Nov. 22, 2002

Time running out to benefit from Open Enrollment

UC’s Open Enrollment period ends in eight days. All changes to your medical and other benefits must be made by midnight Saturday, Nov. 30, by calling 1-800-639-3779.

If you have not received an Open Enrollment packet — many UC employees haven’t— all of the information is available online at the UC benefits Website: http://atyourservice.ucop.edu .

Open Enrollment is your opportunity to transfer to a different medical or dental plan, add eligible family members to your current plans, or opt in or out of UC-sponsored medical, dental and vision plans.

There are important changes this year and employees are advised to carefully review the Open Enrollment information. The packets mailed include a personalized statement and booklet, the plan rates and an explanation of the new rate structure for the medical plans and summaries of each plan. Those who did not receive an Open Enrollment packet can also get their current enrollment information from the Website.

Due to rising medical costs, there is an increase in the employee-paid premiums for all medical plans. While UC has absorbed most of the costs, a portion will be passed on to employees beginning Jan. 1.

If you will be paying monthly medical premiums in 2003, you should know about TIP — the Tax Savings on Insurance Premiums program. TIP allows you to pay your monthly medical premiums on a tax-free basis. Enrollment in TIP is automatic and continues from year to year unless you cancel. During Open Enrollment, you may re-enroll in TIP if you canceled previously.

This year, there will be a decrease in rates for employee-paid life insurance and disability insurance premiums and no change in the dental and vision plans.

The University has also added a healthcare reimbursement account in which employees can set aside pretax dollars each month to pay for out-of-pocket costs not already covered by insurance, including co-payments, prescription drugs, chiropractic care, orthodontia not covered by a dental plan, and laser eye surgery. (For more details, see article in the Work/Life Balance insert.)

If you have difficulty downloading the Open Enrollment booklet from the Web, there are a limited number available in the Benefits Office, Bldg. 571, room 1205. Benefits representatives can be reached at 2-9955.