Welcome to Spring 2017

Welcome to this edition of For Your Benefit!

Hello, all. Like so many of you, I am welcoming the arrival of nicer weather and bidding farewell to winter’s wrath. With that in mind, this issue will take a look at many aspects of summer safety. Whether you have a planned getaway or will just be more active outdoors, we’ve included some reminders to help ensure a safe season ahead. Before we get to summer, though, the month of May brings with it two observances of important health issues. Let’s talk about mental health, first.

Campaigns like May’s Mental Health Month are creating awareness and working to lift the stigma associated with mental health disorders. This is so important since, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health, nearly 10 million adults in America live with a serious mental illness and one-half of all chronic cases begins by the age of 14. In this issue, we are looking at the impact of risky behaviors or habits on mental disorders. So, take a look at the information we’ve gathered, and please make note of the benefits Pearson offers should the need arise.

Also being acknowledged in May is Preeclampsia, a disorder that occurs during pregnancy, and, in rare instances, postpartum. The Preeclampsia Foundation’s research reveals that globally, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. While you’re learning more about this condition, you’ll also see how Pearson’s maternity programs can provide support throughout a pregnancy. Plus, there is an opportunity through these programs to earn a gift card to help with those new baby expenses.

Lastly, being fit also includes your financial well-being. For those who may be nearing Medicare eligibility, there are some reminders here for you and, last but not least, find out more about the next Employee Stock Purchase Plan enrollment opportunity.

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable summer,

John Jacobs, Vice President, Global Benefits

Welcome to Winter 2017

Hello to all. I’m John Jacobs, Vice President of Global Benefits. I joined Pearson in October of 2016. I am delighted to be here, and look forward to working with each of you. I’ll spare you the lengthy background, and just say that I bring several years of experience to this role, having been involved in virtually every aspect of employee benefits along the way. Ok, enough about me…here’s a preview of what you’ll find inside this edition of For Your Benefit.

“There just aren’t enough hours in my day.” Sounds familiar, right? We all can use some help keeping on top of our busy lives. Take a look inside to learn more about the LifeCare® Concierge Services, which can save you time and energy.

Have some questions about our new prescription drug plan administrator? This issue also contains some answers to questions about how best to utilize your prescription plan benefits under our new partner, CVS/caremark.

We’re also thrilled to announce a quarterly webinar program where you’ll be able to learn more about the Benefit programs offered by Pearson.

This month also brings an awareness campaign around the eye disease called Age-Related Macular Degeneration, or AMD. Learn what it is, the causes and the treatments available. While some of you are too young to be impacted by AMD, it is commonplace today for many of us to be the caregivers for our elderly loved ones. Take a look inside to find out about this condition on their behalf, while learning what you might need to know in later years.

I’m excited to be a part of Pearson and the benefits team. I’m grateful for the warm welcome I’ve received from the many wonderful and talented people I have met. I look forward to meeting many more of you in the days ahead.

Be well,

John, Vice President, Global Benefits

Welcome to Fall 2016

Greetings, and if we haven’t crossed paths before, I’m Stacey Rodgers, Director of Health & Welfare Plans for North America. Each year Open Enrollment brings changes that you need to be aware of to make informed decisions. So, let’s talk about the usual topics of plans and costs, learn about our new prescription partner and, sprinkle in a little politics as it relates to healthcare reform.

I am pleased to announce that our medical plans will stay the same with both the Basic and Enhanced PPOs being offered through Anthem and Cigna in 2017. In addition, there is no change next year to deductibles and copays for any of the medical plans. Nevertheless, we will need to make some adjustments to payroll contributions for 2017. For a look at the plans impacted, please see the chart in Article 1.

Pearson Benefits is always looking for partners who provide the highest level of service, save you and the company money, and demonstrate a strong commitment to health. With that in mind, we are pleased to introduce CVS Caremark™ as your prescription plan administrator effective January 1, 2017. We’ve chosen to work with CVS Caremark for several reasons, among them their 67,000 pharmacy network including those in Target stores, and its commitment to a culture of health with actions such as banning the sale of tobacco products in its pharmacies. To learn more about our new partner and what you need to know about this change, please see Article 2.

With a presidential race underway, along with many seats in Congress in contention, we don’t know what the political landscape will look like after November or what changes might occur, so we must plan ahead based on the current healthcare legislation. That journey will likely include additional changes to our benefits in the near future.

Despite all the financial considerations, the bottom line here is about your well-being. It’s about being healthy and doing all you can to prevent or diagnose serious illnesses early. It’s also about times when, even if you’ve been doing everything right, illness may strike. That’s when you can rest easy knowing your benefits through Pearson are here to support you.

Be well,

Stacey Rodgers
Director, Health & Welfare Plans, North America

Welcome to Spring 2016

For many years here at Pearson I have been talking about the importance of proactive, preventive health. Some of you have heard me speak at meetings about the importance of age and gender-related screenings so that we can catch things early and, hopefully, prevent them from becoming more serious. Well, this issue of For Your Benefit hopes to shine the same spotlight on mental health.

Just as important as early cancer detection, signs of mental health illness might be present and should never be ignored. I encourage you to read Learning to Recognize Mental Health Conditions and the B4Stage4 campaign from Mental Health America. After that, we explore the spectrum of mental health issues as we grow older, and also in our young people. Recognizing early warning signs and then investigating those before serious issues develop is key here as it is in any other medical issue.

There are many ways that Pearson supports good mental health. Whether it is the coverage available through our medical plans, or with ancillary programs like the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that offers free telephonic counseling and up to five in-person sessions, we are here to support you and your family members.

It’s also that wonderful time of year when spring allergies kick into full gear! We’ve included some helpful information to better understand allergies and asthma.

Finally, it’s a good time to review your financial health. As a reminder, Pearson recently made the Annual Company Contribution to your Retirement Plan 401(k) account. This was a total plan contribution of approximately $16M and represents our commitment to helping all employees prepare for their retirement.

My very best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe spring season!

Bob Arthur
Vice President, Global Benefits

Welcome To Winter 2016

Happy Belated New Year to all!

Personally, I never make New Year’s resolutions as I never seem to keep them beyond February. That said, I do try to make some goals and objectives for the year. Somehow in my mind these are different than resolutions…right?

It is a great time of year to take stock of things like our health – both physical and financial. In addition to all of the symbolic hearts we will see this month it is also National Heart Month. This issue of For Your Benefit devotes some space to matters of a healthy heart. Please see Article 2 to learn more about the signs of a heart attack and stroke and how they are different for men and women. This is followed up by some information on maintaining a healthy heart and some resources for you. One of those is to make sure you get your annual physical. The Pearson medical plans cover annual physicals at 100% both in and out-of-network.

While our medical plans didn’t change this year we did see some of the out-of-pocket costs increase slightly – copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket limits. Before the year gets under way, take some time to review the plan you’ve selected and know what these new limits are and how they work. There’s a great chart in Article 5 that might help with some commonly misunderstood terms.

Finally, the end of year announcement by the IRS saw no change in the limits affecting the 401(k) plan. Please review the 2016 limits in Article 8 and make sure you have reviewed your financial plan for the new year. This might include resetting your contribution amount, taking a fresh look at your investment allocation or simply making sure your beneficiary information is up to date.

We are off to another year with all of the challenges that life throws at each and every one of us. Our wish for all of you is to take good care of yourselves. Pearson Benefits is here to help wherever we can.


Bob Arthur
Vice President, Global Benefits

Welcome to Fall 2015

Welcome to this edition of For Your Benefit!

It seems like yesterday that I was writing a similar letter about Open Enrollment, and just like that, another year has passed and here we are again.

I mentioned last year that we would begin making changes that would continue in subsequent years.

Let me start by saying that our plans are remaining the same in that we will offer both the Basic and Enhanced PPOs with both Anthem and Cigna. We will, however, be making some adjustments to deductibles, copayments and out-of-pocket maximums. You can easily see these changes in the chart on page 3. Now, why do we need to increase certain costs in the plan?

As the market has shifted in recent years and employer-sponsored health plans have adjusted to those changes, Pearson has managed to offer very competitive plans. Our deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums are more generous than the benchmark in almost any study we examine. There are, however, a number of factors that make it necessary for us to adjust some plan provisions. Health care costs continue to increase year over year. Some of the largest increases we’re seeing are in the area of specialty drugs – high cost and effective medication to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cancer and hepatitis-C. These drugs improve the quality of life for patients, and oftentimes keep them out of expensive hospital settings; but they come at a significant cost.

The second major factor is something I’ve been mentioning in this letter the past few years – the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on our plans. We are making changes for next year, in 2017 and again in 2018 in order to avoid a 40% excise tax on employer-sponsored plans that exceed certain thresholds set by the ACA. Without these changes, that tax can cost millions of dollars each year, and that is something we simply cannot afford.

So, we will continue to do what we have always done: offer competitive plans that take into account our employees, their families, and the many health concerns they are challenged with, while responsibly managing our costs.

I remain convinced that the best way to manage health care costs is to remain as healthy and active as possible while being very mindful of how we use the medical plans as engaged and informed consumers.

Bob Arthur
Vice President, Benefits

Welcome to Spring 2015

Welcome to this edition of For Your Benefit!

Pearson Benefits is constantly looking at programs and plans that might be helpful to you and also a
sound business decision for the company. As a result, I am particularly pleased to bring you good news in this edition of For Your Benefit about a new benefit being rolled out shortly.

I am pleased to tell you that you will have the opportunity to purchase home and auto coverage through MetLife beginning in July. Through payroll deductions, you will be able to protect two of your most valuable assets – no more checks to write or online payments to make and you have MetLife’s 140 years of service in the insurance business behind you. So, stay tuned for further information coming to your home about when you will be able to enroll in this new benefit.

Good news does not always have to be about something new or different. In this magazine, we will take a look at important benefits already available to you such as coverage for mental health issues. After all, May is National Mental Health Month, a perfect time to remind you that Pearson Benefits has you and your family members covered should a need for treatment and support arise. Whether it’s LifeCare, our Employee Assistance Program or our medical plans, Pearson offers you the comfort of knowing that your benefits can help. At Pearson we consider mental health an equal partner with physical well-being and, as such, encourage everyone to learn about the coverage available.

Of course, there is much more inside this issue such as:

  • Learn how you can earn a gift card whether it is by completing your Health Risk Assessment or as part of the Anthem and Cigna programs for expectant mothers.
  • Understand more about the basics of Medicare. Even if you are not nearing age 65, it could be a great help to someone you know.
  • $15.5MM – what is this number all about? Read on to learn why it’s a good thing.
  • Register with MDLIVE, our telehealth service. This program puts a doctor by your side for those times when your regular doctor may not be available. Let MDLIVE help.

Thank you for your time. We’ll be back in the fall with another newsletter, but we will stay connected through our e-Health messages so watch your inbox. Enjoy your spring and summer!

Bob Arthur
Vice President, Global Benefits

Welcome To Winter 2015

Welcome to this edition of For Your Benefit!

This issue is dedicated to some of the new features and programs we now have
available — all designed to help you achieve your health, happiness and overall wellness goals.

First, we have new incentives for you to take advantage of and stay healthy. I’m excited to announce the maternity management programs, Future Moms from Anthem, and Healthy Pregnancies, Healthy Babies® from Cigna — both offering an incentive to keep future moms on track. And to stay ahead of your own wellness, Anthem or Cigna’s Health Assessment (HA) program is an easy way to see which areas of your health are in good shape and if you have any at-risk areas to focus on. I hope you consider taking advantage of these programs and letting us know how they helped you.

We’ve also included an example of the plan features that were introduced to you during the Open Enrollment period this past fall. Take a few minutes to review the information so that you’re well-informed on your coverage and how it can work for you.

As we get further into the New Year, it’s important to keep the momentum of your wellness and health goals going. Your mental well-being is just as important, so we’ve included a few tips on how to keep your mind and body healthy throughout the year. I also hope you attend one of the seminars offered through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Lastly, even though we’re focusing on features and offers that will help you live healthier and happier now, we’re also focused on helping you plan for tomorrow — so your future is just as happy and healthy. You might notice a new look to the Pearson Retirement Plan 401(k) portal, which is now embracing the name of the new retirement organization called EMPOWER Retirement. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the retirement plan for 2015 to ensure you are as prepared as possible for your own retirement.

So, I’m happy to share our new programs, tips and incentives for you and your families to utilize as we all work on our total health through 2015.

Bob Arthur
Vice President, Benefits

Welcome To Fall 2014

This issue is dedicated to Open Enrollment and the necessary information you need to make decisions about your 2015 benefits. While this is always an important time of year, I can’t stress enough how important this year will be.

For the first time since 2007, we will be making some significant changes to our medical plan offerings. These changes are necessary to help manage our costs and to prepare for other aspects of the Affordable Care Act over the next few years. In fact, I am confident that we will continue to make changes to adjust to external pressure on our offerings and their related costs.

First, we will be eliminating the EPO as a medical plan choice for 2015 and redesigning our two PPOs. We will still use the same vendors that we’ve had – Cigna and Anthem BCBS. We are also still keeping the copayment concept for office visits and prescription drugs, but you will see that these copayments are increasing slightly.

Second, there are some changes taking place within the dental plan to reflect new realities in dental practice. I’m pleased to let you know that we are increasing the maximum annual benefit from $1,500 to $2,000. In addition, some other changes will impact the frequency of certain services like x-rays and implants.

Because all of our plans are changing, I cannot as I’ve done in the past, provide you with an estimated percentage change in contribution rates. Instead, I can say you will see either a relatively small increase or, in some cases, a decrease in your rates if you choose the plan closest to your current coverage.

So, change is coming and will continue over the next few years. For this year, I am asking everyone to review the new plans and make an election during the Open Enrollment period. All of our plans are changing and if you don’t make an election, you may end up in a plan that simply doesn’t meet your needs.

Again, please take advantage of all the Open Enrollment materials and select the coverage that works best for you.

Bob Arthur
Vice President, Benefits

Welcome to Summer 2014

Welcome to this edition of For Your Benefit!

As the summer season kicks off we’re moving into high gear to make final decisions before Open Enrollment in the fall. There’s lots going on in the benefits space and we will be evaluating our programs with many things to consider.

Don’t Miss Out

If you haven’t checked out our new benefits already, I hope you’ll do so now. Our new Guided Patient Support (GPS) and telehealth (MDLive) programs are designed to help you get the most out of the rapidly changing health care industry; GPS offers you objective help in making better decisions about your health care and treatment options, and MDLive gives you quick access to a doctor’s consultation via telephone or video 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Through both of these programs, we are aiming to provide the tools to help each and every person, wherever they are in their personal health journey. I hope that you try these new health programs and let us know how they worked for you.

Technological Advances From Unum

Many aspects of insurance and benefits don’t adapt to new technologies as quickly as other consumer services — but they are trying! Take a look at the article about online claims management with our disability carrier, Unum. You may never need to go on disability, but this convenient new way to manage your claim will make it easier on you and your loved ones if you do.

There will be more to come as we get closer to Open Enrollment. Until then please take a look at these new programs and see if there is anything that you and your family might find beneficial. As always, keep us informed and let us know how they are working.

Enjoy a healthy and safe summer!

Bob Arthur
Vice President, Benefits