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November 15, 2010

Final weeks to make health care plan changes for 2011

Open enrollment ends Nov. 29

The annual open enrollment period for the University’s health care plans, dental plans, Health Savings Account (HSA), and the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program for the 2011 calendar year ends on Monday, Nov. 29.

The University will continue to offer the current four health care plans that were designed in 2008 to control costs while continuing to offer a competitive health care benefit package to faculty and staff. The plans continue to have premium trends that are below local market levels.
In 2011, the University will reach the goal it announced three years ago to gradually increase employee contributions to about 20 percent of health care plan costs. Employee contributions, which currently fund about 18.8 percent of the overall health care plan costs, will increase to about 20 percent in 2011.

Based on employee feedback, the University is making changes to its two dental plans. Effective Jan. 1, 2011, both the Traditional Assistance Dental Plan and the Medallion Dental Plan will provide extended coverage for some dental services. Similar to the Medallion Dental Plan, employees enrolled in the Traditional Plan will also share in the cost of the Traditional Plan beginning Jan. 1, 2011. If you are currently enrolled in one of the dental plans, that enrollment will continue unless you change or waive coverage for 2011 during open enrollment.

There are also federal regulation rule changes governing 2011 HSA and FSA accounts.

Effective April 1, 2011, Excellus will be the pharmacy benefits manager for all prescription drug coverage. You will continue to automatically receive prescription drug coverage when you elect a University medical plan, and the prescription drug benefit plan design will remain the same as it is today. The only change is that Excellus, no matter which medical plan you enroll in, will administer all prescription drug benefits. Also effective April 1, 2011, the Excellus drug formulary will be used when determining the level of copay(s) you will be responsible for, depending on the medication prescribed. The Aetna drug formulary will no longer be used for prescription drug coverage. If you are currently enrolled in an Aetna medical plan, you will be transitioned to the new pharmacy benefits manager with no gap in care. Your medical plan coverage will not be impacted. Details about the transition and how it may affect things like FSA reimbursement, maintenance medications, and mail order, will be sent to you in a separate communication as soon as possible.

Visit for a more complete overview of the plans offered and to review changes for 2011. The site includes the 2011 Health Program Decision Guide, the 2011 Preventive Service Guide, and the 2011 Health Care and Dental Premiums Rate Sheet. Also available is the Health Care Plan Estimator tool that is designed to help employees select the health care plan that will work best for them and their families. The interactive calculator allows employees to compare payroll deductions, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. This tool will also estimate potential payroll tax savings when electing to contribute to an FSA for reimbursement of eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses.  It is online at Information about the changes is also available at

Learn more

Two education sessions on
the University’s health care
program are planned for
Wednesday, Nov. 17: 10 a.m.
to 2 p.m. in the south end
of the House of Six Nations,
Medical Center; and from
3 to 5 p.m. in the Bridge
Lounge, Wilson Commons,
on the River Campus.

Faculty and staff members have the opportunity to enroll or to make changes to their current health care plans and dental plans, as well as choose to add or drop eligible dependents or to change their third-party administrators (Aetna and Excellus). It also is the time to make annual health care and/or dependent care (daycare) FSA or health care HSA elections for 2011 calendar year. No action is required for those who do not wish to make changes to their health care or dental plans. However, individuals who wish to participate in the medical/dental FSA, the dependent care FSA, or a Health Savings Account (HSA) for calendar year 2011 must enroll—even if they are participating during 2010.

Faculty and staff who wish to make changes are encouraged to complete their enrollment online through the HRMS Web site ( using their NetID. Make open enrollment changes by phone at ASK-URHR (275-8747).

Once open enrollment ends on Nov. 29, you cannot make changes to your benefit elections (except HSA contribution amounts) unless there is a qualifying reason.

It is important to review your 2011 Benefit Program Summary that will be mailed to your home on or about December 10, 2010. Call the Benefits Office if there are any necessary corrections—this will be your last opportunity to make changes for 2011. Visit and review the Health Program Decision Guide for details.

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