Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 1 -- Here Are Details

The open enrollment period is your opportunity to enroll in or de-enroll from UC-sponsored medical, dental and vision plans, as well as change your participation in the Dependent Care Assistance (DepCare) and the Tax Savings on Insurance Premiums (TIP) programs.

You may also transfer to a different medical or dental plan or add eligible family members to your current plans.

This year, the open enrollment period will begin Saturday, Nov. 1, and end Friday, Nov. 21. If you are enrolled in the Career or Limited Career benefits packages, you can make plan changes through the automated telephone system using the Open Enrollment Action Line.

Transactions must be completed by midnight (PST). If you are enrolled in the Core medical plan, you can make plan changes using forms which must be received in Financial Services: Payroll, 171 University Hall, by 5 p.m. You may not make open enrollment changes to UC-sponsored plans after these times. Changes are effective Jan. 1, 1998.

Benefit Information

Near the end of October you will receive your 1997 Open Enrollment Statement and the Open Enrollment 1997 booklet. Your statement shows your current health and insurance enrollments and enrolled eligible family members. The book-let includes an overview of 1998 benefits changes and pertinent open enrollment benefit information, as well as complete instructions for using the Open Enrollment Action Line.

Additional benefits information will be available through the UC automated telephone service, bencom.fone; the World Wide Web; and at the Benefits Fair.

You can call bencom.fone at (800) 888-8267. By pressing 1 and using your personal identification number, you can hear current health and insurance plan information.

You can also review your individual health and insurance accounts and request a faxed copy. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

UC Benefits Plan Administration at Office of the President maintains benefits information on the World Wide Web. To access the web, you must have a web browser such as Netscape. You can visit the bencom home page at The page has benefits information, phone numbers for health and insurance plans, summary plan descriptions, forms and links to other web sites including on-line Primary Care Physician directories for most medical plans.

The campus benefits fair is another source of information.This year's fair will feature medical, dental and vision plan carriers and will be held Monday, Oct. 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Alumni House. You may ask questions of plan representatives, review plan materials and attend presentations from the campus Benefits Unit staff who will review open enrollment changes.

If you want your own copies of medical, dental or vision plan open enrollment materials, request them by calling the plans' 800 numbers directly.

  • Core 1-800-632-0524

  • Health Net 1-800-640-2004

  • Kaiser 1-800-464-4000

  • PacifiCare 1-800-982-9993

  • Prudential High Option 1-800-632-0524

  • UC Care 1-800-313-3804

  • Delta Dental 1-800-777-5854

  • PMI Dental 1-800-422-4234

  • Vision Service Plan (VSP) 1-800-877-7195

1998 Health Plan And Insurance Highlights

  • UC Group Insurance regulations have been modified to include grandchildren under age 23, not married, living with you, supported by you or your legal spouse (50 percent or more), and claimed as tax dependents by you or your legal spouse. Eligibility for stepchildren has been expanded to include a stepchild supported by and claimed as a tax dependent by your legal spouse (formerly the child had to be supported by and claimed as a tax dependent by the UC employee). If enrolled during open enrollment, coverage for these newly eligible family members will be effective Jan. 1, 1998.

  • All UC-sponsored medical plans (except FHP Health Care) and dental plans will be open for enrollment or transfer. You may enroll in or transfer to any medical or dental plan you are eligible for and that best meets you needs.

  • Since FHP and PacifiCare have merged, FHP will be discontinued Jan. 1, 1998. FHP members may select another medical plan during open enrollment. Those not choosing other coverage will automatically be enrolled in PacifiCare and assigned a PCP for each family member.

  • There are minor medical plan changes detailed on pages 8 and 9 of the Open Enrollment 1997 booklet. Review the exact changes to your plan to determine if the plan still meets your needs.

  • For 1998, UC's contribution to the medical plan monthly cost remains set so that at least one HMO plan at every major UC California location is provided at no cost. This year, there will be no employee monthly cost for Kaiser or PacificCare. Health Net will have a small monthly cost ranging from $1.60 for single party to $5.07 for family coverage. UC will pay the entire premiums for dental and vision plans.

  • The Prudential High Option Plan employee monthly cost will approximately double from 1997.

  • After a review of insurance bids for UC-sponsored dental plans, UC has determined that Delta Dental and PMI plans continue to best meet the needs of the UC community. Dental benefits were reviewed to assure they reflect currently recognized levels of acceptable dental care. Dental plan changes are in your Open Enrollment 1997 booklet.

  • The legal Expense Plan is not open for enrollment during the open enrollment period. However, currently enrolled employees may add a newly eligible stepchild or grandchild by completing the appropriate enrollment form.

  • There are no rate or plan changes to Employee-Paid Life, Basic or Expanded Dependent Life, Employee-Paid Disability and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D). Where applicable, a newly eligible stepchild or grandchild may be added to these plans by completing the appropriate enrollment form.

Salary Reduction Programs

Unless you have an eligible change in family or employment status, Open Enrollment is the only time that you may change your participation in two of UC's salary reduction programs-Dependent Care Assistance (DepCare) and Tax Savings on Insurance Premiums (TIP).

DepCare allows you to pay eligible dependent care expenses on a pretax, salary reduction basis. During open enrollment you may enroll in DepCare or change or cancel your DepCare salary reduction amount. If you do not change or cancel during open enrollment, your 1997 salary reduction amount will continue at the same rate in 1998.

If your child turned 13 this year and is capable of self-care as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, you should cancel your DepCare participation during open enrollment. Otherwise, you will forfeit DepCare contributions for 1998. For more information, see the DepCare Summary Plan Description.

TIP allows you to pay health plan premiums, if any, on a pretax, salary reduction basis. Participation in TIP is automatic. During open enrollment you may re-enroll in or opt out of TIP. See the TIP Summary Plan Description for details.

Open enrollment comes just once a year. Read your materials carefully and consider any recent changes in your life that may affect your insurance and employee benefits needs.



Copyright 1997, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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