The annual benefits open enrollment period is under way, which means that all benefit-eligible UAB employees should be making final decisions related to medical, dental, vision, voluntary AD&D insurance coverage and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) well before 5 p.m. CT Friday, Oct. 31.
To participate in open enrollment, employees may make all elections online at www.shps.com, or by using a touch-tone telephone and calling 1-800-225-0162. If additional help is needed, customer service representatives will be available to answer questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday. Please remember that in order to comply with federal laws regulating benefit plan participation and to retain those pre-tax features which are desired by UAB employees, changes will not be accepted after the close of open enrollment; again, that deadline is 5 p.m. CT Friday, Oct. 31.
You must participate in open enrollment if you are:
• Changing your level of coverage as it relates to the single/employee plus up to 2 dependents/family option
• Adding or deleting dependents
• Changing from basic to comprehensive level of coverage – or vice versa – with the dental plan
• Dropping existing medical, dental and/or vision coverage
• Enrolling or changing voluntary AD&D coverage
• Participating in the flexible spending account (FSA) program for 2009
Dental plan enhancements
There will be no changes to the dental plan for 2009.
Premium increases for UAB medical plans and plan design changes
The cost of healthcare is rising nationwide as a result of inflation, advances in healthcare and increased use of the benefits. UAB faces many of the same healthcare issues of our nation, state and city. Premiums will increase for all three medical plans: Viva UAB by 6.5 percent, Viva Access by 8 percent, and Blue Cross Blue Shield by 10 percent.
Pharmacy plan changes are also being implemented that include increased generic drug utilization. Pharmacy co-pays will be increasing slightly in order to offset growing pharmacy costs, and a new co-pay level for specialist visits is being introduced under the medical plans.
Vision Insurance with VSP
Vision rates have remained level since introduction of the VSP plan in 2006. This year, VSP rates will increase 10 percent for 2009. In addition, the out-of-pocket co-pays for VSP will increase by $5.
UAB will continue to offer flexible spending accounts (FSAs), which allow you to set aside money from your paycheck before it is taxed to pay for certain health care and dependent care expenses. Employees must re-enroll in the FSA program during open enrollment to participate for the 2009 plan year.
The voluntary AD&D program is now an open enrollment benefit. During open enrollment you may enroll or change your coverage. The plan is offered through MetLife.
To find out more
All elections will be effective Jan. 1, 2009. New premiums for medical, dental, vision and voluntary AD&D will be reflected in your January 2009 payroll. FSA deductions will also be reflected in your January 2009 payroll.
Annual open enrollment materials are available on the UAB Human Resource Management Benefits Web page; go to www.uab.edu/benefits and click on Annual Open Enrollment. This area includes links to the providers’ home pages as well as provider directories. Informational materials are also available on the SHPS Web site. Any questions concerning annual open enrollment should be directed to an HR consultant or directly to the UAB Benefits Department at 934-3458 or by e-mail at email@example.com.