Employees: Details on health insurance co-pay, benefit enrollment period

October 4, 2011

The annual benefit enrollment and change period for employees to enroll in or change their benefit plans started Oct. 3 and will run through Oct. 28.

This year, the enrollment period is a true “open enrollment” for health insurance, in that employees who are not already enrolled will be able to do so during benefit enrollment for coverage effective on Jan. 1. 

Recent state legislation has brought some significant changes to the coverage levels that employees receive through our health insurance program. Perhaps most importantly, beginning on Jan. 1, all health plans offered to UW employees will now require a 10 percent co-insurance payment from members for nonpreventive medical services, subject to an annual out-of-pocket maximum (OOPM) of $500 for a single subscriber or $1,000 for a family (for the standard plan the OOPM is $800 for a single subscriber or $1,600 for a family). The exception to this are federally specified routine preventive services (including immunizations), which are paid at 100 percent. The list of federally required preventive services is available here.

What does this mean? In the past, employees have typically not received a bill when they receive health services. Now they will. Because of this, the importance of Employee Reimbursement Accounts (ERAs) has increased significantly. Enrolling in an ERA allows you to contribute tax-free money to pay for you or your family’s out-of-pocket medical expenses — up to $7,500 annually. Questions about the out-of-pocket expense associated with any particular medical service or procedure should be directed to your health plan.

There are also enrollment opportunities for Dental Wisconsin, EPIC Benefits+, VSP and UW Employees Inc. Employees enrolled in the Individual and Family Life insurance program will have their annual increase option during the enrollment period.

UW–Madison employees will have several opportunities to learn more about enrolling for benefits or changing their existing benefits plans. On Tuesday, Oct. 11, the annual Benefits Fair will take place from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. at the Memorial Union. There will be more than 50 benefits vendors and campus resources represented; no registration is required, and you can come and go as you please. In addition, UW–Madison Employee Services will be providing one-on-one walk-in benefits enrollment question-and-answer sessions at various locations around campus. The schedule and location of these sessions follows:

  • Thursday, Oct. 13, 1–3 p.m., Memorial Union
  • Friday, Oct. 14, 9 a.m.–noon, Grainger Hall
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18, 1–3 p.m., Medical Foundation Centennial Building
  • Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2:30–5 p.m., 21 N. Park St., Rooms 5130 and 5134
  • Thursday, Oct. 20, 1–3 p.m., Union South
  • Friday, Oct. 21, 7:30–9:30 a.m., 21 N. Park St, Room 5136
  • Monday, Oct. 24, 8–11 a.m., Bascom Hall, Room 67
  • Wednesday, Oct. 26, 10 p.m.–midnight, Vet Medicine

More information, including premium information and benefits plan applications, can be found on the Benefit Enrollment page of the UW Service Center website: http://www.uwservice.wisc.edu/2012/. In addition, questions regarding benefits can be addressed to benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.

Benefits applications should be turned into the employee’s departmental office or to the central campus benefits office (21 N. Park St., Suite 5101) by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28.