As always, enrollment in the dental assistance plan is automatic once an employee has one year of service with the University. The new enhanced dental plan also requires one year of service.
Enrollment in the new plan is not automatic. Staff members must select this plan during open enrollment using the Benefits Enrollment Line. Staff members who have not completed one year of service on or before Jan. 1, 1995, will not be eligible this year, but can enroll during the fall 1995 open enrollment period.
Enrollment in the enhanced dental plan requires a two-year commitment. Staff members who enroll for the 1995 year cannot drop coverage until Jan. 1, 1997. Members can add new dependents within 30 days after they become eligible, but dependents can only be dropped if they become ineligible for coverage.
The enhanced dental plan provides coverage through a preferred provider organization (PPO) offered by United of Omaha. A PPO is a network of dentists who reduce their fees for University staff members. Staff members can go outside this network for service, but their benefits will be much less than if they use a network dentist. A provider directory will be enclosed in the open enrollment packet.
The enhanced dental plan covers a range of services. In-network preventive care is covered in full. In-network restorative, major (prosthodontic) and orthodontic services are covered with a small deductible and co-payment.
Employees make no contributions (payroll deductions) for coverage under the current dental assistance plan. While the plan offers full coverage for preventive care, it often covers less than one-third of the total charges for other care.
The new enhanced dental plan offers higher benefits, so it requires a monthly premium from the non-bargained-for staff member. The University will contribute the same amount toward either dental plan. In the case of the enhanced plan, the staff member will pay the difference. The premium is deducted from a staff members paycheck on a pre-tax basis only.
Staff members should watch their mailbox in October for the open enrollment package from the Benefits Office. It contains information on the dental plans and directions on how to use the Benefits Enrollment Line.
Retirees and bargained-for staff are not eligible for this plan.
The example above compares the current dental assistance plan with the new enhanced dental plan for an average range of dental care.