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UPDATED: Open enrollment is ... OPEN!

By Dave Jones on October 29, 2015 in University

Open enrollment is ... OPEN! It started at 8 a.m. today (Oct. 29) and ends at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, two days before Thanksgiving.

As you will learn from UC’s open enrollment website, or the booklet mailed to your home, the university has made few changes in benefit offerings for 2016, compared with this year. Still, there are changes YOU can make, and, for certain benefits, action you MUST take.

This is your opportunity to:

  • Switch medical and dental plans.
  • Enroll or re-enroll in flexible spending accounts for dependent care and-or health care. REMEMBER: These accounts do not renew automatically. You must sign up again and choose how much money to set aside, pretax.
  • Enroll in legal coverage. This is not always an option during open enrollment, but this year it is.

You can also enroll in or opt out of UC-sponsored medical, dental and-or vision plans; add eligible family members to your plans; and opt in or out of TIP, or tax savings on insurance premiums (enrollment is automatic unless you previously opted out).

If you are making no changes, and not enrolling or re-enrolling in a flexible spending account, open enrollment is simple: You need not do anything!

Otherwise, you need to make your choices known via At Your Service Online. Use this link or click the "sign-in" button on the open enrollment website.

Your benefits

Medical plans in 2016 will be the same as this year’s, with some enhancements. Human Resources describes premium increases as minimal (less than $6 a month for many employees). See next year’s rates.

Enhancements include:

  • All plans will cover immunizations needed for travel.
  • For smoking cessation, Health Net Blue & Gold will add the “Quit for Life” telephonic behavioral coaching program, in addition to its current online program.
  • Health Net Blue & Gold will expand the Omada Prevent program for people with prediabetes, supporting those who are at risk for heart disease.
  • Blue Shield Health Savings Plan and Core will add “Oncology Practice of the Future,” a program designed to ensure comprehensive cancer care for its members.
  • Core will add coverage for applied behavioral health services to support autism care.

Other benefits

DentalUC pays the full premium for Delta Dental PPO (preferred provider organization) or DeltaCare USA. You may switch from one to the other during open enrollment. With Delta Dental PPO, your share of cost depends on whether you use a dentist in Delta's network or an out-of-network dentist. DeltaCare USA is a health maintenance organization or HMO: You select a network dentist to provide all your basic dental services and to refer you to specialists when necessary. No plan changes for 2016.

Vision UC pays the full premium for Vision Service Plan. No plan changes for 2016.

Flexible spending accounts — These do not renew automatically; you must sign up every year. With FSAs, you choose how much you want to have deducted from your pay, pretax, for dependent care and-or health care expenses. Carryover provision (applies only to health care flexible spending accounts): If, during the 2016 calendar year, you do not spend all of the money in your account, you can carry over $500 for 12 months. Note: Blue Shield Health Savings Plan members may not enroll in health FSA.

Supplemental disability insurance and supplemental life insurance — These are rarely included in open enrollment, and you won’t see them this year, either. Instead, you have the ability at any time to enroll in either plan, or to decrease your wait time (before you receive your supplemental disability) or increase your supplemental life insurance. These actions require a Statement of Health (from you) and carrier approval. Contact your Benefits Office for information on the Statement of Health process.

ARAG Legal Plan In some years, only new employees are allowed to enroll. But this year, everyone can sign up. In 2016, ARAG will continue to provide the expanded identity theft protection that began in 2015, with lost wallet services, credit monitoring, Internet surveillance to protect personal information and other features. Slight changes in the plan will result in fewer limitations and more benefits for certain services. No rate changes for 2016.

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Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,