customer service line (800.229.9040) and website (www.benefits. ml.com), you can have 24-hour access to your account and Plan information.
How the Plan Works Eligibility: As a non-temporary, full-time associate, you are eligible to contribute to the Plan after three months of service. You must be at least 21 years of age to do so.
Catch-up contributions: To allow those associates closest to retirement to save more, the IRS allows participants age 50 or older to make an additional “catch-up contribution.” The company match is not paid on “catch-up” contributions. Company matching contributions: The Company matches the first 3% of your compensation deferred to the Plan at a rate of 100%. You will be matched at 50% for the next 2% of compensation that you defer. Company matching contributions are made each pay period and are invested in the same funds that you have chosen for your own contributions. All Company contributions are immediately 100% vested.
Investment Funds The Plan offers a wide variety of mutual funds. These mutual funds represent a broad range of asset classes — from conservative to aggressive, stocks, bonds, domestic and international. Each investment fund has a different risk level, objective and strategy. You are encouraged to become familiar with these funds before making your investment election.
Important Plan Features • The Plan has several important provisions that help participants manage their finances. • Rollovers: You may rollover funds from a previous employer’s qualified plan, even if you are not yet eligible to contribute to Choice’s Plan.
Coming Soon Choice anticipates the introduction of a Roth option within the 401(K) plan in mid-2014. Look for more information coming soon.
• Loans: You can borrow up to 50% of your vested account balance, from $750 to $50,000. Loans are subject to interest charges and an annual $50 fee.
Access to Information
Your contributions: When you enroll in the Plan, money from your pay is contributed to the Plan. You decide how much to contribute — up to the current IRS limit.
• Hardship withdrawals: You may make a hardship withdrawal from the Plan, if you meet specific IRS criteria. These withdrawals are subject to tax withholding and penalties. Participants making a hardship withdrawal must suspend their pre-tax salary reduction contributions to the 401(k) Plan for six months. Please see the hardship application, found on ChoiceCentral.com.
• Through Merrill Lynch’s toll-free customer service line and website, you can have 24-hour access to your account and Plan information. • Customer service: The Merrill Lynch toll-free hotline (1.800.229.9040) offers you the choice of using the speechenabled interactive voice response (IVR) or speaking directly to a representative. • The IVR system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. • Customer service representatives are available Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–7 p.m., eastern time on all business days that the New York Stock Exchange is open. Benefits online: Our secure Plan website can be found at www.benefits.ml.com. Through this easy-to-navigate site, you can access your account information, view educational screens and much more.
Enrollment and Access • Enroll: Once you become eligible, you may sign up for the Plan at any time by contacting a Merrill Lynch representative or by establishing an account online. • Access: Once you are enrolled, it’s easy to make changes to your investment account. Call Merrill Lynch or visit their website for easy access to your account information. You may change how your funds are invested at any time through these automated systems. • Change: You may change your payroll deduction amount at any time. Your request will become effective within two pay periods. Contact Merrill Lynch for more information.
For more information about the plan, call Merrill Lynch at 1.800.229.9040 or visit the website at www.benefits.ml.com.
Flexible Spending Accounts Your Choice Benefits program includes Flexible Spending Accounts, which allow you to set money aside from your pay before taxes are withheld. You can use these tax-free funds to reimburse yourself for eligible expenses related to health care or dependent care.
Important Notes • Your election to the Plan is irrevocable. Once you have requested a contribution amount, it will be deducted from your pay until the end of the Plan year.
• If you wish to continue your participation in the Plan the following year, you must reenroll during the Annual Enrollment period.
Health Care Reimbursement Account This benefit can be used to pay for eligible medical, dental and vision expenses for you and your qualifying dependents, as long as these expenses are not covered by any other insurance plan. If you have elected coverage under the Choice Medical Plan, you cannot enroll in this reimbursement account. You are eligible for the Limited Health Care Reimbursement Account (see below).
• Expenses incurred by your domestic partner are not eligible for reimbursement.
• You can set aside on a pre-tax basis from $5 to $96.15 per pay period (up to a maximum of $2,500 per year).
• Your contributions must be used for expenses incurred in the year the money was put into the account.
• Use the account to pay for qualified health care expenses.
• You have until March 31st of the following year to request reimbursement from your account for qualified expenses. After that date, you will forfeit any remaining balance.
Reimbursement To be reimbursed, submit a claim form to Crawford Advisors, our Plan administrator. Your reimbursement check will be mailed directly to your home or, if you choose, by direct deposit. To be eligible for reimbursement, the expense must be incurred during the Plan year in which your contribution was made and while you are an active Plan participant.
Dependent Care Reimbursement Account
Your Choice Benefits program includes Flexible Spending Accounts, which allow you to set money aside from your pay before taxes are withheld. You can use these taxfree funds to reimburse yourself for eligible expenses related to health care or dependent care.
You can use the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account if you pay someone to take care of your dependent so that you and your spouse/domestic partner can work or attend school full time. You can set aside from $5 to $192.30 per paycheck (up to $5,000 a year) to pay for the following expenses:
• Plan your contributions by considering your past health care expenses as well as those you anticipate. Use the account to pay for: • Deductibles for health care expenses • Co-payments and co-insurance for medical (including prescriptions) and dental • Expenses beyond Plan limits (i.e., orthodontia) • Medical supplies prescribed by a physician • Vision expenses, such as eye examinations, prescriptive glasses, contact lenses • Diabetic supplies • Any other health care expenses that you could otherwise deduct from your federal income tax
Limited Health Care Reimbursement Account
• Nursery school
Associates enrolled in the Choice Medical Plan may enroll in the Limited Health Care Reimbursement Account. Under this Plan, your account may be used to pay for eligible dental and vision expenses for you and your qualifying dependents, as long as these expenses are not covered by any other insurance plan.
• Day care at your home or a facility
Use the account to pay for:
• Care for an elderly dependent
• Dental expenses
• Summer day camp
• Vision expenses, such as eye examinations, glasses, contact lenses
• Before- and after-school care
Eligible Dependents • Your children under age 13
• Your spouse or legal dependent of any age who is physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself. This dependent must spend at least 8 hours a day in your home.
• Hearing aids and batteries • Certain weight loss expenses, with a physician’s order
BE protected Short Term and Long Term Disability Insurance
You are automatically enrolled in the Plans when you become eligible for benefits. The Plans cover total disability, as defined as the inability to engage in the essential duties of your occupation due to accidental bodily injury, sickness, mental illness, substance abuse or pregnancy.
Pre-existing Condition Limitation Any medical condition for which you seek care or for which you are treated during the three months prior to your coverage effective date is considered a pre-existing condition. You may be covered for conditions unrelated to your pre-existing condition. After you have been covered under Choice’s Disability Plans for 12 months and have not filed a claim under the Plans for the pre-existing condition, the limitation will be lifted.
Short Term Disability Benefits Benefits begin after seven consecutive calendar days of disability. During this waiting period, you may use your sick, vacation or personal leave. After you complete the waiting period, the Plan will pay you 60% of your pre-disability salary, up to $2,500 per week, minus Medicare and FICA taxes. You may receive payments as long as you are considered medically disabled, up to a maximum of 26 weeks. If, at any time during this process, you are no longer considered disabled by your physician, your benefit payments will stop. You may not collect ShortTerm Disability payments while receiving any other payroll income. You must file a claim in order to receive payments from this Plan. You have 30 days from the day you become disabled to file your claim.
Benefits begin after 180 consecutive days of disability. During the 180-day waiting period, you may receive short-term disability, sick, or vacation pay. You may not collect longterm disability payments while receiving sick or vacation pay. After you have completed the 180-day waiting period, the Plan will pay you 60% of your pre-disability salary, up to $15,000 per month, minus Medicare and FICA taxes.
Group Term Life Insurance Life insurance pays a benefit to your beneficiaries upon your death or, if you choose dependent coverage, upon the death of your spouse/domestic partner or dependent children.
Basic Life Insurance
2014 BE informed The premiums for Short Term and Long Term Disability are paid by Choice Hotels.
Short Term Disability insurance provides income protection in the event the unexpected occurs — such as a non-workrelated injury or illness that prevents you from working. Long Term Disability insurance provides income protection in the event of a serious, extended non-work-related injury or illness. The premiums for both plans are paid by Choice Hotels.
Long Term Disability Benefits
Choice Hotels provides basic coverage for you, equal to your annual base pay. The company also pays for $2,000 in coverage for your spouse/domestic partner and $1,000 in coverage for your dependent children. You must enroll your dependents for them to be covered under this benefit.
Optional Life Insurance You may purchase additional life insurance for yourself, in multiples of your salary, up to four times your salary. If you choose coverage of three or four times your salary, your coverage will be pending until your completed Evidence of Insurability Form is approved by our life insurance carrier. Spouse Life — You may purchase additional coverage for your spouse/domestic partner, up to $7,500, $10,000 or $20,000 (including the basic coverage of $2,000). This coverage cannot exceed 50% of your total life insurance. Your spouse’s coverage premium is based on your age. Child Life — You may purchase additional coverage for your dependent children, up to $5,000 or $7,500 (including the basic coverage of $1,000). The premiums for children’s coverage are based upon a flat rate per $1,000 of coverage.
Your coverage and your spouse’s coverage will be reduced when you (the associate) reach age 65 and again at age 70.
The Company pays for basic coverage, equal to your annual base pay, for you.
Termination of Coverage Coverage ends on your termination date with the Company. If you, or your covered spouse/domestic partner or dependent, die within 31 days of your termination date, your life insurance benefit will still be paid.
Conversion to Individual Policy
The Life Insurance Plan may be converted to an individual policy upon your termination from Choice Hotels if the request is made within 30 days of termination. Please contact the Choice Benefits Department for more information.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment The Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plan (AD&D) provides a benefit if you, or your covered spouse/domestic partner or child is seriously injured or dies as a result of an accident. In the event of death, the beneficiary receives 100% of the coverage. In the event of serious injury, the benefit is based on a percentage of the coverage selected.
BE informed Choice Hotels provides basic life insurance coverage for you, equal to your annual base pay. The company also pays for $2,000 in coverage for your spouse/domestic partner and $1,000 in coverage for your dependent children.
Optional AD&D • You may purchase additional AD&D coverage for yourself in multiples of your salary, up to four times your salary. • You may elect coverage for your spouse/ domestic partner at $7,500, $10,000 or $20,000. • Your dependent children may be covered at $5,000 or $7,500.
Benefit Reduction Your coverage and your spouse’s coverage will be reduced when you (the associate) reach age 65, and again at age 70.
Termination of Coverage Coverage ends on your termination date with the company. If you, or your covered spouse/ domestic partner or dependent die within 31 days of your termination date, your life insurance benefit will still be paid.
BE yourself Your Quality of Life Benefits
Holiday Pay — Full-time associates receive nine paid holidays each year: New Year’s Day Martin Luther King, Jr. Day President’s Day Memorial Day Independence Day Labor Day Thanksgiving Day Day after Thanksgiving Christmas Day Vacation Leave — Choice Hotels provides all full-time associates time off with pay based on their length of service. Personal Leave — Each year, full-time associates are eligible for paid personal leave in accordance with their length of service. Sick Leave — Choice Hotels provides eight days of sick leave per year for full-time associates unable to work due to illness or injury. As an added feature, associates may convert extra sick leave into vacation leave at a 2:1 ratio, up to 64 hours of sick time. This provides the opportunity to receive up to an extra four days of vacation time.
Legal Services Plan — This Plan provides participants with access to the MetLaw network of attorneys. These attorneys have agreed to provide certain services and counsel at a discounted rate.
Quality of Life Quality Life
Your Choice Benefits program also can deliver value to you by helping you improve the quality of life for you and your family. Whether it’s giving you time away from work for relaxation or providing you with valuable discount opportunities, your Quality of Life benefits are designed to help you live your best life.
Enrolled associates can receive advice and consultation but not representation in court on many other personal legal matters, such as separation and divorce, tax audits and boundary disputes. For more information, call MetLaw at 1.800.821.6400, log on to: www.legalplans.com or see the Plan booklet. Hotel Discounts — Choice Hotels associates can enjoy the exciting benefit of staying at many Choice Hotels franchised properties at a discounted rate. All reservations and availability of associate discounts must be confirmed. Concierge Services and Vendor Discounts Choice Hotels has services designed to optimize your time by lending you a hand with time-consuming chores and life’s little emergencies. Concierge services, such as car wash/detailing, dry cleaning, shoe repair services, automobile services and discounted mail services are available depending upon your location. We offer on-site flu shots, mobile mammograms, massages,
acupuncture and more. These quality of life benefits allow you to save time and more fully enjoy your time away from work. Additionally, valuable discounts are available for a wide range of items, including mattresses, computers, car rentals, flowers, movie tickets and theme park tickets. Other local business discounts will vary depending upon your location. Pet Insurance — Many Choice Hotels associates have furry or fluffy “family members.” Pet insurance is offered to provide accident and illness coverage for dogs and cats, covering the medical expenses that most frequently impact domestic pets.
Quality of Life
Choice’s EAP is a confidential, thirdparty, referral program designed to help associates and their family members with a wide variety of issues, including financial concerns, alcohol or drug problems, marital problems, illness, or emotional stress.
Pets Best provides accident, illness and injury coverage with an optional Routine Care addon to cover up to $400 in preventive care for dogs, $500 for cats. To learn more, or to enroll, go to www.petsbest.com/ebchoice. The website will indicate your monthly premium; to determine your biweekly payroll deduction, multiply the monthly rate by 12, and then divide by 26. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) — Choice Hotels recognizes that there are times when associates may face difficult challenges. Choice’s EAP is a confidential, third-party, referral program designed to help associates and their family members with a wide variety of issues, including financial concerns, alcohol or drug problems, marital problems, illness, or emotional stress. Go to www.lifeworks.com (your User ID is “choice” and the password is “5245”) or call 877-234-5151. Health Advocate — To assist our associates and their families in navigating all aspects of medical care, we provide Health Advocate. All Choice associates, as well spouses and domestic partners, dependent children, parents, and parents-in-law can use the service. With Health Advocate, you will be given access to an on-call personal health advocate—typically a registered nurse, medical director, or benefits and claims specialist—who can assist you in: • Finding the right doctors — locating the right hospitals, dentists and other leading health care providers anywhere in the country. • Addressing elder care issues — such as Medicare and related health care issues facing your parents and parents-in-law. • Navigating your insurance plan — helping you get to the bottom of any issues and assisting with negotiating billing and payment arrangements.
• Getting cost estimates — you’ll receive estimates of common medical procedures in your area to help you make informed decisions. • Answering any of your questions — helping you become informed about test results, treatments and medications prescribed by your physician. Adoption Assistance — Choice Hotels offers full-time associates adoption assistance of up to $1,500 per adoption for limited expenses (eligible expenses include agency fees, placement fees, attorney fees, maternity fees and temporary foster care charges) incurred in the process of a legal adoption. This benefit is available to associates with one or more years of service. Volunteer Release Leave — Choice Hotels is committed to its role as a good corporate citizen and believes that providing paid leave time for volunteerism fosters a sense of community spirit and involvement among associates; Choice Hotels also believes that such involvement is beneficial to the associate, the community and Choice Hotels. Jury and Witness Duty — Choice Hotels offers up to 10 days paid time off to serve Jury Duty or Witness Duty to all full-time associates with more than 90 days of active service. Bereavement Pay — Choice Hotels provides full-time associates with paid time off in the event of a death of an immediate family member. Commuter Benefits — The Green Riders program provides associates who use public transportation or carpool with financial incentives or preferential parking. You can save money and help protect the environment. Employee Banking — Through relationships with several banks, Choice Hotels associates are able to access free checking and other banking services. Scholarships for Associates’ Dependents — The Choice Hotels International Foundation awards scholarships to eligible dependents of Choice Hotels associates, employees of franchised properties, and dependents of employees of franchised properties. Scholarship award recipients will receive a lump sum amount of $2,000 toward the academic school year.
BE enrolled Eligibility and Enrollment All full-time, non-temporary Choice Hotels associates are eligible to participate in the Choice Benefits program. To be considered a full-time associate, you must regularly work at least 30 hours per week. Newly hired associates are eligible for benefits to begin on the first of the month following 30 days of service. Associates must make benefit elections within 30 days of hire. If your employment status changes from part-time to full-time, your coverage will become effective on the 1st of the month following your status change.
Dependent Coverage Your dependents can be covered under your Plan, and include: • Your legal spouse or domestic partner. Choice Hotels recognizes same-gender marriages conducted according to state law. • Your dependent children
Coverage for Dependent Children To be eligible, a dependent child must be unmarried and under 26 years of age, and be:
• Your stepchildren who permanently reside in your household and depend upon you for more than half of their support • Your foster child, including any child placed with you for adoption • Any child for whom you are responsible under court order Coverage for a handicapped child may be continued past the age limit shown above. You cannot be covered by the Plan as both an employee and a dependent, or as a dependent of more than one employee.
Coverage for Domestic Partner To be eligible for coverage, you and your domestic partner must complete and sign a Declaration of Domestic Partnership, meeting the criteria indicated within the Domestic Partner Benefits Policy found on ChoiceCentral.com. Tax Consequences of Domestic Partner coverage — The premium amount paid by Choice Hotels for your domestic partner’s benefits coverage will be included in your gross income for purposes of federal and state tax. You may wish to consult a tax professional regarding the impact, if any, on your individual tax circumstances of electing domestic partner benefits coverage.
Eligibility & Enrollment
If you or your dependents do not enroll in benefits when you first become eligible, you will be considered a late enrollee and your coverage will be deferred until the next Annual Enrollment period.
• Your biological or legally adopted child
Annual Enrollment During the Annual Enrollment period, you will have the opportunity to review your coverage needs for the upcoming year, with the option to change your coverage. The choices you make during Annual Enrollment will become effective January 1st of the following year.
Special Enrollment for Life Events Generally, changes to benefit elections can only be made during the Annual Enrollment period. However, you may experience certain life events during the year that permit you to make limited changes to your benefits during the year. These include: • Marriage, divorce or legal separation • Adoption or birth of a child • Loss of eligibility due to changing from fulltime to part-time • Loss of creditable coverage from another plan due to termination, loss of eligibility or loss of employer’s contribution • Death of employee or dependent • COBRA coverage ends
Eligibility & Enrollment
Termination of Benefits Your benefits will remain in place until you elect to stop or change them during the Annual Enrollment period, or you lose your Plan eligibility. All benefit coverage ends at midnight of your termination date.
Participant Contributions The Company shares the cost of most benefits with you. You pay your share through beforetax or after-tax contributions deducted from your paycheck on a biweekly basis. Before-tax contributions are deducted from your paycheck before federal, Social Security, Medicare, state and local taxes are calculated. Your medical, dental, vision, HSA and FSA contributions are deducted on a before-tax basis.
• Eligibility for Medicare
You will need to complete a Benefits Change Form within 31 days of the life event and submit it along with supporting documentation to the Choice Benefits Department. For newly added dependent children, the change in your coverage will become effective as of the date of birth or adoption. In the case of marriage, your spouse’s coverage will become effective on the date the Election Form is received or on your marriage date, whichever is later. All other changes will become effective on the date that the form is received by the Benefits Department.
Or Go Online:
Flexible Spending Accounts
1.800.657.6265 Fax: 1.410.771.9487
www.lifeworks.com (User ID “choice”; password “5245”)
ÂŠ 2013 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved. 13-892/10/13