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Where to Find ‘Local’ Premiums for Blue & Gold Health Plan

By Dateline Staff on October 29, 2019 in University

You won’t find them in the 2020 open enrollment booklet that is due to come by mail to your homes this week. You won’t see them on UC’s open enrollment website.

We are talking about the subsidized rates by which the UC Blue & Gold health maintenance organization, which includes access to UC Davis Health, is now one of the lowest-priced health plan options for “local” employees — we who work at UC Davis, UC Davis Health and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.

So, where can you find the local rates? Here, on the UC Davis Human Resources open enrollment website. And on a UC Davis-specific rate sheet that is also being mailed to employees’ homes.

In a pilot program, UC Davis is subsidizing UC Blue & Gold premiums for UC Davis, UC Davis Health and ANR employees, because, as of Jan. 1, our health plan options will no longer include Western Health Advantage, or WHA, a Sacramento-based HMO serving 14 Northern California counties.

UC employees enrolled in WHA have access to UC Davis Health, and one way they can keep that access is by enrolling in UC Blue & Gold. This is where the subsidies come in, lowering the Blue & Gold premiums to make the plan as affordable as WHA has been (generally matching the rates for Kaiser Permanente HMO, historically among the least expensive options in the UC health plan menu).

Thus, in 2020, local employees will have the choice of two HMOs, Kaiser and UC Blue & Gold, both at the same price, the lowest among all of our health plan options. Another option, the UC Health Savings Plan, a high-deductible preferred provider organization, or PPO, paired with a health savings account to help you pay your out-of-pocket costs, also has come down in price — matching the UC Blue & Gold and Kaiser rates.

See your open enrollment booklet or UC's open enrollment website to learn more about all of your health plan options, including UC Care, a traditional PPO.

Blue & Gold rates available to all

The subsidized UC Blue & Gold premiums are available to all “local” employees — those who are losing WHA, and anyone else who wishes to join Blue & Gold. The time to choose is during open enrollment, starting at 8 a.m. this Thursday (Oct. 31) and continuing until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, two days before Thanksgiving.

Important note: If you are a WHA member and you make no choice during open enrollment, you will be moved into the UC Blue & Gold plan by default.

“For the vast majority of employees, staying with UC Blue & Gold will ensure uninterrupted access to your current care team,” UC Davis HR said in an open enrollment email to all employees last week.

“But,” the email continued, “we encourage you to do two things during this open enrollment”:

  • Confirm your health plan selections and personal information is correct in UCPath and make changes as needed.
  • Confirm your current mental health providers are part of the UC Blue & Gold HMO network.

More information

Besides local UC Blue & Gold premiums and all other premiums, the UC Davis HR open enrollment website spells out the actions you can take during open enrollment, provides health plan comparisons and explains a new benefit: supplemental health plans.

The site also include a calendar of presentations and help desks. The schedule includes, for the first time in several years, a Health and Wellness Fair on the Davis campus: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, in the Activities and Recreation Center Ballroom. Health, vision and dental care providers will be among the participants, along with Healthy UC Davis, WorkLife, and the Staff and Faculty Health and Well-Being Program.

UC's open enrollment website is up and running, and come 8 a.m. Thursday (Oct. 31), the site will include a button that will take you to UCPath to make your open enrollment choices.

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or dljones@ucdavis.edu. Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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