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.
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 http://www.ucop.edu/bencom. 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.
1998 Health Plan And Insurance Highlights
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.