Monday, October 31, 2011

Benefits Bulletin: Open Enrollment, Health Plans and Health Savings Accounts, Oh My!

PEBB Program’s Open Enrollment Starts Nov. 1
The Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program’s open enrollment starts Nov. 1 and runs through Nov. 30. This is your opportunity to make plan changes, waive or reinstate coverage, or add or remove dependents from PEBB coverage.

All of the current health plans for employees will continue to be available in 2012 and each of the plan vendors will also offer new consumer-directed health plans which include health savings accounts (HSA). These new plans will be a real opportunity for some employees and their families. 

PEBB’s life insurance program is also changing for 2012 with higher maximum levels of coverage available for employees without proof of good health when they are newly hired or newly eligible as well as an opportunity in February of 2012 for higher levels of coverage for some current employees.  

More information about your opportunities during open enrollment is available on the PEBB website ( and in the For Your Benefit newsletter.

Bates Open Enrollment Benefit Fair, Friday, Nov. 4, 2-5:30 p.m., South Campus, Auditorium/Breezeway

Flexible Spending Account Presentation: 1:30-2 p.m., SC Rooms E101 A & B

When you are evaluating your options during Open Enrollement, please note there are major changes effective Jan. 1, 2012 per the newsletter.
Please review your plan choices carefully.

To learn more about the newly-offered 2012 Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHP) with the attached Health Savings Accounts (HSA) please visit Health Equity HSA Administrator or call a Health Equity Representative 24/7 at 1.877.873.8823.  
All changes are to be made online, with the exception of adding for the first time spouses, qualified registered domestic partners and eligible dependents which requires a paper enrollment form and proof of eligibility delivered to Human Resources. Questions? Contact Human Resources, x7174.
Changes become effective Jan. 1, 2012 for the following plans:
Uniform Medical Subscribers 
All current Uniform Medical Subscribers must verify that their current medical providers are accepting the Uniform Medical Plan effective Jan. 1, 2012.  All 2011 Uniform subscribers will default to the Uniform Classic Plan effective Jan. 1, 2012 unless Uniform subscribers elect to change their plan online. Please confirm your providers are in the Regence network of eligible providers. Any questions about the Uniform Medical Plan for 2012 should be directed to the customer service at 1.888.849.3681. Uniform will offer a new CDHP plan effective Jan. 1, 2012.
Group Health Medical subscribers
Group Health will continue to offer Group Health Classic and Group Health Value Plans. Group Health will offer a new CDHP plan effective Jan. 1, 2012.
Please keep in mind:   
  • If you are not changing your health or dental plan, your current plans will continue for you, your spouse, qualified partner and dependents.   
  • The current Uniform Plan will default to the Uniform Classic Plan. 
  • Group Health Classic participants will default to Group Health Classic and Group Health Value plan participants will default to Group Health Value
  • To add a qualified opposite-sex domestic partner if either the employee or partner are age 62, you must show proof of registry obtained from the Washington Secretary of State’s office.  
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for Medical out-of-pocket qualified expenses. Open Enrollment Ends Nov. 30, 2011. Enrollment is required each calendar year for continuation of benefits. Plan Effective Date is Jan. 1, 2012.  Employees who participate in a new Consumer Directed Health Plan (CDHP) cannot enroll in the FSA.
  • The FSA set-aside for calendar year 2012 is any amount from $240 up to $3,600 per calendar year.
  • Once an election has been made, it cannot be adjusted upwards or downwards.
  • Choose your amount carefully.
  • The 2012 plan year enrollments and requests for reimbursements will be through the third party vendor ASI.
  • FSA is a calendar year pretax plan that must be signed up for each calendar year.
  • Qualified medical expense reimbursement requests must be submitted for reimbursement no later than March 15, 2013.
  • For the plan year beginning on Jan. 1, 2012 for persons enrolling in the 2012 FSA Plan.
  • If you still have 2011 dollars in the FSA and you wish to participate in a CDHP for 2012, you must incur qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses for reimbursement no later than Dec. 31, 2011.
  • You must ask ASI to use your 2011 dollars prior to use of the 2012 dollars if you sign up for the plan in 2012.
Online enrollments only.
  • All 2011 FSA participants must re-enroll for 2012. 
  • Eligible employees not enrolled in FSA must enroll during open enrollment for the plan year beginning Jan. 1, 2012. 
  • Employees who participate in the new CDHP plans are not eligible to enroll in the FSA.  
Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)
Open Enrollment ends Nov. 30, 2011. Plan Effective Date is Jan. 1, 2012
  • This pretax plan allows employees to set aside pretax dollars to pay for eligible child and elder care expenses.
  • Do not use DCAP to have spouses and eligible dependents medical expenses included.
  • Qualified spouse and dependent out-of-pocket medical expenses are included with the FSA plan.
  • The DCAP plan covers qualified child care and elder care eligible payment reimbursements.
  • 2011 participants must sign up again to enroll for 2012.
  • The 2012 plan online enrollment is available on the following website
  • Please refer to the plan reference guide for eligibility information.
  • If you have any questions about this plan, please call 1.800.659.3035. 
Life Insurance Freeze and Changes
You cannot make make changes to your life insurance Oct. 31, 2011-Jan. 31, 2012. 
  • There are going to be changes to the State Life Insurance Program.
  • All employees who have optional Part C and/or Part D insurance or Part B2 optional spouse/partner insurance will have these amounts combined into one optional life insurance amount beginning in 2012.
  • To prepare for the change, there is a freeze on any changes to employee and spouse/and or registered domestic partner changes effective Oct. 31, 2011.
Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET Program)
Open Enrollment ends March 31, 2012  
  • Prepaid college tuition that can be used for anyone and anywhere in the United States at the Nov. 1, 2011 open enrollment rate of $163 per unit price. 
  • GET can set up payroll deductions for participants or participants can arrange other payment methods.
  • Please refer to the following website for more detailed information and to sign up for this plan.
  • If you have questions regarding the GET Program, please call 1.800.955.2318,  
Please do not hesitate to refer to the information located on the PEBB website to answer all of your open enrollment questions.    

Outreach & Recruitment

If you're interested in promoting your program at one of these events, please contact Patricia Chase, x7302.

11/1/2011 White River tour at South Campus
11/1/2011 Wilson High School presentation
11/2/2011 Quilcene Career Fair
11/3/2011 Tacoma School District Career & College Night
11/3/2011 Bremerton High School College & Career Fair
11/3/2011 Mt. Tahoma College Night
11/3/2011 College Fair, Port Angeles High School
11/4/2011 NACAC  national college fair
11/5/2011 NACAC national college fair
11/7/2011 Puget Sound Skills Center Career Fair
11/8/2011 Latino Youth Summit, Centralia
11/8/2011 Steilacoom High School Career Fair
11/9/2011 Roger Career Fair
11/10/2011 Sumner School District, Beyond High School Night
11/16/2011 Cedar Heights, Port Orchard
11/16/2011 Pierce County Construction Career Day
11/17/2011 W. F. West High School College Fair
11/21/2011 Career Shadow partnership
11/29/2011 Skill Center partnership