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A total of 6.7 million college students—almost one-third of the students in higher education—have enrolled in at least one online course, according to the Babson Survey Research Group. With the growing popularity and ease of online classes, are you planning to take a course online or learn a new skill to stay on top of your area of expertise? Share your comments about your online class experiences and read what others are saying and doing.

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Most adults can credit their work ethic and career choices to the teachers who inspired them. Think back on the fond memories of those wonderful people who’ve touched both your personal and your professional life. Who was your favorite teacher and what important life lesson did they instill upon you? Share your story on this week’s “Throwback Thursday” feature.

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What Are the Changes in JHH/JHHSC Benefits for 2014?

Hope Marsh, senior director of benefits and wellness for the Johns Hopkins Health System, provides an update on the 2014 benefits program for employees of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Johns Hopkins HealthCare and Johns Hopkins Home Care Group. Mark your calendars for open enrollment, which will take place Oct. 21 through Nov. 4. We’ve also posted helpful information on the EHP website at ehp.org/benefitupdate and ehp.org/ehp-member-questions-answers.

After years of providing 100 percent paid health insurance, why did Johns Hopkins go to a 90/10 co-insurance plan?
Last year, Johns Hopkins announced that in an effort to control the rising medical care costs and improve the health and wellness of its employees, it was making important changes to the health benefits plan, known as the Employer Health Programs, or EHP. The most significant was that Johns Hopkins Medicine would shift from paying the total cost of health care coverage to a 90/10 cost-sharing split when the employee used a provider outside of the Johns Hopkins network for inpatient services. If you’re familiar with Johns Hopkins Medicine’s five-year strategic plan, you’ll see that these changes align with our people strategic initiative to improve the health and wellness of our workforce members, many of whom are at risk for at least one chronic illness, and improve employee access to the world-class care that Johns Hopkins provides; and the strategic initiative of performance, which focuses on cost savings, increased revenue and operational efficiencies that will strengthen each of our member institutions.

How does the 2014 medical benefit work?
We will continue to provide 100 percent coverage if you use Johns Hopkins-owned facilities, such as the six hospitals, and we will also continue to provide 100 percent coverage for preventive care services. Effective Jan. 1, 2014, if you use a provider or facility that is part of the EHP network, but not the Hopkins Preferred Network, you will pay 10 percent of the cost for inpatient and outpatient care, up to the yearly out-of-pocket maximum of $2,000 per individual and $4,000 for a family. Plan members who choose to obtain care from providers who are not members of the EHP network will pay higher copays and a higher percentage of co-insurance (70/30, rather than 90/10). You can view the Schedule of Benefits at ehp.org.

How will employees know who is a Hopkins Preferred medical provider?
You will be able to verify who is a Hopkins-Preferred Network medical provider through an online directory. To search for a provider in the Hopkins Preferred Network, use our Provider Directory.
A list of Hopkins Preferred Network providers can be found here.
Since PCP care is not changing, the listing of EHP in-network primary care providers can be found here and also in the provider directory.

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Keeping your skills current is one of the best ways to stay on top of the changing demands of the workplace. As we know, updating our knowledge and acquiring new skills is crucial to staying current, both professionally and personally. Whether you are a lifetime student always looking for the next degree to conquer or whether you stay enlightened with a good book at the end of the day, how do you stay on top of your area of expertise?

How do you stay on top of your area of expertise?

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Some of you may have known from the time you were a child that you wanted to be a doctor, nurse or chef. For others, you may have recently discovered your desired career path. And for some, you’re still searching for that job that checks off your boxes—to make a difference, to travel or to share your expertise. We want to know: Are you in your dream job?

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One of editor Linell Smith’s first jobs was driving a Good Humor ice cream truck. Graphic designer Dave Dilworth earned his first paycheck as a farm hand bailing hay, but also managed a snowball stand, tested tear gas for Edgewood Arsenal, ran a printing press, and created an in-house graphic design agency at the University of Maryland all before landing his job in the Marketing and Communications Department at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Whether it was working in a fast-food restaurant, babysitting the kids next door or chopping worm heads for research, tell us about your first or most unusual job on this week’s Throwback Thursday blog. Feel free to mention what you do now?

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Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/6921689726/in/photolist-bxDtd3-bxDiow-9VBTfE-c3sJ8W-9VBJRo-86WTjV-9duPkU-8LaTSZ-7AV3c5-eMeYX1-cbDNZN-953fxF-czE4Po-a6Chcv-8mqThK-fjTByG-9VBwHY-9VzMFc-9VzTXg-9VzLMX-9VCK8N-9Vz2Dn-9Vzq68-9VBFby-9VCdNY-9VCcWs-9VC9zS-9VB5P2-9VB6Ae-9VDXad-9VBTZs-9VBNtL-9VDWrm-9VCc8S-9VzpgF-9VzKTc-9aXRhx-dtwxSX-aY4Lgn-9Vz162-9VyLP4-9VBDFb-bLxWgt-dtC18f-bLxXVe-bxDdFC-bLxYDg-bLxUSH-bxDg5o-9VB8Lx-bLxXgt

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While some may look forward to a life of leisure as an opportunity to spend more time with family and friends, others have a fantasy of how they want to spend their days after waving goodbye to their 9 to 5. Whether retirement is in the near future or a lifetime away, what are your dreams for when you retire? Cast your vote in the Hopkins Happenings Monday poll. Also, find out the results of last week’s poll on what your colleagues wear to work. The results may surprise you.

Also, share what’s on your retirement bucket list in the comments section below.

What are your dreams for when you retire?

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