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Annual Enrollment

TO:   All Benefitted Faculty and Staff

FROM:  Barbara Jean Conneely, Benefits Manager

DATE: April 4, 2018

RE: The Group Insurance Commission Annual Enrollment and Flexible Spending Account Open Enrollment


I.  GIC Health and Basic Life Insurance Annual Enrollment is April 4, 2018 to May 2, 2018 (Plan effective July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019)

Annual Enrollment

This year’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) Annual Enrollment period begins today, April 4, 2018 and ends on Wednesday, May 2, 2018.  Any enrollment or change made during this period will be effective July 1, 2018.  This annual enrollment gives those employees who are eligible and not currently insured for Basic Life and/or Health Insurance the opportunity to enroll in one of the available plans.  Please keep in mind that any changes you wish to make to health or basic life insurance coverage for plan year beginning July 1, 2018 must be made during this Annual Enrollment period.  All annual enrollment forms, including the GIC Enrollment and Change Form (Form 1), and the Benefits Decision Guide are available in the Human Resource Office or online:

Also, this is a good time to ensure that your beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement plans are up to date.  If you would like to enroll or make any changes to basic life or health insurance during annual enrollment, please fill out a GIC Form 1 and return it to Human Resources before May 2, 2018.

Key Coverage Changes

Hospital/Physician Tier Changes:  There have been significant changes to the tiers of hospitals and physicians this year.  Please confirm that your preferred hospitals and physicians are still in your plan’s network and also check the 2018-2019 Benefit Decision Guide for plan changes related to deductibles and co-pays. Once you choose a health plan, you may not change plans until next annual enrollment, even if your doctor or hospital leaves the health plan. Consequently, it is important to verify that your providers remain in your plan network.

Health Plans Now Open to New Members:  Effective July 1, 2018 the Harvard Pilgrim Independence Plan, Tufts Health Plan Navigator and Fallon Health Select Care plans will be open to new members.

Health Plan Deductibles:  Effective July 1, 2018, some GIC “Regional and Limited Network” products will have lower member deductibles.  Please see 2018-2019 Benefit Decision Guide for details.

Integration of Medical and Behavioral Health Benefits:  To better integrate your care, effective July 1, 2018, you will receive behavioral health benefits through your health insurance carrier.  Please contact your health plan carriers for details.

Express Scripts will be your new prescription drug administrator:  If you are enrolled in medical coverage through the GIC, you automatically will receive prescription drug coverage through Express Scripts (ESI).  You will receive a separate ID card for the Express Scripts pharmacy benefit.  Remember to bring the card with you to the pharmacy beginning July 1, 2018.  If you have questions about this new program, visit or call 855-283-7679.

WellMass programs will now be offered through your health insurance carrier:  Please contact your carrier for details about their specific wellness programs.

Additional Annual Enrollment Information
Adding or Deleting Spouse or Dependents:  Annual enrollment will be the only time during the plan year that you may enroll or delete a dependent (as defined by GIC) unless you provide proof of involuntary loss of coverage within 45 days of a qualifying event (such as marriage, birth, adoption, divorce, gain of other coverage, return from military leave, death, spouse’s annual enrollment or move outside of the plan area).

Dependent Ages 19 – 26:  If your dependent is turning age 19, has a change in student status, or experiences another qualifying event such as a move outside your plan coverage area, please fill out the GIC - Dependent Enrollment and Change Form and return to Human Resources.

Non-Smoker Life Insurance Enrollment:  Insured employees who currently are enrolled in Optional Life Insurance who have been tobacco free for the past 12 months are eligible to apply for reduced “non-smoker” rates during Annual Enrollment.  The next opportunity to apply for this benefit will be next year’s (2019-2020) annual enrollment. Please fill out a GIC Form 1 and return it to Human Resources.

Buy-Out Program:  Employees insured with GIC for health coverage from January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018, who have comparable non-state coverage that meets minimal essential coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may elect to participate in the Buy-Out Program during this annual enrollment period. Buy-Out Rates

Please Note:  University employees are not eligible for the GIC Dental/Vision Plan.

II.  Flexible Spending Account Open Enrollment: April 4, 2018 - May 2, 2018
      (Program Effective July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019)

You must re-enroll to participate in these programs for the year beginning July 1, 2018, even if you currently participate.

To re-enroll:  Please sign into your ASIflex account at, print your confirmation and return it to Human Resources before May 2, 2018.  Please Note:  If we do not receive a copy of your on-line confirmation by May 2, 2018, you will not be enrolled.

REMINDER:  The Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) Program and the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) is a fiscal year plan (July 1, 2018- June 30, 2019).   Effective July 1, 2018, the minimum election for HCSA will be $250.00; the maximum will be increased to $2,650.00.  The maximum DCAP election will be $5,000.00.  Please read the FSA Handbook to ensure that you are aware of the IRS regulations, eligible expenses and filing claims. 

New enrollees: New enrollees should complete the GIC - Flexible Benefit Plan Enrollment Form and return to Human Resources by May 2, 2018.

III.  Information Sessions

Representatives from Human Resources will be available to assist you with plan changes, forms, or questions from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. as follows:

  • Thursday, April 19th Campus Center, 2nd floor Catwalk
  • Thursday, April 26th Campus Center, 1st floor, Terrace

Please visit the GIC’s website at or the UMass Boston Human Resources website at for further information.

GIC Health Fairs:  The GIC will sponsor thirteen health fairs at locations throughout the Commonwealth to allow employees to compare the available health plans, speak with plan representatives or GIC staff and take advantage of the wellness exhibits sponsored by the health plans.  A complete listing of the dates and locations of the health fairs can be found on the GIC website: or on the GIC Health Fairs schedule.
Since we must adhere to GIC’s enrollment deadline (May 2, 2018), we strongly urge employees to review the available information early in the enrollment period and, if possible, attend one of the scheduled Health Fairs provided by the GIC. This will assist you in ensuring that you have all the time and information needed to make a fully informed decision.