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May 2, 2013

Pitt Benefits

FitnessForLifeOpen Enrollment April 24 – May 22

Open enrollment provides an opportunity to make changes to your benefit elections. For the 2013-2014 plan year, open enrollment will occur between April 24 and May 22. In order to give you enough time to review the open enrollment packets and the new plan being offered, open enrollment has been extended by one week. You will not need to take any action if you do not wish to make changes to your benefit elections. All of your current elections will remain the same for the new plan year.

In compliance with IRS regulations, the elections you have on file at the end of open enrollment remain in effect for the entire plan year unless you have a qualifying life event. A qualifying life event can include the birth or adoption of a child, a spouse’s gain or loss of employment, marriage or divorce. If any of these events occur, you may be able to make a timely change.

Distribution of open enrollment packets began the week of April 22. These packets include a one-page statement that displays your current elections. This information also is available online at All changes must be made online during the open enrollment period. Reviewing your current elections online and making changes is a straightforward process:

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your user name and password.
  3. Select “PRISM Login.”
  4. Select “PHR Employee Self Service.”
  5. Select “Benefits” and continue through the Open Enrollment Online Self-Service process.

Need Help Logging on?

There are a few options available:

  1. Reset your password online by following the instructions once you click on “Forgot your password” on the login screen.
  2. Contact the Technology Help Desk at 412-624-HELP (4357).
  3. Stop by a campus computing lab. You will need your ID card.

Benefit Changes for the July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014 Plan Year

New PPO Medical Plan Option

The most effective way to control health care costs is to be healthy, which reduces the need for medical services. This year the University is offering a new medical plan option called “Panther Advocate.” In many respects, this option may be considered the plan of the future. It allows faculty and staff to focus on wellness-based activities supported by a broad array of health incentives. One important aspect is that health credits are placed into a health incentive account (HIA) when you complete healthy activities. Credits in your HIA will automatically be applied to offset out-of-pocket costs such as your deductible, co-insurance and prescription co-payments.  A brochure is included in your open enrollment packet that describes the new program in detail. Meetings designed to overview this new plan will be conducted across all of the campuses.

Co-payment Changes Within Panther Gold

Changes that you will see associated with the Panther Gold plan include higher co-payments for certain services. There will be a $5 increase in co-payments for primary care visits, specialist visits, outpatient behavioral health and chiropractic services. Urgent care co-payments will increase by $20. Emergency room visits for children will increase by $35 while emergency room visits for adults will increase by $45. Co-payments for outpatient facility services are increasing by $100 and inpatient facility services are increasing by $200. Basic diagnostic services, physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy are increasing by $15. High tech diagnostic co-payments are increasing by $55.

PPO Plan Changes

The only changes you will see with Panther Premier, Panther Plus and Panther Basic are related to slightly higher premiums, higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. These amounts can be found in the Summary Guide to Benefits that is included in your open enrollment packet.

Prescription Drug Plan

In regard to prescription drug co-payments, increases reflect the general inflation experienced with prescription medication over the past year. Fortunately, some prescriptions such as Lipitor have moved to a generic label.


Vision benefits and the plan rates will remain the same for the 2013 – 2014 plan year.


Dental benefits will remain unchanged for all plans. However, the Concordia Plus DHMO plan rates are increasing by 6.2% for the 2013 – 2014 plan year but will not increase for the 2014 – 2015 plan year. The Flex I and Flex II benefits and plan rates are unchanged for this period.

Flexible Spending Accounts

There are no plan changes to flexible spending accounts for this plan year. Previously UPMC had issued one card for both the medical plan and flexible spending account. For the plan year beginning July 1, 2013, UPMC will issue separate medical plan identification cards and flexible spending account cards.

During open enrollment, you do not have to make any changes if you would like to contribute the same amount to your flexible spending account as the prior year.

Also, please remember that the “use it or lose it” rule applies to all four flexible spending accounts.

Benefit Fairs


Panther Advocate

New Program Information Sessions*


Registration is required. Please visit to register for the session of your choice.

*Meetings for regional campus locations will be held at or around the time of each Benefits Fair.


Important Vendor Contact Information

Benefits Department

Office hours: 8 am-5 pm EST, 320 Craig Hall

412-624-8160 (Main Line) • 412-624-3485 (Fax)

Please visit our web site for FAQs, downloadable forms and other benefits information.


UPMC Health Plan



United Concordia 1-877-215-3616


Davis Vision 1-800-999-5431


TIAA-CREF 1-800-682-9139

Vanguard 1-800-523-1188

Flexible Spending Accounts







Faculty Records


UPMC HealthPlan

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