Back-Up Care for Children and Adults
We are pleased to announce a new benefit which is now available to BU faculty and staff – Back-Up Care for children, adults, and elders for planned as well as last-minute circumstances.
As we continue to face daily uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, back-up care services are being made available to ease some of the concerns you may have about continuity of caregiving for both children and adults. Back-up care is designed to provide alternative care until regular care arrangements can resume. This benefit provides you with a national network of vetted caregivers for children and adults. You have round-the-clock access to services through the web, a mobile app, and by phone.
As Boston University faculty and staff, you now have a back-up care benefit that allows you to continue to provide care for your family members even when your regular care plan is disrupted for any number of reasons.
Annual Benefit Limit:
- 10 days per employee
In-Home Back-Up Child, Adult and Elder Care
Bright Horizons Back-Up Care can be used anytime you need to be at work, but your family member needs assistance or support.
Examples of when you can use back-up childcare include:
- Your child’s school or center is closed.
- You have a change in your work schedule and need in-home childcare for evening and/or weekend hours.
- You are in between childcare arrangements.
- Your regular caregiver is unavailable.
Examples of when you can use back-up adult and elder care include:
- Your parent’s regular in-home care provider is unavailable.
- Your grandparents live out of state and need assistance.
- Your parents live with your sister and your sister has a temporary conflict making her unable to care for them.
- Your mother-in-law is in the hospital and you would like someone to be with her for support.
- Your spouse or partner (or other adult family member) is recovering from an injury or surgery and needs assistance.
- In-Home Care – $6 per hour (child and elder care)
- One in-home caregiver can care for up to three children
- In-Center Care – $15 per child per day; $25 per family per day (childcare only)
- Limited availability due to COVID-19
You and your family member(s) must be registered for Bright Horizons Back-Up Care before you can make a reservation and use the services. We strongly recommend that you register in advance so that you are ready to use the benefit when you need care.
Register and Reserve Back-Up Care using one of these three options:
- Go Online.
- Be sure to use your full name and BU ID number.
- Call the toll-free number at 1-877-BH-CARES (242-2737).
- Care consultants are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
- Download the App: Search “back-up care” in the App Store or Google Play
Taxability of the Value of the Benefit
The back-up care benefit that you receive may be taxable. Internal Revenue Code allows you to set aside a maximum of $5,000 per calendar year tax free for dependent care assistance. The maximum includes both Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account contributions and the value of any back-up care subsidies. Any amounts that exceed the $5,000 maximum are subject to federal and statement income tax withholding and Social Security and Medicare tax withholding.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I be assured the in-home caregivers will provide a safe environment?
In-home care is designed to provide comforting, individualized care for your child, adult, or elder relative in the familiar surroundings of home. When your family member is in need of temporary care or assistance, Bright Horizons qualified caregivers provide in-home support so you can get to work free of worry.
The in-home caregivers are all employed by Bright Horizons or the agencies Bright Horizons has contracted with and they are professionally trained, screened, and credentialed. Experienced in child or geriatric care, caregivers are carefully selected and meet stringent credentialing requirements, pass extensive background checks and screening processes, and are trained in CPR/First Aid.
What precautions are back-up caregivers taking during the COVID-19 pandemic?
All caregivers are required to:
• Conduct a daily health screening before each visit
• Self report on known or suspected exposure
• Follow a strict exclusionary policy if they are experiencing any COVID symptoms
Best practices recommended by CDC are required of all caregivers.
Under what circumstances would I be prohibited from using back-up care during the COVID-19 pandemic?
You will not be able to use back-up care under the following circumstances:
• A member of your household has (or has been in close contact with anyone who has) a suspected case of COVID-19 or travelled internationally or domestically from any area which is the subject of travel restrictions under applicable state and local guidance.
• All families, children and their respective household members must conduct a daily health screening before any back-up care session. If any of these individuals are experiencing any COVID symptoms, you should not use back-up care that day.
What can I do with the Back-Up Care mobile app?
Once you’ve downloaded the Back-Up Care mobile app, you’ll have the ability to:
• Register for back-up care
• Submit new or duplicate previous back-up care requests
• Request a childcare provider you used previously
• Find nearby childcare centers and view each location on a map
• Add confirmed reservations to your device’s calendar
• Stay updated with real-time notifications and confirmations
• Easily manage your payment methods
Is registering the same as making a reservation?
You and your family member(s) must be registered for Bright Horizons Back-Up Care before you may make a reservation and use the back-up care services. You can register online with a few simple steps, use the Bright Horizons Back-Up Care mobile app, or contact Bright Horizons by phone and a care consultant will help you complete your registration. Registration is free, so we strongly recommend that you register in advance so you are ready to use the benefit when you need care.
Reservations allow Bright Horizons care consultants to secure the type of care you need, on the specific day(s) that you need care, and also alert the care provider to the specific needs of your family so they are prepared. You can make reservations for back-up care in advance of the date care is needed either online via the Bright Horizons benefit website, through the back-up care mobile app, or by calling the Bright Horizons contact center. When you need to make a reservation for back-up care by phone, a care consultant will ask you a few questions to fully understand your needs, such as information about your family member, when you need care, and the location where care is needed. The care consultant will review potential options with you and make the arrangements with the provider on your behalf. You will then receive a Confirmation of Care email including details of the care arrangements.
What is the cancellation policy?
You must cancel by 5:00 p.m. local time on the business day prior to the day of care. If care is cancelled after 5:00 p.m. local time on the business day prior to the day of care or on the day the care is to be provided, you will be charged the use against your annual limit and any applicable co-payment will be collected.
How do I pay for the service?
Any applicable copayments are collected via credit card by Bright Horizons. Once you set up your registration, you provide a credit card number for reservations. The total copayment is held once the reservation is placed, and charged after care takes place.
Can I find my own provider to use for back-up care?
You are required to utilize centers and in-home care providers that are contracted with Bright Horizons Back-Up Care.
Can I use a flexible spending account (FSA) to pay the copay associated with care?
If there are copays, they must be paid with a standard payment method. However, copays for back-up childcare are often considered a reimbursable, eligible expense under a Flexible Spending Account-Dependent Care, assuming the type of care and qualifying dependent meet the requirements under the Plan. To learn more about Qualifying dependents and services under the Flexible Spending Account – Dependent Care at Boston University, visit the Human Resources website.
If you are a member of this plan and have a qualifying service, you will need a receipt from Bright Horizons showing the dates of service and service rendered in order to submit the expense for reimbursement.
Please direct any questions you may have to the Human Resources Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-353-2380.