New Online System Arrives in Time for Annual Open Enrollment Period

October 28, 2010 — Just in time for the annual open enrollment period, which opens Monday, the University of Virginia is rolling out a new system that will enable employees to make their changes online.

With Benefits@UVa, employees can review their benefits profile; if they want to make certain changes during the Nov. 1-19 open enrollment period, they must do so via the website. Paper forms will no longer be accepted. Employees will receive new plan information and an open enrollment reminder in the next few days.

Medical Center Employees will use Employee Self Service to make changes during open enrollment, accessible from the KnowledgeLink Login page.

2011 Monthly Rates Low Premium Plan
(no increase)
5% increase
   Employee  Employer
Single $12 $396
Employee+child $47 $710
Employee+spouse $54    $712
Family $116 $1,043
Double-state $80  $1,079

Human Resources will make presentations at schools, departments and offices at their request. A benefits fair being held Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Newcomb Hall will also include presentations describing the plan changes. Medical Center employees should attend the Medical Center Benefits Fair on Friday, Nov. 12 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Medical Center cafeteria.

U.Va.'s Health Plan for 2011 includes several changes, which will become effective Jan. 1: New third-party administrators, Aetna for medical and Catalyst Rx for pharmacy, and a 3 percent premium increase for the high-premium plan. Premiums in the low-premium plan will remain the same.

During open enrollment, employees can make changes to their health insurance and flexible spending accounts. Employees in the Optional Retirement Plan have the opportunity to add life insurance. Paper forms will no longer be accepted.

Employees will remain in the plan in which they are now enrolled unless they decide to switch.

The U.Va. Health Plan offers employees two options. In the high-premium program, employees pay a larger monthly premium in exchange for lower out-of-pocket expenses when services are used; in the low-premium plan, employees save on premiums, but pay more at the point of service.

2011 Monthly Rates High Premium Plan
(3 percent increase)
5% increase
  Employee Employer
Single  $49 $396
Employee+child $171  $710
Employee+spouse $199 $712
Family $382  $1,043
Double-state $346     $1,079

Like last year, the University will again hold the line on rates in the low-premium plan in 2011, while those in the high-premium plan will see rate increases of between $2 and $12 per month. The University will cover 81 percent of the premiums, absorbing a 5 percent increase in its share, Susan Carkeek, vice president and chief human resources officer, told the U.Va. Board of Visitors last month.

Federal health care reform legislation is mandating other changes, also effective Jan. 1. Dependent coverage will be extended from age 23 to 26; the $2 million cap on lifetime benefits will be removed; and employees will no longer need prior authorization for mental health services.

Beginning Monday, when employees click on the Benefits@UVa tab in the upper right-hand corner of the Human Resources website, an icon for open enrollment will be visible (an image of a "sticky note"). The "sticky note" links to additional information about the changes that may result from the move to the new health insurance administrators, including a question-and-answer section.

Some benefits changes are not subject to the open enrollment process and can be made at any time.
Using Benefits@UVa, employees can change or enroll in tax-deferred savings programs and the University's cash-match program. Employees enrolled in the Virginia Retirement System who want to open or change a 457 account will still use paper forms.

Employees who participate in a tax-deferred savings program may contribute some or all of December's 3 percent bonus to the plan in order to defer state and federal income taxes on the bonus. Directions can be found at a link in Carkeek's recent benefits letter.