About 1,500 faculty and staff members will pay more out of pocket for health care unless they act in the next 36 hours.
Benefits specialists are wrapping up a final blitz, contacting those who have not visited the online portal to fill out a tobacco attestation – a new requirement this year. Friday, April 9, is the final day to complete the attestation.
“On Friday, we will set up an enrollment central in Room 101 of the Administrative Services Building II, just as we did for Employee Appreciation Day,” said Yvette Griffin, director of the benefits section. “We’ll have laptops available and employees ready to help.”
Unless employees complete the online attestation that they and their covered dependents don’t use tobacco or that they are enrolled in an approved program to quit, they will see their benefits automatically reduced to the 70/30 level of benefits beginning July 1.
While about 96 percent of insured employees are currently enrolled at the 80/20 level of benefits, only about 70 percent had visited the online portal as of April 1, Griffin said.
Although benefits specialists have helped move 2,000 faculty and staff members to the 80/20 level in the last two weeks, they are concerned that many employees don’t understand what the changes will mean for them.
There are three basic reasons employees haven’t signed up 80/20 coverage, said Barbara Carroll, associate vice chancellor for human resources:
- They or their covered dependents use tobacco and aren’t in a cessation program so the 70/30 plan is their only available option.
- They have decided to default to the 70/30 plan because of the increasing cost of dependent coverage.
- They’re not paying attention – or they don’t fully understand – that action on their part is required for them to be covered at the 80/20 level as of July 1.
Benefits specialists and department liaisons are working to make sure employees don’t miss out on insurance coverage because of confusion.
Employees can stop by Administration Services II on Friday for help, contact their benefits consultant with questions or use instructions from the benefits office to complete the online form.