To: Benefit Eligible Faculty and Staff
From: Barbara Jean Conneely, Benefits Manager for Human Resources
Re: Employee Benefits Announcements – Group Insurance Commission Annual Enrollment and Flexible Spending Open Enrollment
Date: April 5, 2017
I. GIC Health and Basic Life Insurance Annual Enrollment is April 5, 2017 to May 3, 2017 (Plan effective July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018)
This year’s Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) Annual Enrollment period begins on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 and ends on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Any enrollment or change made during this period will be effective July 1, 2017. 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, 2017 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: mass.gov/gic
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 to Human Resources before May 3, 2017.
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 2017-2018 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 Closed to New Members: Effective July 1, 2017 the Harvard Pilgrim Independence Plan, Tufts Health Plan Navigator and Fallon Health Select Care plans will be closed to new members. Existing members may stay in the plan (no action required).
Health Plan Deductibles: Effective July 1, 2017, deductibles will increase to $500 per member and $1,000 per family (regardless of family size). For the Fallon Direct and Select plans the deductibles will increase to $550 per individual and $1,100 per family.
New prescription drug deductible: All health plans, except for Fallon Health Direct Care and Fallon Health Select Care, will have a new annual prescription drug deductible of $100 per individual and $200 per family starting July 1, 2017.
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 (2018-2019) 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, 2017 through June 30, 2017, who have comparable non-state coverage that meets minimal essential coverage 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.
II. Flexible Spending Account Open Enrollment: April 5, 2017 - May 3, 2017
(Program Effective July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018)
You must re-enroll to participate in these programs for the year beginning July 1, 2017, even if you currently participate.
To re-enroll: Please sign into your ASIflex account at http://www.asiflex.com/gic/, print your confirmation and return it to Human Resources before May 3, 2017. Please Note: If we do not receive a copy of your on-line confirmation by May 3, 2017, you will not be enrolled.
REMINDER: The Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) Program and the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) have changed from a calendar year to a fiscal year plan (July 1, 2017- June 30, 2018). Effective July 1, 2017, the minimum election for HCSA will be $250.00; the maximum will be $2,600.00. 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 3, 2017.
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. at the following dates and locations:
Monday, April 10th Campus Center, 2nd floor Catwalk
Wednesday, April 19th McCormack Building, 2nd floor Terrace
Thursday, April 27th University Hall, 2nd floor Terrace
Tuesday, May 2nd Science Building, 2nd floor Terrace
Please visit the GIC’s website at mass.gov/gic or the UMass Boston Human Resources website at https://hr.umb.edu/enrollment for further information. GIC also has an annual enrollment video which is available by logging on to http://www.mass.gov/anf/employee-insurance-and-retirement-benefits/benefit-enrollment/annual-enrollment-video.html
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 page 30 in the Benefit Decision Guide and on the GIC website: mass.gov/gic.
Since we must adhere to GIC’s enrollment deadline (May 3, 2017), 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.