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April 30, 2009

FY 2010 Open Enrollment

Open enrollment for the July 2009 – June 2010 health plan year will run through Wednesday, May 13. Packets have been sent to all benefits eligible faculty and staff. This information should be carefully reviewed even if you do not plan to make any changes to your elections.

In accordance with IRS regulations, plan sponsors must annually provide participants with an opportunity to make changes in their benefits elections. Otherwise, the only occasion that permits a change in elections is a qualified life event. Marriage, divorce, and birth of a child are examples of qualified life events.

In addition to the open enrollment packets, information may be found through a link on the Benefits Web site at:

Summary of Benefits and Changes


Copayment changes in the Panther Gold plan are as follows:

Doctor office visits: Current $10, July 1, 2009 $15

Specialist office visits: Current $20, July 1, 2009 $25

Outpatient facility services: Current $50, July 1, 2009 $100

All other types of services and co-payments remain the same. In addition, preventive services including age-based routine examinations, well baby visits, and immunizations continue to be offered at no cost to members.

Prescription Drug Coverage

Copayment changes (30 day supply) in the prescription drug program apply to all medical plans. Copayments are double for a 90 day supply. Changes are as follows:

Generic: Current $10, July 1, 2009 $10

Preferred brand: Current $28, July 1, 2009 $30

Non-preferred brand: Current $56, July 1, 2009 $60

The generic co-payment remains at the same level it has been since July 2003.

A new provision has been added as a pure convenience:

Members may obtain a 90-day supply of medications at any participating retail pharmacy. Unlike mail-order or prescriptions obtained at the Student Health Pharmacy or Falk Pharmacy, the 90-day supply copayment is three times the 30-day supply copayment. As an example, a 90-day supply of generic medication through mail-order is $20. At a retail pharmacy, the copayment is $30.


There are not any changes in the plan design of the dental program. The University is entering the second year of a three-year contract. Dental rates will increase by 5.5% for the Concordia Plus DHMO and 3% for the Flex I and Flex II programs.

While the Concordia Plus DHMO provides very attractive rates, recruitment of dentists into this program has been difficult.


A second plan design named the “Designer Gold Plan” has been added.

The current “Fashion Plan” remains the same and continues to offer a great value. The cost of a vision examination alone is equivalent to the premium for single coverage. The Designer Gold program has a higher monthly premium but it offers several advantages including:

* A $130 retail allowance (vs. $60 under the Fashion Program).

* A $130 allowance towards provider-supplied contacts (vs. $75 under the Fashion Program).

* Frames from the Designer Collection are offered at no additional cost.

* Multiple lens options are included at no additional costs including scratch resistant coating, ultraviolet coatings, and polycarbonate lenses.

The rates have changed for FY 2010 but will remain the same over the next three plan years.

Life Insurance

* There is a decrease in optional life insurance costs for age brackets starting at age 40. The decreases are significant for some of these age brackets.

Optional accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) costs are decreasing by 17%.

Dependent life rates will decrease by 19%.

* The open enrollment Web site features an interactive online tool designed to answer questions and provide suggestions on how much life insurance a member may need. It is located at:

* Please remember to respond to Aetna’s request to update your beneficiary designations for your life insurance policy.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Currently, one-third of the University’s faculty and staff are enrolled in a flexible spending account. This benefit is becoming increasingly popular since it permits members to decrease their out-of-pocket expenses by approximately 30%.

While the IRS regulations include the “use-it or lose-it” provision, the ability to easily obtain reimbursement from a spending account has lessened participants’ concerns. Nearly 60% of participants use the stored-value card feature known as the “Benny Card.” It works in a similar fashion to a debit card. Whether you are in a grocery store or pharmacy, by use of the technology behind the product codes, systems instantly determine which products may be reimbursed using the Benny Card! The Benny Card may be swiped to pay for the designated items automatically.

On a related matter, the maximum monthly contributions allowed under the Parking and Mass Transit federal regulations change as follows:

Parking: Current $220, July 1, 2009 $230

Mass Transit: Current $115, July 1, 2009 $230

eBDS, the University’s administrator for spending accounts, has a new and enhanced Web site. The information of this site will assist member’s knowledge of uses of the Benny Card and reimbursable expenses. You may visit it at:

Open Enrollment – Next Steps

Carefully review the information provided in your open enrollment packet.

You do not need to take any action if you do not plan to make any changes in your benefit elections.

In the event you would like to make changes in your benefits elections, follow the link from either the Human Resources or Benefits Department home page.

All changes must be completed by Wednesday, May 13.

Benefits Message Board

Effective immediately, a message board will display important news and updates posted by the Benefits Department. You may want to consider placing a shortcut on your desktop and refer to it on a periodic basis. The message board is located at:

Filed under: Volume 41 Issue 17

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