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Annual Enrollment

GIC Health and Basic Life Insurance Annual Enrollment ends Wednesday, May 1, 2019
(Plan effective July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020)

Annual Enrollment

This year’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) Annual Enrollment ends on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. 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, 2019 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: https://hr.umb.edu/enrollment and www.mass.gov/gic.

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 1, 2019. Also, this is a good time to ensure that your beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement plans are up to date. 

Key Coverage Changes

Hospital/Physician Tier Changes:  There have been changes for the ambulatory surgery at freestanding facilities for eye and GI procedures for all carriers except for Unicare. Please see the Benefit Decision Guide for more information.  Please confirm that your preferred hospitals and physicians are still in your plan’s network and also check the 2019-2020 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 Plan Deductibles:  Effective July 1, 2019, the GIC has changed from a three tier system to a two tier system for the Special Physician Office Visits for all carriers except for Unicare.  Please see the 2019-2020 Benefit Decision Guide for details.

Name Change:  Neighborhood Health Plan is now named AllWays Health Partners Complete HMO.

Additional Annual Enrollment Information

Special Long Term Disability (LTD) Open Enrollment without evidence of insurability:  This year, Unum (LTD insurance carrier), will be offering a special open enrollment from Wednesday, April 3, 2019 to Friday, June 14, 2019 for Long Term Disability (LTD) coverage effective October 1, 2019.  Eligible active state employees can enroll in LTD without providing medical evidence of insurability provided they have not been previously declined for GIC LTD coverage and are actively at work on October 1, 2019.  To enroll, employees must complete the LTD Special Enrollment Form (Mandatory).  *DO NOT USE THE GIC FORM 1 -  If you do use the GIC Form 1, you will be subject to the medical evidence of insurability - no exceptions.  Late enrollment forms will not be accepted.

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.  Please fill out a GIC Form 1 and return it to Human Resources. The next opportunity to apply for this benefit will be next year’s (2020-2021) annual enrollment.

Buy-Out Program:  Employees insured with GIC for health coverage from January 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019, 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. See Human Resources for details during annual enrollment.

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

New Vendor for Flexible Spending Account (FSA) / Open Enrollment: April 3, - May 1, 2019
(Program Effective July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020)

The Group Insurance Commission’s Open Enrollment for the pre-tax Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) and Dependent Care Assistance (DCAP) programs will end on May 1, 2019. Depending upon your tax bracket, you could save approximately $250 in taxes for every $1,000 that you contribute.

The State has a new plan administrator for HCSA and DCAP, Benefit Strategies. The Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) program enables all benefited employees to pay for qualified health care expenses on a pre-tax basis. Please see the GIC-FSA Handbook for details.

All new and current participants must enroll online:  Please complete the FSA enrollment e-form available at https://benstrat.navigatorsuite.com/. To create an account please follow the directions that are attached to this memo.

REMINDER:  The Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) Program and the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) are fiscal year plans (July 1, 2019- June 30, 2020). Effective July 1, 2019, the minimum election for HCSA is $250.00; the maximum will be increased to $2,700.00 or $96.15 weekly and the maximum DCAP election will be $5,000.00 or $192.30 biweekly.

Please read the FSA Handbook to ensure that you are aware of the IRS regulations, eligible expenses and filing claims.

Current FSA-ASIflex participants will receive detailed instructions via email for claims processing during the transition to the new vendor.  

Since we must adhere to GIC’s enrollment deadline (May 1, 2019), we strongly urge employees to review the available information 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.