Open Enrollment 1997 Reminder

The 1997 open enrollment period, which comes just once a year, is from Nov. 1 through 21. By now, you should have received your open enrollment packet which includes your personalized Open Enrollment Statement and Open Enrollment 1997 booklet. Review your statement carefully to ensure your plans and family members are listed correctly.

If you have not received your open enrollment materials, contact the Human Resources Benefits Unit for a duplicate by calling 642-7053. Duplicate packets will be mailed to campus addresses.

Legal plan coverage is not listed on the statement because it is not available for enrollment this open enrollment period. If you wish to cancel or otherwise change your legal plan enrollment, you must use form U Pay 850, which is available from your department benefits counselor. Legal plan enrollment may be canceled at any time.

All open enrollment changes must be made using bencom.fone, UC's interactive telephone system, and must be completed by midnight (PST), Friday, Nov. 21.

If you are changing medical or dental plans and need more information, packets are available directly from the plan carriers.

To obtain a packet, call the applicable 800 number, listed on page 4 of the booklet.

Adding a Family Member to Your Coverage?

Those intending to add a family member to their coverage during this year's open enrollment period should be aware of the new documentation requirements. These expanded requirements are part of an ongoing effort by UC to verify eligibility of all family members enrolled in UC-sponsored medical, dental, vision and/or legal plans.

Eligibility verification documents will be required of all employees and annuitants who add family members during this year's open enrollment period. Beginning in February 1998, UC Benefits at Office of the President will ask for copies of records such as birth certificates, marriage certificates and/or adoption papers to confirm the relationship between you and each of your enrolled family members-including those who are already covered.

Additional documentation may be needed in some cases-for example, if a family member has a different family name than yours and the documentation submitted does not clearly show the person's relationship to you. For those who simply transfer from one plan to another, documentation will not be required at this time.

It is important that you provide the requested information on time. Family members for whom documentation is not submitted upon request will be de-enrolled retroactively to their coverage effective date (1997 open enrollment additions are effective Jan. 1, 1998), and you will be liable for costs incurred.

Start gathering your verification documents now. Obtaining records can be time consuming, particularly if the records must come from foreign countries or rural regions of the United States. By acting early, you can prevent hassles later.

While it is a good idea to collect your documentation in advance, please do not send it in until you have received a request for copies of your documents. Information on where to write to request vital records is available on the World Wide Web at

Also effective Jan. 1, UC will begin requiring similar documentation when employees enroll in health benefits for the first time or add family members to their existing coverage. Documentation of relationship is a one-time process for each enrolled family member and is separate from the annual tax verification project conducted each spring. Employees/annuitants will still need to provide proof of tax dependency each year for enrolled children other than natural or adopted children under age 23.

For information see the UC group insurance eligibility factsheet, available on the World Wide Web (, or from your department benefits counselor. Complete information about the verification process will be sent with the request for documentation.



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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