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Insurance Insights

Annual Enrollment for Benefits

Annual enrollment for benefits for the 2008–2009 plan year begins on July 1, 2008, and lasts through July 31, 2008. During May, June and July you will receive emails and printed materials (if you do not have a valid email address on file) from the Office of Employee Benefits (OEB) and from your own institution’s benefits office providing you with information related to Annual Enrollment, Benefits Fairs, possible Lunch and Learn opportunities, and more. Additionally, specific details regarding each of the UT-sponsored benefits plans will be available for review in the "Group Benefits Handbook for Employees" and the "Group Benefits Handbook for Retired Employees" posted on the OEB website by July 1, 2008.

Premium Rates for UT SELECT PPO Medical Plan

The UT SELECT medical plan administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is self-funded by the UT System. Even though the claims experience during the current benefit year (2007–2008) indicates an upward trend of 8% in the cost of providing health care services to UT members, there will be no increase in premium rates for the UT SELECT medical plan for year 2008–2009. The difference between the actual claims experience and the no increase in premium rates is made possible by UT System supplementing the monies allocated by the State Legislature from a limited UT System reserve fund. Please review the table below to understand how the UT SELECT monthly premium is divided between the employer contribution from the State of Texas, UT System and your out-of-pocket cost.

If you are a Full-Time Employee or Retired Employees, UT System and the State of Texas will provide 100% of your premiums for the Basic Coverage Package, and up to 50% of the premiums for your dependents' medical coverage. If you are a Part-Time Employee, UT System and the State of Texas will provide 50% of your premiums for the Basic Coverage Package, and up to 25% of the premiums for your dependents' medical coverage.

The following chart reflects the Monthly Premium Cost for a Full-time Employee and/or a Retired Employee.* Monthly Premium Cost = Premium Sharing from the State of Texas and UT System, plus Your Monthly Out-of-Pocket Cost.

Levels of Coverage Total Monthly Premium Cost Monthly Premium Sharing Paid by the State and U.T. Your Monthly Out-of-Pocket Cost
UT SELECT: Employee/Retiree Only $369.12 $369.12 $0.00
UT SELECT: Employee/Retiree & Spouse $721.40 $562.54 $158.86
UT SELECT: Employee/Retiree & Child(ren) $659.02 $492.87 $166.15
UT SELECT: Employee/Retiree & Family $1,000.29 $687.44 $312.85

The following chart reflects the Monthly Premium Cost for a Part-time Employee.* Monthly Premium Cost = Premium Sharing from the State of Texas and UT System, plus Your Monthly Out-of-Pocket Cost.

Levels of Coverage Total Monthly Premium Cost Monthly Premium Sharing Paid by the State and U.T. Your Monthly Out-of-Pocket Cost
UT SELECT: Part-time Employee $369.12 $184.56 $184.56
UT SELECT: Part-time Employee & Spouse $721.40 $281.27 $440.13
UT SELECT: Part-time Employee & Child(ren) $659.02 $246.44 $412.58
UT SELECT: Part-time Employee & Family $1,000.29 $343.72 $656.57

*This rate chart includes the cost of Basic Life Insurance of $10,000 and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) of $10,000 for Employees, or Basic Life Insurance of $3,000 for Retirees.

Wellness Benefits

Over the past year, UT System, the Office of Employee Benefits, and representatives from each institution have continued the enhancement and development of UT System Worksite Health and Wellness Initiatives through its wellness banner, “Living Well: Make it a Priority.”

The growing suite of wellness programs and tools (available at this time) includes

In addition, the rate of participation continues to increase for System-wide physical activity challenges such as Texas Round Up and America on the Move (beginning on May 28, 2008), and attendance is growing at institution Worksite Health and Wellness Fairs. The increase in attendance and participation demonstrates employee commitment to wellness and shows utilization of UT System programs and resources.

Over the coming year, OEB will continue to review its ability to enhance the wellness benefits currently offered under the program. Once a determination has been made, members will be notified immediately.

The plan’s responsibility is to provide the tools and resources for members to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. The Wellness Program has many robust features to help achieve that goal. All the programs listed above and more can be found at www.utsystem.edu/benefits/health/.

No Changes in Benefits Plans or Rates

There will be no changes to the plan design or copayment structure for the medical plan and prescription drug program under UT SELECT . Also, the benefit plan design and rates for optional benefits UT SELECT Dental, Assurant Dental DMO, Superior Vision, Group Term Life Insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Short Term and Long Term Disability, and Long Term Care will remain the same for plan year 2008–2009.

Detailed information regarding each of the benefit plans can be viewed on the OEB website at http://www.utsystem.edu/benefits/.

UT FLEX: You MUST Enroll During Annual Enrollment

Don’t forget you must make your UT FLEX elections (for both Medical and Dependent Day Care) for Plan Year 2008–2009 during this Annual Enrollment, even if you are currently enrolled in one of the UT FLEX elections. Your election(s) in this current plan year will not automatically carry forward to the next plan year.

A PayFlex Debit Card can be obtained at an annual cost of $9 to expedite reimbursements for the Medical Expense Reimbursement Account. This election must be made each year during Annual Enrollment, also.

Important: After you make your UT FLEX election(s) in U.T. Touch, be sure to verify both your election(s) and the amount(s) to be withheld. In compliance with the IRS Code, corrections will not be allowed after 31 days following receipt of your first paycheck that reflects this withholding. Annual Enrollment elections will become effective 9/1/08. If you receive your paycheck monthly, then the first UT FLEX withholding for plan year 2008–2009 will be reflected on your 10/1/08 paycheck. If you do not discover and mistakes (e.g., you intended to elect the Dependent Day Care Reimbursement Account but mistakenly elected the Medical Expense Reimbursement Account) and fail to report the error to your Benefits Office by the end of October 2008, UT System will not approve the change.

For more information about the UT FLEX accounts, visit www.utflex.com.

Annual Enrollment Reminders!

Contact Us

If you would like a specific topic discussed or have a question you would like answered in a future issue of this newsletter, please send your suggestions to benefits@utsystem.edu.

UT System Employee Benefits Website: www.utsystem.edu/benefits/
UT System Retirement Programs Website: www.utretirement.utsystem.edu
Your Local Benefits Office: www.utsystem.edu/benefits/contacts.asp#1