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Benefits Open Enrollment 2014

The annual opportunity for you to make changes to your health, dental, vision, and voluntary life insurance coverage for the plan year of May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015 has arrived.  

Open enrollment period:   Monday, March 24, 2014 – April 7, 2014

Open enrollment deadlineMonday, APRIL 7 at 5:00 p.m.

Key Benefit Plan Changes

HEALTH INSURANCE – UnitedHealthcare (UHC) –  Changes to medical vision benefits and ER copays

The University’s health insurance plan for the year beginning on May 1, 2014 will continue to be United Healthcare’s PPO Choice Plus.  We will have the same network, prescription copayments, deductibles and out of pocket maximums as in the current plan.  The only plan design changes are:

  • Increases in the copay for emergency room visits from $200 to $250.    
  • Vision benefits are no longer covered through UHC’s medical plan.  If you want vision insurance benefits, you must enroll in the voluntary vision plan offered through UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits (separate benefits).
  • UHC will waive all office visit copays for dependents up to the age of 18.
  • All copays (except pharmacy) are now applied to total out-of-pocket maximum (5/1/14).

In January, UHC quoted the University an annual health insurance increase of $285,783, about 5.14% of the current year’s cost.  Through negotiations with UHC and instituting the ER copay change recommended by the Employee Benefits Committee, the final cost increase is expected to be approximately $167,000 per year (2.85%).  This increase includes Affordable Care Act fees and taxes.  The University will absorb the premium increase, so there will be no increase in your contributions (unless you are now in a different salary tier).

The salary tier threshold for Clerical Union employees will increase to $46,149.  Your annual base salary as of May 1, 2014 determines your employee contribution salary tier for the plan year:  under $46,149 or equal to or above $46,149. 

Faculty and administrative health contributions will continue to be four tiers based on salary.  Your annual base salary as of May 1, 2014 determines your employee contribution salary tier for the plan year.

DENTAL INSURANCE – Humana (CompBenefits) – no plan changes or rate increases for 2014-15

Humana (CompBenefits) continues as our dental provider with two plan options –

  • The Advantage Plan - offers the in-network option of a PPO plan with premiums and a copayment schedule for services that mimic a HMO.  No rate increase for 2014-15.
  • The Elite Preferred PPO Plan –offers in-network and out-of-network options.  The maximum insurance benefit is $1,500 per calendar year on the PPO Plan.  No rate increase for 2014-15.

VOLUNTARY VISION PLAN – UnitedHealthcare Vision – no plan changes or rate increases for 2014-15

VOLUNTARY LIFE INSURANCE – Unum – no plan changes or rate increases for 2014-15

The voluntary term life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance plan allows eligible full time faculty, administrators and clerical union employees to purchase and/or increase voluntary term life insurance on his/herself, spouse or domestic partner and dependent children.   This is an employee-funded benefit that is a supplement to the current University-sponsored life/AD&D benefit plan.

CRITICAL ILLNESS, ACCIDENT, AND HOSPITAL – AFLAC - no plan changes or rate increases for 2014-15

  • Critical illness insurance – pays a lump sum benefit directly to you if you are diagnosed with a serious condition. You can choose a level of coverage in increments of $5,000 to a maximum of $50,000 for yourself and to $25,000 for your spouse.
  • Accident insurance – pays a benefit directly to you if you suffer a covered injury and need treatment.  It can offset the high cost of copays, deductibles and other expenses your medical insurance doesn’t cover.
  • Hospital indemnity insurance – enhances your medical plan by providing financial help for the total expenses a hospital stay or medical treatment requires.

What Actions Must You Take?

  • No action is required if you wish to maintain your current coverage and dependents in the health, dental, vision, voluntary life, and Aflac plans.  Your current elections will automatically carry over for 2014.
  • If you wish to enroll in or change your benefit elections coverage type (add or drop dependents), you must complete an enrollment form and submit it by the April 7, 2014 deadline.
  • If you wish to cancel your benefit elections coverage, you must complete a cancellation form and submit it by the April 7, 2014 deadline.


In order to provide more detailed information, we have scheduled seven enrollment meetings this week.  You are strongly encouraged to attend a group meeting.

The following 30 minute informational meetings for health, dental, vision, life and Aflac will be held during open enrollment:









March 25

11:00 am, 1:00 pm




March 27

11:00 am, 1:00 pm




March 26

11:00 am, 1:00 pm




March 27

3:00 pm

Our representative from Aflac will be in attendance at all meetings.   

You may submit your enrollment forms any time between March 24 and April 7. Please do not wait until the deadline.

The deadline is Monday, APRIL 7 at 5:00 p.m. for all enrollments or changes.  Original enrollment/change forms must be submitted to Clara Gong in HR by this date for May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015 plan year.  The next open enrollment will be in March, 2015 for the plan year beginning May 1, 2015.  A special open enrollment will be held in November 2014 for the 2015 FSA Plan Year. 

Please note that enrolling in any of the voluntary benefit plans (dental, vision, flex) is a 12-month commitment (plan year) regardless of your use of the benefit. You may change coverage within a 12-month period only if you experience what is called a "qualifying event", such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child.

All employee health contributions and dental and vision premiums are pre-tax, monthly rates. Health, dental and vision eligible employees include full-time administrators, full-time faculty, and clerical union employees. Part-time clerical union employees are eligible for single coverage.

Important Note:  Human Resource Offices have relocated to Auditorium 344.  Benefit information is also available outside of AUD 336.


For additional information, visit the Benefits Portal for comprehensive benefit plan summaries and benefit information. 

If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources via email ( or at 312-341-4334.