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October 30, 2012

Open enrollment offers opportunity to review, adjust benefits for 2013

The University’s open enrollment period—the annual opportunity for faculty and staff to review and modify their current benefits plans for the coming calendar year—will begin Monday, Nov. 5 and conclude Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Help selecting the optimal plan

The Office of Human Resources offers a variety of online and personal tools to help employees evaluate their current plans and make knowledgeable decisions when it comes to health and benefits options:

  • New for 2013, as required by the Affordable Care Act, Uniform Benefits of Coverage Summaries will be distributed by mail for each of the benefit offerings under the University’s health care plans.
  • The health plan cost estimator tool provides employees a way to estimate the annual costs for each of the health care plans based on a family’s needs. Also viewable online at is the 2013 Medical Plans At-A-Glance chart, and the 2013 Health Care and Dental Premiums Rate Sheet.
  • Open enrollment information sessions will be held at locations throughout the University from Nov. 5-9, where representatives from the Benefits Office, Aetna, Excellus, and Securian Life will be available to answer employees’ individual questions.
  • Computer access and assistance to complete the open enrollment process online is available at convenient time slots from Nov. 12–16 at the Medical Center.
  • Health care plan comparison presentations on Nov. 13, 15, and 16 are designed to give employees a clear picture of how each plan works and which one best fits their needs.
  • When 2013 open enrollment ends on Nov. 20, employees cannot make changes to benefit elections (except HSA contribution amounts), unless experiencing a qualifying event.

During 2013 open enrollment, benefits-eligible employees may change their University health care or dental plan coverage to a different plan and/or administrator; elect health, dental and long-term disability coverage if not currently enrolled; adjust or add life insurance coverage and beneficiaries; and elect new contributions to a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA)—the federal government requires participating employees to make an annual election for either account, even if an employee had an FSA or HSA for 2012.

All employees enrolled in a health or dental plan are required annually during open enrollment to certify that each dependent on the plan meets the University’s Health Program eligibility requirements.

Open enrollment is conducted online through the HRMS website ( with a NetID, or over the phone with ASK-URHR. Informational materials on open enrollment are also mailed to homes.

With a few important plan and coverage changes taking effect in calendar year 2013, open enrollment is the best time for employees to closely evaluate all of the available options and choose the plans best suited to them with regard to health care needs and cost.

2013 Health Care Premiums

The University offers four self-insured health care plans and two dental plans with the benefit of premiums below market rates. With many local private health care plans expected to see a double-digit percent increase in premiums, the 2013 University rate increase will be 7.9 percent for both the employee and University contributions (the University pays on average 80 percent of the premium, and employees, 20 percent).

The University’s four health plans all include high quality preventive care, with different cost structures tailored to match the individual health needs of faculty and staff. The University does not prefer or suggest that employees select one plan over another; the University’s costs are consistent for each plan.

New Coverage Changes and Options for 2013

session datesThere are several benefits and coverage changes, as well as incentives, within this year’s open enrollment period that make it important for employees to carefully review their current coverage:

  • University Health Care Plan Design Changes. Each of the University’s health care plans bring some plan design changes for 2013.  Of special note, the University’s copay plan will have a hybrid plan design for 2013, with the introduction of a deductible, coinsurance, and an out-of-pocket maximum for all in-patient, out-patient, and emergency services. Copays will continue to apply to PCP and specialist office visits.  Take the time to carefully review the open enrollment materials being mailed to your home, especially the 2013 Plans-At-a-Glance Chart that describes and compares each of the plans. You are also encourage to attend one of the open enrollment informational sessions (and get answers, one-on-one), and to attend one of the health care plan comparison presentations.
  • Group Life Insurance Plan Enrollment/Change Options: Employees may enroll in or elect an additional one multiple of salary of group universal life (GUL) or group optional term life (GOTL) insurance, if eligible, up to six times annual salary or $1,000,000 without proof of good health. Employees currently enrolled in optional coverage also have the option to transfer the current amount of GUL to GOTL, or vice versa. 
  • Long-Term Disability (LTD) Plan Enrollment/Change Options: Certain eligible faculty and staff members will be able to elect coverage or increase the current LTD coverage without completing a medical certification.  Eligible faculty and staff members will be able to elect coverage or increase their current coverage to a maximum covered annual salary of $300,000.
  • Expanded Dependent Eligibility Benefit: Effective Jan. 1, 2013, employees enrolled in any of the University’s health care and dental plans may add eligible dependents up to the age of 26, regardless of the dependent’s access to outside coverage (i.e. insurance through their own employer, spouse, etc.).
  • Changes to FSA and HSA Contributions: Under the federal Affordable Care Act, the maximum annual contribution to a health care flexible spending account (FSA) and limited purpose health care FSA will now be $2,500, down from the previous cap of $6,500. The 2013 contribution limit for the University’s health savings account (HSA) has increased to $3,250 and $6,450, respectively, for single and family coverage. The dependent care FSA maximum contribution remains at $5,000.

For a complete overview of the plans and changes for 2013, visit

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