Berkeleyan

November is Open Enrollment month

UC steps in to shield employees from increasing costs; few changes will be made to healthcare plans

| 29 October 2008

Open enrollment for UCs health-and-welfare benefits runs from Friday, Oct. 30, through Tuesday, Nov. 25.

There are very few changes to UC benefits plans for 2009.

  • For Health Net, the new mail-order vendor is Health Net CVS/Caremark.
  • For Kaiser Permanente plan members, 50 percent of the co-insurance payment for infertility services will be excluded from the out-of-pocket maximum.
  • CONEXIS is the new vendor for Flexible Spending Accounts.
Open Enrollment medical plan information sessions for active faculty and staff will be held on Thursday, Nov. 6, from 1 to 3 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 13, from 1 to 3 p.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 18, from noon to 2 p.m., and Thursday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to noon. Sessions for campus retirees are scheduled for two Thursdays, Nov. 6 and 13, from 9 to 11 a.m. All sessions will be held in 150 University Hall.

All other plans will remain unchanged.

There is also a substantial piece of good news for many employees: With rising premium costs a $91 million (8.9 percent) rise in costs paid by the UC system over 2007-08 the university is using a multifaceted strategy to protect faculty and staff from increased healthcare costs. Two weeks ago UCs Office of the President announced that the university will provide a one-time subsidy of $5.2 million to help offset rate increases for most UC employees.

Employee out-of-pocket costs (e.g., co-pays, deductibles) will not increase. Additionally, employee dental and vision benefits will continue to be fully paid by UC in 2009.

In addition to the subsidy for 2009, UC will continue its salary-based approach to health insurance, whereby lower-paid employees pay lower monthly premiums than other UC employees. As in the past, UC employee premiums are based on salary bands to help protect employees in the lower pay ranges, and those with children, from the impact of premium increases.

Open Enrollment information, as well as the link to the employee log-in page for making changes to benefits, is on UCs At Your Service website. Once there, select the Open Enrollment 2009 icon at the top of the page.

While online, employees can review current plan enrollments; read about plan bene-fits, services, and changes; view medical-plan rates for 2009; use helpful planning tools; and take Open Enrollment action. All changes will take effect Jan. 1, 2009. When making changes, employees should review their choices and save the confirmation statement to confirm that requested changes are reflected on the Jan. 1, 2009, pay statement.

Employees hired before Aug. 31, 2008, should have received the general Open Enrollment information booklet by mail at home. The booklet is also available online, in the Open Enrollment 2009 section of atyourservice.ucop.edu.