COBRA

COBRA

When will my COBRA go into effect should I leave the company?

Upon termination of your employment with Publicis your medical, dental, vision, and Health Care FSA benefits are active through the end of the month. Therefore, COBRA goes into effect the first of the following month in which the termination occurs.

When I elect COBRA, may I enroll in medical only or must I enroll in all the plans I had when I was actively employed?

You may elect coverage continuation for medical, dental, vision, and/or the Health Care FSA in any combination, which meets your needs. However, once you waive coverage in any of the plans you may not make an election later.

Where do I find the COBRA rates?

Please contact the Benefits Service Center at Benefits.SharedServices@lionresources.com or by phone at 1-800-933-3622 (Monday ‒ Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm ET) to be provided COBRA rates.

Can I continue FSA on COBRA?

You may only continue your Healthcare FSA on COBRA on an after-tax basis.

Dental

Dental

What if my dentist isn’t in the Delta Dental PPO network?

Through the Delta Dental PPO you can visit any dentist that you choose. Using in-network providers lowers your out-of-pocket costs while using out-of-network services gives you the flexibility to choose your providers, but requires you to pay more. For a list of dentists in your area who participate in the Delta Dental network, call 1-800-932-0783 or visit Delta Dental.

Eligibility

Eligibility

Who is eligible for health coverage?

Review the Benefits Eligibility page.

If my child becomes ineligible for medical coverage because he or she has reached age 26 or for dental and vision coverage because he or she has reached age 21 (or up to age 25 if a full-time student) when does coverage end?

The coverage will end on the last day of the month in which the dependent reaches the age limit — 26 for medical, 21 (or up to age 25 if a full-time student) for dental and vision.

Is my domestic/civil union partner eligible for coverage?

You can cover your same- or opposite-sex domestic/civil union partner for medical, dental, and vision coverage only. You can cover the children of a domestic/civil union partner only if they have been adopted by you. Contributions you make toward the cost of your domestic partner’s coverage will be deducted on an after-tax basis. You will need to complete an Affidavit for Certification of Domestic Partnership/Civil Union/Same Sex Spouse after you enroll, or initiate a Qualifying Life Event (QLE). If the certification form is not completed, your requested coverage will be terminated effective with the coverage date.

If you have qualified for a civil union in your state and are covering your partner, please be aware of the following: the contributions you make toward the cost of your partner’s coverage will be excluded for state tax purposes. However, the contributions you make toward the cost of your partner’s coverage will be deducted on an after tax basis for federal tax purposes. In addition, IRS regulations require that you pay federal taxes on the additional cost of the coverage paid by Publicis on behalf of your partner or partner’s children (if adopted by you). This cost will be added to your W-2 Form earnings as imputed income on which you pay taxes. Therefore, your actual cost will be greater than costs indicated in your benefits summary on the enrollment site.

Do I have to choose the same coverage category (who is covered) for medical, dental, and vision?

You can select different coverage categories for medical, dental, and vision. For example, you can select employee-only for your medical coverage and employee plus two or more dependents for your vision coverage. However, you cannot solely cover your dependent and not have coverage for yourself (i.e., you cannot only enroll your partner in vision coverage; it would need to be employee plus one coverage).

Both my spouse/partner and I work at a Publicis company. How do we choose our benefits?

If your spouse or another family member works at a Publicis company and is eligible for the health and group benefits program, you have a few options. You both may choose employee-only coverage for medical, dental, or vision benefits. Or, you may share your coverage if one of you elects employee plus one or employee plus two or more. However, if one employee chooses to cover their spouse as a dependent under the plan, the other spouse must not elect coverage. Children may only be covered as dependents under one parent. Under the Supplemental Life and AD&D insurance options, you may only be covered as an employee.

When am I allowed to make changes to my benefits?

You may make changes to your benefits once a year during the Annual Open Enrollment period, which occurs in late October/early November of each calendar year. Changes made during the Annual Open Enrollment period will go into effect January 1 of the following year.

Note: If you need to use insurance before your enrollment is active in the insurance benefit administrator’s system, you may pay out-of-pocket and submit a paper claim to the insurance benefit administrator. Or, you may present the enrollment confirmation page to your provider, and ask the provider’s office to hold off on sending claims to the insurance benefit administrator until you can confirm you are actively enrolled. You can find claim forms on the Forms & Guides page.

Enrollment

Enrollment

How long does it take to show as active in the carrier’s systems (BCBSIL, Delta Dental, etc.) once I enroll in benefits coverage?

It usually takes two weeks from the date you go on-line and enroll in benefits coverage to be updated in the carrier’s systems.

What should I do if I have not yet been issued an ID number and I need to go to the doctor or pharmacy?

If you need to go to the doctor or pharmacy prior to receiving your ID card you have two options:

  • You can ask the doctor to hold off on filing the claim until you obtain your ID number, or;
  • Pay out of pocket and submit for reimbursement once you receive your ID card. Access a claim form on the Forms & Guides page.
Where can I find a list of my benefit options and associated costs?

You can view the benefit options you are eligible for (their associated costs) by logging into the benefits enrollment site via the View, Enroll or Change Benefits page. When you access the benefits enrollment site, you’ll need to click on the “First Time User” link and create a user ID and password to view your available benefit options and make your elections.

Will I receive a new Plan ID card for my plan elections, if I changed plans?

If you elected a new medical plan, a new medical ID card should arrive by early January. If you do not receive your ID card by early January, contact the appropriate vendor as listed on the Contacts page. Delta Dental will provide ID cards only to any new dental plan participants. The vision plan does not issue cards.

What happens if I missed the opportunity to enroll during my new hire period?

You may make changes to your benefits once a year during the Annual Open Enrollment period, which occurs in late October/early November of each calendar year. Changes made during the Annual Open Enrollment period will go into effect January 1 of the following year.

You may make changes to you benefits outside of the Annual Open Enrollment period, if you experience a qualifying change in status — refer to the Qualifying Event page for details. Keep in mind, if you have an eligible change in family status or a qualifying life event during the year, you must initiate your qualifying event change on the enrollment site within 31 days of the event, via the View, Enroll or Change Benefits page. The changes to your benefits must be consistent with the change in your family status. For example, if you have a child, you can add but not drop your dependents to your health care coverage. Effective dates of coverage may be found in the Qualifying Life Event Benefits Matrix.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

How do I determine if I should contribute to the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)?

To help you estimate your expenses, you can use the FSA calculators available to you on the HealthEquity | WageWorks site. The calculators list possible expenses under each plan and ask you to fill in an estimate of your annual cost for each expense.

When can I enroll in a FSA?

You will only be able to elect an FSA either during Open Enrollment or if you incur an applicable Qualified Life Event during the year that allows for such change.

Why do I need to estimate my expenses carefully before deciding to enroll in an FSA?

FSAs are “use it or lose it”, which means unused funds are forfeited at the end of the plan year. The IRS has strict rules governing the use of reimbursement accounts because reimbursement account funds allow you to save on taxes. According to the IRS, any funds you deposit into a FSA must be used within the plan year they are deposited.

When will I receive my HealthEquity | WageWorks Health Care FSA card?

If you enrolled in a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) during the Open Enrollment Period, you can expect to receive your card by December 31.

Can I submit claims for reimbursement to HealthEquity | WageWorks?

Yes, claims for reimbursement of eligible FSA expenses can be submitted to HealthEquity | WageWorks:

  • For Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) claims, please complete a Health Care Pay Me Back Claim Form.
  • For Dependent Care FSA claims, please complete a Dependent Care Pay Me Back Claim Form.
  • You can also take a picture of your receipts and submit claims using the HealthEquity | WageWorks EZ Receipt app.
Do I need to make a new FSA election annually?

Your FSA elections and remaining balance will not rollover to the following year. You can make the same election, but you must actively go online to the benefits enrollment site during the Open Enrollment period and make your FSA elections for the next plan year.

I underestimated my contribution last year. Can I claim these expenses this year?

No. You can only be reimbursed for eligible expenses incurred in the year the contribution is made while you were actively participating in the plan, regardless when the expense may be billed. For example, if you receive an eligible service in December, but you do not get the bill until January, you cannot claim this expense for December using your new January FSA election.

Can I be reimbursed for my contributions to the cost for my health care coverage?

No. Government rules do not allow reimbursement of these premium amounts because your contributions are already made on a pre-tax basis.

What if I am a new hire and I have already contributed towards an FSA at a previous employer?

You will need to ensure that you do not exceed the IRS maximum amount allowed per household. Therefore, you will need to take into account the amount already contributed.

Are over-the-counter drugs covered under the health care flexible spending account?

OTC drugs and medicines such as antacids, cold medicine, and pain relievers will require a prescription in order to be considered an eligible expense under the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA). OTC items such as contact lens solution, first aid supplies, insulin, and other diabetic supplies will continue to be eligible without a prescription.

What happens to my FSA Account(s) if I leave the company?

If you participated in a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA), your participation ends on your last day of employment and your Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) card will be deactivated 24 ‒ 48 hours from your date of termination. You will then receive a continuation information package from our COBRA administrator within 45 calendar days of your last day of employment. You will have 60 calendar days from your participation end date to decide if you would like to continue your participation in your Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) (Note: Contributions to the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) via COBRA will be made on a post-tax basis.)

If you participated in a Dependent Care FSA your participation ends on your last day of employment and continuation is not an option for this type of FSA.

For both Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Dependent Care FSA, you will have until March 31 of the following plan year to submit claims for the current plan year. Claims must have been incurred between your first day of participation in the plan and your last day of participation in the plan for the current year.

What if I still have questions?

For questions regarding your FSA election, please contact HealthEquity | WageWorks Customer Service at 1-877-924-3967, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8 pm ET.

What if I want to keep my FSA plan contributions for next year the same as my current contributions?

You may elect the same contribution level, but you will need to re-enroll in the FSAs annually during open enrollment. Your contributions will not automatically rollover to the following year. You must actively go on line to make new elections. If you do not make an election during Annual Open Enrollment to participate in the FSAs your contribution for the following year will default to zero.

General

General

How should I identify myself when I call any of the providers/insurance carriers?

When you call any of the providers/insurance carriers you should identify yourself as a Publicis employee.

Will I receive a new ID card?

When you first enroll in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and/or Delta Dental you will receive a new ID card. For BCBSIL you will be mailed a new ID card if you change your plan or add a new dependent. You may also print temporary cards online:

  • Medical: BCBSIL — you will need your member ID number to register; call BCBSIL at 1-866-876-1989 to obtain.
  • Dental: Delta Dental — use group number 04811 and your social security number as your member ID; call Delta Dental if you need further assistance at 1-800-932-0783.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

Health Savings Account (HSA)

What is an HSA?

An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account that belongs to you. It is always paired with a qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP).

How do HSAs compare to IRAs or 401(k) plans?

HSAs have features in common with retirement accounts, such as individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) plans that keep their tax advantages when used for specific purposes. These advantages include year-to-year rollover, portability, choice of account investments and survivor benefits. Variations on that approach, including Roth IRAs, 529 education accounts and Coverdell accounts, have helped consumers grow their retirement nest eggs using tax-free savings accounts.

Who can establish and contribute to an HSA?

The IRS has specific guidelines to determine who is eligible to own and contribute to an HSA. Under the law, an eligible individual:

  • Must be covered under a qualified HDHP (see chapter 2) on the first day of any month for which eligibility is claimed (IRC Sec. 223(a), IRS notice 2004-2 Q&A 2 through Q&A 7).
  • May not be covered under any health plan that is not a qualified HDHP, with the exception of certain permitted coverage and certain health-related payment plans.
  • Must not be enrolled in Medicare (the healthcare component of the Social Security program) (IRC Sec. 223(b)(7), IRS Notice 2004-50 Q&A 2 through Q&A 4).
  • May not be claimed as a dependent on another individual’s tax return (IRC Sec. 223(b)(6)).
Who can contribute to your HSA?

Anyone (employer, family member, or any other person) may contribute to an HSA on behalf of an eligible HSA holder. Even state governments are able to make HSA contributions on behalf of eligible individuals who are insured under health plans or state high-risk pools that qualify as HDHPs (IRS Notice 2004-50 Q&A 29).

Who gets the tax breaks?

HSA contributions are tax-deductible, grow tax-free and are never taxed if used for qualified medical expenses. However, only you and your employer can claim a tax deduction when a contribution to your account is made. Others who contribute to your account are unable to take a tax deduction.

Who owns the HSA and the contributions?

HSA dollars are owned by you, the account holder, and they cannot be taken by the employer’s creditors in the event of a company lawsuit or company bankruptcy. (IRC Sec. 223(d)(1)(E)) (IRS Notice 2004-50 Q&A 81).

Whose expenses can your HSA cover?

Under the law, HSA distributions are tax-free if used for qualified medical expenses for:

  • You and your spouse
  • Any dependents you claim on your tax return
  • Any person you could have claimed as a dependent on your tax return
When must expenses be incurred?

Only expenses incurred after you establish your HSA are considered qualified. Expenses incurred before you establish your HSA are not qualified medical expenses (IRS Notice 2004-50 Q&A-39).

When is an HSA established?

Under federal law, you cannot contribute to an HSA or incur qualified expenses until  the first day of the month after you enroll in a qualified HDHP. If you enroll in your HDHP on the first day of a month, you can open your HSA that same day.

What if I retire before I am eligible for Medicare?

Many people retire before age 65, the age for Medicare eligibility. If you retire before age 65, you can use your HSA for a wide range of medical expenses. You can use it to pay COBRA premiums, premiums for long-term care insurance or non-COBRA premiums for coverage you may buy on your own (if you are receiving unemployment compensation). You may also use your HSA balance to directly pay for qualified medical expenses. If you retire from your job, accept a pension from your employer and go to work for another employer, you cannot use your HSA to make premium payments your new employer may require, unless you are at least age 65.

What if I enroll in Medicare?

Once you enroll in Medicare, you are no longer eligible to make HSA contributions. Remember, enrolling in SSI (the income portion of Social Security) automatically enrolls you in Medicare Part A.

Like early retirees, you can use the HSA once you have reached age 65 to pay COBRA premiums, premiums for long-term care insurance or non-COBRA premiums for coverage you buy on your own (if you are receiving unemployment compensation). You can also use your HSA balance to pay qualified medical expenses directly.

If you remain employed after age 65, you can use your HSA to pay your share, if any, for employer-sponsored healthcare coverage. If your employer offers healthcare coverage to retirees or their survivors and requires a premium contribution from participating retirees or survivors, your HSA can be used to pay for that coverage as well.

You can also use your HSA to pay Medicare premiums once you reach age 65.

What if I become disabled?

Since you do not need to work in order to make HSA contributions, you can continue to be covered by your employer’s or another HSA-qualified HDHP plan after becoming disabled.

If you are covered by an HSA-qualified HDHP and qualify for short-term or long-term disability benefits under your employer-sponsored plan, nothing should change if your employer’s healthcare coverage remains the same during the disability period.

Freelancers

Freelancers & Temporary Employees

What benefits coverage options are offered to freelancers and temporary employees?

At Publicis Groupe, we offer medical and voluntary benefits to our freelancers and temporary employees. Voluntary benefit options include supplemental medical insurance, transportation and parking benefits, legal benefits, pet insurance, and auto and home insurance.

When do freelancers and temporary employees become eligible for benefits coverage?

Freelancers and temporary employees must be actively employed for 90 consecutive calendar days in order to be eligible for Publicis benefits. If you elect certain Publicis benefits, your benefits coverage will be effective the 91st calendar day of your employment.

Who administers the benefits coverage for freelancers and temporary employees?

Publicis benefits are administered through bswift, our third-party benefits administration system.

Who notifies freelancers and temporary employees of their benefits eligibility?

When you are eligible for Publicis benefits, you will receive an email from bswift prior to when you can start enrolling for Publicis benefits. If we do not have an email address for you on file, your enrollment notice will be mailed to the home address on your file.

When will freelancers and temporary employees know to enroll in Publicis benefits?

When you are eligible for Publicis benefits, you’ll receive an email or mailed letter from bswift 45 days before your benefits coverage would start. You’ll have 45 days to enroll in Publicis benefits, otherwise you’ll forfeit your coverage until the next Annual Benefits Enrollment period, which is typically in Q4 each year.

When will benefits coverage start after a freelancer and temporary employee enrolls in Publicis benefits?

Publicis benefits coverage starts on the 91st calendar day of your employment. You’ll be notified 45 consecutive days after your hire start date to start enrolling in Publicis benefits, and your enrollment period will be open for 45 days. Note: If you leave the company for any reason prior to your 91st calendar day of employment, you’ll also forfeit your Publicis benefits.

Where can freelancers and temporary employees see the cost of benefits?

You can find the coverage cost per paycheck per Publicis benefit after you log into bswift enrollment system.

When will paycheck deductions start?

You’ll see Publicis benefit deductions starting the first or second paycheck following your benefits coverage effective date (i.e., your 91st calendar day of your employment).

Are freelancers and temporary employees eligible to participate in the 401(k) Plan?

Yes. After you complete 1,000 work hours in a consecutive 12-month period, you will be eligible to participate in the Publicis 401(k) Plan.

What happens to a freelancer and temporary employee’s benefits when they leave the company?
  • Medical: If you leave the company for any reason, your medical coverage will continue through the end of the month when your employment ends. You’ll be eligible for COBRA coverage after that if did have Publicis medical coverage during your employment.
  • Pet, Auto & Home: Benefits coverage for pet insurance and auto and home insurance ends on your last day at the company; and you can still continue that coverage by paying the respective insurance company directly.
  • Parking & Transit: Your parking benefits will be forfeit after your last day at the company, and your transit benefits will be available for 90 days after your last day at the company.
If a freelancer and temporary employee leaves the company and is hired again, will the previous service be considered to determine benefits eligibility?

Unfortunately, no. If you worked within Publicis Groupe and were re-hired, you’ll need to complete the 90 days requirement to be eligible for Publicis benefits again.

Who should freelancers and temporary employees contact if they have questions regarding their Publicis benefits coverage?

You can contact the Publicis Benefits Team at 1-800-933-3622 (Monday ‒ Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm ET) or email Benefits.SharedServices@lionresources.com.

Medical

Medical

What if my doctor is not in the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) network?

If your doctor is not a participating provider and you are enrolled in a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois PPO plan, any services received would be considered out-of-network and paid at a reduced rate. To see if your doctor belongs to the network, or to review the network providers available in your area, visit the BCBSIL Provider Finder® page.

If your doctor is not in the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois PPO network, you can contact Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois to find out how to get your doctor added to the network by calling 1-866-876-1989.

Why is the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois plan based in Illinois?

Illinois is where Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois maintains its largest administrative operations. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois serves as the “control” plan as they coordinate and process all claim payments and ensure that participants in the Publicis Medical Plan PPO and EPO options receive access and the maximum discounts from other BCBSIL networks throughout the United States. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois is one of the largest medical carriers in the U.S.

In addition, we have selected Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois because of its expansive size and reach of its health care provider network, and the discounts it has negotiated with the majority of doctors and other health care providers in the U.S.

What if I’m enrolling in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for the first time and I am receiving care under my current plan which won’t be completed before January 1?

Under certain circumstances, your new plan may provide coverage at the same level as your current plan. To determine if you qualify for medical transition of care benefits, contact Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois by calling 1-866-876-1989 or your current provider.

What is Special Beginnings®?

Special Beginnings® is a prenatal program through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois which will help guide pregnant employees or dependents through their pregnancy with personalized support, including care management and educational materials from obstetrical nurses. Enrollment in the Special Beginnings® Program is optional.

What is the difference between generic and brand name drugs?

Generic drugs are required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have the same performance and quality as brand name drugs. When a generic drug product is approved, it has met rigorous standards established by the FDA. Cost is the main difference between generic and brand name prescription drugs. Unlike brand companies, generic manufacturers compete directly on price, resulting in lower prices for consumers.

How can using the mail-order prescription drug service save me money?

Maintenance medications are drugs that are taken regularly to treat or manage a chronic condition or for long-term therapy. Examples include medications taken for conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.

The CVS Caremark Mandatory Maintenance Choice Program provides you with the ability to fill 90-day supply prescriptions of your long-term maintenance medications at lower copays. With lower copays for 90-day supply fills, you can realize significant savings over time. For medications you take on a regular basis to treat or manage a chronic condition.

With CVS Caremark Mandatory Maintenance Choice, you can choose to fill your 90-day supplies either at CVS retail pharmacy locations (including those inside Target locations), or receive them through CVS Mail Service Pharmacy. Note: 90 day supplies of maintenance medications cannot be filled at non-CVS network pharmacies.

What is the Specialty Drug Service?

Specialty drugs are prescriptions that are used for the treatment of complex, chronic conditions such as hepatitis, hemophilia, and cancer. CVS Health offers a program for specialty injectable and oral drugs that can provide you with greater convenience, including express delivery, follow-up care calls, expert counseling and superior service.

Specialty drug prescriptions must be filled at CVS retail pharmacies. In addition, certain CVS Pharmacy locations with a MinuteClinic have a service that provides education regarding the medication or injectable you are taking.

Do I have to satisfy my medical plan’s annual deductible before prescription drug coverage begins?

No. Prescription drug expenses do not apply to the annual deductible for the medical PPO plans. Instead, you pay coinsurance, which is a percentage of the drug cost subject to a minimum and maximum amount each time you have a prescription filled. See the Prescription Drugs page for more information.

Does the medical deductible apply to my out-of-pocket maximum?

Yes. Your medical deductible, co-payments, coinsurance, all apply to your out-of-pocket maximum. See the Medical page for more information.

Vision

Vision

I never received an ID card for my vision coverage. Will I receive one?

No. VSP does not issue ID cards. Your doctor’s office will contact VSP to confirm eligibility for you or your covered dependent(s). You may also visit their website at VSP to register and review your personalized benefits.

I need both eyeglasses and contacts. Will Publicis vision coverage pay benefits for both?

No. After you pay a copayment, either eyeglasses or contacts are covered once every twelve months, not both.

Health Advocate

Health Advocate

What does Health Advocate offer?

See the Health Advocate page for more information.

Wellness Resources

Wellness Resources

What wellness resources are available to me?

Your medical plan may offer health and wellness resources available, including:

  • Discounted gym memberships
  • Discounted weight management program memberships
  • Gift cards and other incentives when you log healthy activities online

See your medical plan’s website for more information about what they may offer.

What is the Publicis Benefits Connection Healthy Living program?

The Publicis Benefits Connection Healthy Living Program, powered by WebMD, is a comprehensive wellness initiative designed to provide eligible employees and their eligible dependent designed to help you take steps (even small ones) towards optimal health.

The program promotes healthy behavior by providing customized information, tools and support based on your reported interests, health risks and readiness for change (support is available online and by phone). Visit the Healthy Living page for more details and program dates.

Why WebMD?

WebMD is a reputable provider of valuable health information, tools for managing your health, and support to those who seek information.

Who is eligible to participate?

All active benefits eligible employees are eligible to participate. Opposite or same gender spouses, opposite or same gender domestic partners, opposite or same gender civil union partners enrolled in a Publicis Connection medical plan are eligible to participate.

Why aren’t children covered under the program?

Although we encourage you to make Healthy Living a family initiative, the tools and program offerings are designed to support and promote healthy behavior in adults.

When does my participation in the Healthy Living program terminate?

Participation in the Healthy Living program terminates once you are no longer eligible, i.e. termination of employment or if you cease to be eligible for Publicis benefits or if your eligible dependent no longer participates in the medical plan.

What is the Personal Health Assessment?

The Personal Health Assessment (PHA) is a screening tool that helps provide insight into your individual health risks and major conditions. Completion of the PHA gives you access to tools, personalized reports and information specific to those health risks and conditions identified in the PHA. Visit the Healthy Living page for more details.

What is the information used for?

Information from your PHA is used to assess your overall health based on your responses and provides you with feedback on how to address those behaviors that put your health at risk.

Is my information secure?

Yes. WebMD privacy policy is available on the WebMD website.

Will my information be shared with Publicis?

The PHA is completely confidential and individual responses will not be shared with Publicis.

How long will it take to complete the PHA?

The PHA takes approximately 15 ‒ 20 minutes to complete. A convenient indicator which tracks your progress appears on the page while taking the PHA. You may also stop at any point and come back to the PHA by logging in to your Healthy Living account. All your responses will be saved.

Can I update my PHA at any time?

Although it is recommended that you take the full PHA once per program year, you may update your PHA at any time.

Can I share this information with my doctor?

Yes! We encourage you to share this information with your doctor to begin a dialog that may facilitate improvement of your health. The Publicis Benefits Connection Healthy Living website allows you to track information such as conditions, treatments, exams, and even doctor visits which can all be printed in one convenient summary and shared with your doctor.

How do I earn incentives?

Incentives can be earned if you and/or your eligible spouse take the Personal Health Assessment (once per program year) and complete activities totaling up to 60 points. Activities include but are not limited to participating in health coaching, completing Daily Habits Plans, having an appointment with your PCP, etc.

How much can be earned in incentives?

Eligible employees and an eligible spouse may earn $125 for completing the PHA by December 31, 2021. Eligible employees and eligible spouses may both earn $175 by completing a combination of activities where they total at least 60 points by October 26, 2022.

How do I/we receive the incentives?

Incentives will be paid via payroll to the employee as a cash reward via a separate check or direct deposit depending on the employee’s payment election with payroll at the time of payment. Employees must be active, on payroll at the time the incentive is scheduled to be paid.

Are incentives taxable?

Yes. Since the incentive is being paid as a cash reward via payroll it is subject to applicable supplemental, Federal, State and Local taxes.

What is coaching?

Coaches are health experts trained to engage in one-on-one conversations to support participants in improving their health. Coaching can consist of phone calls, e-mails and/or self-reported weekly activities via the Digital Health Assistant. Coaching can vary in length depending on the participant’s needs.

Who is eligible to participate in coaching?

All benefits eligible employees and their eligible spouses are able to participate in coaching.

How long will the coaching be?

Your coach will determine how many coaching sessions are appropriate to address your health needs however; there is no limit to the number of coaching sessions you may receive.

401(k) Plan

401(k) Plan

What happens to my 401(k) Plan account if I leave Publicis?

Upon termination of your employment with Publicis, your participation in the 401(k) Plan ends on your termination date. You have the option of taking a distribution/roll-over from the 401(k) Plan or you can elect to leave your account balance with Fidelity. Please note, if your account balance is less than $1000.00 you will automatically receive a distribution payout. This process occurs on a quarterly basis.

What happens to my 401(k) Plan loan if I leave Publicis?

Upon termination of your employment with Publicis, the unpaid principal or interest on any outstanding loan will become immediately due, except if you elect not to take a distribution of your account. If you leave your account balance in the Plan, you may continue repaying your loan in monthly payments to Fidelity. Within the first month of your separation, you will automatically receive a loan coupon book from Fidelity with instructions for continuing to make repayments. Coupon payments may be made via personal check, certified check, money order or electronically if your banking information is on file with Fidelity. If you do not repay the loan in full or set up continued payments with Fidelity within 90 days after you terminate employment, the loan will be treated as a taxable distribution.

How do I roll over my previous employer’s 401(k) plan into the Publicis 401(k) Plan?

You must obtain and complete a rollover form available on the Forms & Guides page.

How can I view my 401(k) contributions and employer match?

You can view your account information by visiting Fidelity and registering your account. You will then have access to view payroll contributions and employer match as well as statements.

How do I change my 401(k) Plan contribution rate?

To change your 401(k) Plan contribution rate, please visit Fidelity NetBenefits or call 1-800-835-5095. The Publicis group number for Fidelity is 08063.

Am I eligible to make a catch-up contribution to my 401(k) account?

If you are at least age 50, or will reach 50 during the calendar year and you are making the maximum Plan or IRS Salary Deferral Contribution, you may elect to make an additional “catch-up” contribution each pay period in whole dollar amounts.

How do I make a catch-up contribution to my 401(k) Plan account?

To elect a 401(k) Plan catch-up contribution, please visit Fidelity NetBenefits or call 1-800-835-5095. The Publicis group number for Fidelity is 08063. Please note: Catch up contributions must be made on a per pay period basis.

Can I access the money in my 401(k) Plan account before I retire?

While you are employed, you can access your account balances through in-service withdrawals in certain situations. Please keep in mind that withdrawals are subject to income taxes and possibly subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty. For more information about in-service withdrawals, please view the Publicis Benefits Connection 401(k) Plan Summary on the Forms & Guides page.

How much can I contribute to the Roth 401(k) option?

You may contribute 1% ‒ 60% of your eligible compensation to the Roth, however, contributions to both the Roth option and traditional pre-tax option cannot exceed the IRS allowable maximums for the year. Please refer to the 401(k) Plan page for the current year’s IRS maximum contribution limit for regular pre-tax and Roth post-tax contributions.

Do Highly Compensated Employees (HCE) limits still apply?

Yes. Highly compensated employees (HCEs) are limited to contributing 15% of eligible compensation, including Roth contributions. Please refer to the 401(k) page for the HCE limit.

I am or will turn 50 years old this year, can I make catch-up contributions to the Roth 401(k) option?

Yes. You may elect to make catch-up contributions to the Roth and/or traditional pre-tax options, however, combined contributions cannot exceed the IRS allowable maximums for catch-up contributions for the year. If you will turn age 50 or older in a given calendar year, you may also make catch-up pre-tax and/or Roth post-tax contributions up to a maximum of $6,500 annually.

Will my contributions to the Roth 401(k) option be matched?

Yes. Your total contributions will be matched according to the same matching schedule as pre-tax contributions: 100% of the first 3% of eligible compensation you contribute and 50% of the next 2% of eligible compensation you contribute to the plan, up to a total of 4% of your eligible compensation per year.

Will I be taxed on early distributions?

Qualified distributions are not subject to income tax. Non-qualified distributions are subject to income tax on investment earnings only. In order for a distribution to be considered qualified, there must a qualified purpose for the distribution i.e. the participant turns 59½, becomes disabled or passes away AND the participant meets the IRS 5 year rule.

Can I take loans from my Roth 401(k)?

Yes. You may take a loan from your Roth 401(k); however, the current rule remains that you can only have two loans outstanding at any given time.

Are there capital gains taxes that need to be paid on Roth earnings?

No. 401(k) contributions, including Roth contributions, are exempt from capital gains taxes.

Can you roll over a Roth IRA to the Roth 401(k)?

No. You cannot roll over a Roth IRA into the Roth 401(k).

Can I convert pre-tax contributions already in the plan to Roth contributions?

No. Conversion of pre-tax contributions into Roth contributions (also known as in-plan conversion) is not permitted at this time.

I’m a new hire. Am I automatically enrolled with pre-tax contributions or post-tax Roth contributions?

As a new hire, you will only be automatically enrolled with pre-tax contributions.

Roth 401(k)

Roth 401(k)

How much can I contribute to the Roth 401(k) option?

You may contribute 1% ‒ 50% of your eligible compensation to the Roth 401(k); however, contributions to both the Roth option and traditional pre-tax option cannot exceed the IRS allowable maximums for the year. In 2021, the IRS maximum contribution limit is $19,500 for regular pre-tax and Roth post-tax contributions combined.

Do Highly Compensated Employee (HCE) limits still apply?

Yes. In 2021, highly compensated employees (those with 2021 W-2 earnings in excess of $125,000) will be limited to contributing 15% of eligible compensation, including Roth contributions.

I am or will turn 50 years old this year, can I make catch-up contributions to the Roth 401(k) option?

Yes. You may elect to make catch-up contributions to the Roth and/or traditional pre-tax options, however, combined contributions cannot exceed the IRS allowable maximums for catch-up contributions for the year. If you will turn age 50 or older in 2021, you may also make catch-up pre-tax and/or Roth post-tax contributions up to a maximum of $6,500 annually.

Will I be taxed on early distributions?

Qualified distributions are not subject to income tax. Non-qualified distributions are subject to income tax on investment earnings only. In order for a distribution to be considered qualified, there must a qualified purpose for the distribution i.e. the participant turns 59½, becomes disabled or passes away AND the participant meets the IRS 5 year rule.

Can I take loans from my Roth 401(k)?

Yes, you may take a loan from your Roth 401(k). However, the current rule remains that you can only have two loans outstanding at any given time.

Are there capital gains taxes that need to be paid on Roth earnings?

No, 401(k) contributions, including Roth contributions, are exempt from capital gains taxes.

Can you roll over a Roth IRA to the Roth 401(k)?

No. You cannot roll over a Roth IRA into the Roth 401(k).

Can I convert pre-tax contributions already in the plan to Roth contributions?

No, conversion of pre-tax contributions into Roth contributions (also known as in-plan conversion) is not permitted at this time.

I’m a new hire. Am I automatically enrolled with pre-tax contributions or post-tax Roth contributions?

As a new hire, you will only be automatically enrolled with pre-tax contributions.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions regarding Roth 401(k)?

For detailed information regarding the Roth 401(k) option, please contact Fidelity Retirement Services at 1-800-835-5095.

Disability

Disability

How do I know if I should file a disability claim?

You would file for a disability claim if you have been sick or injured and have been absent for more than 7 calendar days / 5 business days. See the Disability page for more information.

How do I file for disability?

You would need to report your disability claim to our third-party disability administrator, The Hartford, by calling 1-800-549-6514 or file a claim online by visiting The Hartford website. See the Disability page for more information.

What happens to my life insurance benefit if I go out on Long-Term Disability (LTD)?

If you are disabled for at least nine months, you may apply for a Waiver of Premium in order to continue your life insurance. However, you must apply for this Waiver of Premium between the 9th and 12th month following the date of your disability in order to be eligible for continuation of your life insurance. If you do not apply for a Waiver of Premium, your life insurance will terminate at the end of the 12th month of disability. Once life insurance terminates, you are eligible to port coverage or convert coverage to an individual policy.

Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

Do I have to provide evidence of insurability (EOI) to increase my own life insurance and my dependent life insurance?

During your new hire enrollment period you may elect the lesser of up to 3 times your base pay or $750,000 with no EOI required. After your new hire enrollment period EOI will be required any time you wish to increase your coverage. You can elect dependent life insurance for your spouse up to $50,000 without having to provide EOI and dependent life insurance for children does not require EOI.

How do I designate or change my life insurance beneficiary?

You can designate or change your life insurance beneficiary(ies) at anytime on bswift under the My Profile tab.

Do I need to complete a life insurance beneficiary designation? How do I designate a beneficiary for my dependents?

If you do not select a life insurance beneficiary coverage will default to your spouse or next of kin. For dependent life insurance you are the beneficiary of the policy.

What happens if my life insurance beneficiary does not have a Social Security Number (SSN)?

MetLife does not require a SSN to designate a beneficiary. If a claim is filed MetLife will then request the SSN at that time. If the beneficiary is from a foreign country and does not have an SSN, they will be sent an additional form, which asks them to verify their identity and report the life insurance benefit amount for U.S. tax purposes.

Is my life insurance coverage convertible and portable?

Yes, if you end employment, portability and conversion options are available to you without evidence of insurability. You’ll need to contact MetLife within 31 days of your termination date to port or convert your life insurance coverage.

However, before you consider portability or conversion options, please note that the continuation option is also available to you when you end employment. The continuation option allows you to continue your active group term life insurance coverage for one year without evidence of insurability, and no coverage or age maximums apply.

To continue your active life insurance coverage, you’ll need to make your election within 31 days of your termination date and you will be billed for the premiums directly. When your continued group life coverage terminates after one year, you have the option to either “port” your group term life insurance or convert your group term life insurance to an individual life insurance policy within 31 days of the date your continuation coverage ends.

Employee Assistance Program

Employee Assistance Program

What is the EAP?

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides confidential, professional, one-on-one, short-term counseling for personal and work/life issues for all employees, even benefit-ineligible employees, and their dependents such as:

  • Personal and professional stress
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Lifestyle or health changes
  • Parenting and family matters
  • Addictive behaviors
  • Financial counseling

See the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) page for more information.

Is the EAP confidential?

Yes. The Employee Assistance Program is completely confidential. See the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) page for more information.

Group Legal

Group Legal

What’s covered through the Group Legal Assistance Plan?

The Group Legal Assistance Plan provides you, your spouse and your dependents with unlimited access and referrals to professional, credentialed attorneys. The Plan covers a wide range of commonly used legal services, such as:

  • Advice and consultation
  • Wills and estate planning
  • Defense in civil lawsuits and debt matters
  • Traffic and juvenile criminal matters (not DUI)
  • Buying, selling or refinancing a home
  • Family law matters
  • Consumer protection matters
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Please note divorce is not covered

See the Group Legal Assistance Plan page for more information.

Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program (TRIP)

Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program (TRIP)

How much can I contribute per month to my TRIP Transit and/or Parking account?

The 2021 monthly maximums, under IRC section 132, are $270 for Parking and $270 for Transit. If your monthly commuter expenses will exceed those limits, you have the option to contribute after-tax dollars to fund your account by logging into the Health Equity | WageWorks Web Portal and linking your personal credit/debit card to your Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program account.

When can I make TRIP elections?

TRIP elections must be made annually during Open Enrollment. Changes can be made throughout the plan year.

When can I expect to receive my TRIP Commuter Debit Card(s) from Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program?

If you made elections for TRIP benefits, you can always contact Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program directly to follow up on the status of your cards (or request replacements if lost or stolen) at 1-877-924-3967 Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm ET. Also, please be sure to register for the Health Equity | WageWorks Web Portal in order to manage your account online.

If I’m increasing my TRIP election, when will the new balance be loaded to my card?

In order to use the card, you will need to have a balance that is equal to or less than the amount of your transaction. Therefore, you will need to allow your payroll contributions to be loaded to your Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program card in order to use it to make your monthly TRIP transaction purchase.

To check the balance on your Commuter transit and/or parking accounts, register your account online on the Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program site or contact Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program Customer Service at 1-877-924-3967 Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm ET.

I commute in an area that uses a SmartCard. Can I use the Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program Transit card?

If you are in the Washington DC or Virginia area you cannot use the Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program Transit Card to load your SmartCard balance, but you can still make TRIP elections. In order to utilize the TRIP transit benefit, you will need pay out of pocket to fund your SmartCard and submit a claim form each month for reimbursement.

I don’t have a receipt for my TRIP expenses. How can I submit a claim?

If you use a service that does not provide receipts, you must submit the Substitute Receipt and Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program provide a receipt include payments to a transit/ticket machine or a coin parking meter. The Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program forms can be found in the Forms section of the PBC website, on the TRIP page of the PBC website or downloaded after you have logged into the Health Equity | WageWorks Web Portal.

Can transit passes be mailed to my home?

No, not through Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program. Each month, you will need to purchase your commuter pass using your Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program Transit card. Some commuter transit agencies will allow you to set-up an account with them directly to have your commuter passes mailed. If this option is available, you may use your Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program debit card to set-up your account to have your commuter passes mailed.

How do I change or cancel my TRIP election?

To change or cancel your TRIP election, see the View, Enroll or Change Benefits page. Once you are logged into account, you will be able to make changes by clicking on “Change HSA and/or TRIP” and submitting your election. Changes will take 1 ‒ 2 pay periods to be reflected on your paycheck.

I enrolled in the TRIP Parking and the vendor I use does not accept debit cards. How can I claim reimbursement for my parking expenses? Are receipts needed?

You should utilize your TRIP Parking debit card to pay for expenses. If a vendor does not accept debit cards, you will be able to submit a Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program Reimbursement Claim form with the receipts related to the claim to Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program. Please retain copies of your receipts in the event you’re audited.

Will I be able to use my Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program benefits when my employment terminates?

Your Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program Transit Card remains active for 90 days after your termination date, allowing you to use any balance remaining on your account and any unused balance will be forfeited. Your Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program Parking Card is turned off upon termination with no access to any remaining balance. Continued employee contributions are not an option under these plans.

What if I still have questions?

If you have any questions, please contact Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program Customer Service at 1-877-924-3967 Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm ET. Visit Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program and select “Employee” for resources, forms and additional FAQs on your benefits.

What expenses are covered through TRIP?

The IRS regulates what you can and cannot spend your TRIP dollars on, including:

Eligible Parking Expenses
  • Parking expenses for parking at work or near a location from which you commute to work by mass transit, vanpooling in a commuter highway vehicle or carpool by other means
  • Vendor parking lots
  • Vendor parking garages
Ineligible Parking Expenses
  • Parking expenses for parking at or near your residence
  • Expenses incurred that are not for parking at or near your place of business
Eligible Transportation Expenses
  • Bus and commuter highway vehicles
  • Mass transit vehicles, metro and transit passes (bus, rail, ferry)
  • Pass, token, fare card, voucher or similar items for transportation on mass transit
  • Vanpooling — transportation provided by an employer to an employee, in a vehicle that seats at least six adults (excluding the driver)
Ineligible Transportation Expenses
  • Carpooling
  • Gas
  • Toll fees

For information about eligible TRIP expenses, being reimbursed for claims and other plan provisions visit the Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program (TRIP) page for more information.

Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary Benefits

What is the voluntary benefits program?

The Voluntary Benefits Program gives you access to various financial protection products at group rates, through Mercer Voluntary Benefits. Some of the benefits offered are:

  • Auto insurance
  • Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance
  • Pet insurance
  • Personal liability insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Critical Illness (can only enroll during open enrollment or during a Qualifying Event)
  • Accident Insurance

With the exception of Critical Illness, you may enroll in these benefits at any time. Your cost for services depends on the product you purchase. You contribute on an after-tax basis through automatic payroll deductions. See the Voluntary Benefits page for more information.

General Payroll Questions

General Payroll Questions

I work in New York but reside in New Jersey. Can I pay New Jersey state taxes?

Employees are taxed in the state they work in, unless those states have a reciprocity agreement between them.

I terminated employment on the 15th of this month. Why were my benefit deductions doubled?

Pretax deductions are doubled because you are covered through the last day of the month.

Why is Social Security tax being withheld from my pay again? I reached the maximum with my prior employer?

IRS guidelines state: once you have reached the SS maximum set for the current year, SS deductions for the current year will cease. However, if you leave your current employer, and start employment with a new company, your year to date totals as a new hire with your new employer will be zero as each employer company has their own unique federal ID number. Therefore, SS tax deductions will commence under the new employer.

ADP Employee Self-Service (ESS) Questions

ADP Employee Self-Service (ESS) Questions

What if I forget my ADP username and/or password?

You can easily find your username and/or reset your password by clicking on the “Forget Your User ID/Password” link found on the ADP ESS Portal login page.

Which set of credentials do I use to access the ADP ESS Portal?

You can access the ADP Employee Self-Service Portal. The username to log into ADP Employee Self-Service must contain the extension “@publicis” [example: JDoe@publicis].

Can I access ADP on my mobile device?

Yes, you can download the ADP Mobile Solutions App on Windows, Android, and iOS devices. For more information on what you can do on the ADP Mobile Solutions App, check out our video!

Can new hires access the ADP ESS Portal?

An employee must be in the payroll system for at least one pay cycle in order to have access to the ADP ESS Portal.

How do I know when my direct deposit changes have gone into effect?

Please allow one pay cycle for your direct deposit updates to be processed in the system.

Can freelancers access the ADP ESS Portal?

Yes, as long as they are paid via payroll and not a 1099.

If I update marital status on the ADP ESS Portal, does that automatically update my information in the benefits system?

No. Self-Service for withholding status only impacts how much taxes are withheld. This has no impact on benefits. Actual marital status procedures (including submission of a marriage license) remain the same. For more information on updating your withholding status on the ADP ESS Portal, check out our video!

If I update my direct deposit information, will that also update my T&E banking information in Altair (SAP)?

No. T&E banking information must be entered manually in Altair (SAP).

Can I update my address on the ADP ESS Portal?

No, this feature is currently unavailable at this time.

What happens to my ADP ESS Portal access if I am terminated or leave the company?

You will still have access to all of your online pay stubs and W2 statements.

The Work Number Service Questions

The Work Number Service Questions

How do I use The Work Number Service?

When an employer decides to use The Work Number, a secure account is created for each employee. All of the features that your employer (or former employer) has decided to offer are already set up. You just need to login by entering your employer’s name, or code if you know it, in addition to your User ID and PIN/Password.

What type of information does The Work Number provide?

The Work Number provides different “types” of verifications for different purposes. For example, if you are looking for a job, your future employer might want to check your past employment while a mortgage lender will typically need to verify your income before giving you a loan. If you apply for public aid from a social service agency, they too will need an enhanced verification. The Work Number can meet each of these needs.

Can someone just get my employment information from The Work Number?

No. You have to give someone authorization to get your income information from the service. There are numerous ways in which you can give someone authorization to access your income information. A few examples — by signing a borrower’s authorization form when applying for a loan or by creating a salary key on our service, a one-time electronic signature.

Is The Work Number secure?

Yes. TLS 1.2 encryption is used on the site where your personal information is being exchanged. In addition, The Work Number has a detailed privacy policy that tells you what they do, and more importantly, what they do not do with information they gather when accessing our services. The Work Number Service applies stringent data security standards combined with physical security controls to protect the data and assets in their data center(s).

How do I provide proof of my employment to someone who needs it?

The Work Number is a fully automated service. Please direct whoever is in need of proof of your employment or income to The Work Number. They may also call 1-800-367-5690 for assistance.

What is an Employment Data Report?

An Employment Data Report is available to you and is a copy of the information potentially given to those requesting employment information on you from The Work Number. In addition, we give you a list of each time a verifier has attempted to access some or all of your data using The Work Number. An employment data report can be obtained through logging in to the Employee section of The Work Number or by calling 1-866-604-6570.