Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, August 16, 2010

Open Enrollment for 2011 benefits set for Oct. 25-Nov. 5

Open Enrollment is the annual opportunity for faculty and staff to review their benefit choices and make sure they continue to meet individual needs. Employees can change their benefit elections for 2011 during the Oct. 25-Nov. 5 enrollment period with the changes taking effect Jan. 1.


At a glance

Open Enrollment dates
Late September: Open Enrollment information will be available on the
Benefits Office website.
Oct. 25-Nov. 5: Open Enrollment period. All elections must be submitted by 5 p.m. Nov. 5.
Jan. 1: New rates and plan changes take effect.

• Plan information:
• To ask a question or view answers to frequently asked questions about benefits:
• Call the HR/Payroll Service Center: 5-2000 from the U-M Ann Arbor campus, 734-615-2000 (local) or 866-647-7657 (toll free), from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Have UMID number ready when calling.

Here’s what’s new for 2011:

Reduced printing and mailing costs
This year the Benefits Office will not mail Open Enrollment information to employees. Instead, all Open Enrollment details will be available on the Open Enrollment section of the Benefits Office website, including a video that can be viewed from any computer. This information will be available in September and will include a downloadable Open Enrollment booklet, which will contain the medical insurance plan coverage comparison chart.

Health coverage available for children to age 26
The Affordable Care Act, which is part of U.S. health care reform legislation, allows young adults to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan up to the age of 26 if they are not eligible for their own coverage through their employer. The law removes all previous and current eligibility requirements for coverage.

Effective Jan. 1, employees and retirees can add their children or step-children, or the children of their other qualified adult to their health benefits, even if they are:

• Not enrolled in school
• Married
• Not financially dependent on or reside with their parents.

Employees and retirees can add eligible children younger than 26 to their benefits coverage during Open Enrollment, or by completing and submitting a separate enrollment form by Dec. 3.

Annual eye examinations added to coverage
Annual eye examinations will be covered by the BCBSM Community Blue PPO, Comprehensive Major Medical and Priority Health medical plans. U-M Premier Care and Health Alliance Plan currently provide this coverage.

Hearing aids added to coverage
Hearing aid coverage will be added to the Comprehensive Major Medical, Health Alliance Plan and Priority Health plans. U-M Premier Care, GradCare and the BCBSM Community Blue PPO plans currently provide this coverage.

Co-pay increase for Tier 3 non-preferred drugs
The co-pay for non-preferred brand prescription drugs (Tier 3) will increase from $30 to $35. Co-pay amount for generic medications remains $5.

Early notice: Priority Health Plan will be eliminated in 2012
The Priority Health plan will remain in effect for 2011 but will be eliminated from the U-M spectrum of medical plans effective Jan. 1, 2012. Current plan members may remain in the plan through 2011 and may add eligible dependents to their coverage; however retirees and employees may not newly elect Priority Health for 2011.

Before switching to any medical plan, the Benefits Office strongly recommends checking the plan’s current provider directory to ensure that preferred health care provider are in the plan’s network. Contact information and links to online provider directories are available on the Benefits Office website,

New Flexible Spending Account plan administrator
PayFlex Systems USA Inc., a leading nationwide provider of administration for employee benefit programs, will be the new administrator of the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).

Flexible Spending Account changes
New legislation will affect Health Care FSAs starting in 2011. Eligible employees should keep these changes in mind when deciding the amount to contribute to a Health Care FSA.

Over-the-counter drugs and medicines
Beginning on Jan. 1 certain over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, such as allergy medication, digestive aids, and cough, cold and flu medications, will require a prescription to be considered for reimbursement from an FSA.

Health Care FSA debit cards
Health care debit cards cannot be used to purchase OTC drugs and medicines — even with a prescription — after Dec. 31. FSA participants can pay for these items and submit a claim for reimbursement.