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Insurance Insights

New Contract with Superior Vision Includes Lower Rates and Enhanced Benefits

By state law, UT System Office of Employee Benefits is required to request competitive proposals for each insurance plan offered at least once every six years. This process ensures that vendors contracting with UT System offer plans and services that are competitive with the current marketplace and that UT System plan participants continue to receive the best possible benefits at the lowest possible overall cost. Following a recent Request for Proposals for the Fully Insured Vision Plan, Superior Vision Services, Inc. has been selected to continue providing vision care insurance for University of Texas System employees, retirees, and their dependents.

This means that the existing benefits and excellent service with which participating members are already familiar will continue seamlessly through the next several plan years. In addition, through the competitive bid process, the Office of Employee Benefits was able to lower the premium at every level of coverage while also enhancing the benefits being offered, resulting in significant added value for all vision plan participants.

Beginning September 1, 2009 at the start of the new contract, employees and retirees enrolled in the vision plan will see a decrease in their employee only / retiree only premium of approximately 7.6% percent. Monthly premium rates for all levels of coverage will decrease an average of 7.1%. Additionally, beginning in September, the Superior Vision plan coverage will include a contact lens fitting which previously was not a covered benefit of the plan for a $35-copay through an in-network provider.

All other benefits of the plan, such as a comprehensive eye exam by an in-network provider for a $35-copay and the $140 in-network frame allowance, will remain in place providing continued value for all UT System vision plan participants. Overall, the Office of Employee Benefits is extremely pleased with the results of the competitive bid process and very glad to be able to offer added value and savings to all vision plan participants, particularly given the current economic situation. Look for more details on the vision plan during the upcoming annual enrollment period!

Evidence of Insurability and Annual Enrollment

Evidence of Insurability (EOI) is the record of a person’s past and current health history. EOI is used by insurance companies to verify whether a person meets the definition of good health. During Annual Enrollment (July 1 – July 31, 2009), if you make an insurance election on U.T. Touch that requires EOI, you will be prompted to complete the insurance company’s EOI form via an online link.  All EOI forms must be electronically submitted (through U.T. Touch) or postmarked by August 15, 2009.

An EOI form is required to:

All EOI forms must be electronically submitted (through U.T. Touch) or postmarked by August 15, 2009.

Keep Your Beneficiary Designations Up to Date

The purpose of your life insurance coverage is to provide financial security for your family and loved ones after your death. However, if you have experienced a major life change such as a marriage, divorce or death of a loved one, your life insurance benefit may go to someone other than the person you thought would receive it.

Have you checked your beneficiary designation for your life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance plan recently? A beneficiary is the person who would receive the money from your life insurance in the event of your death. It is important to review and update your beneficiary designations regularly and especially following life changes to ensure your benefits are distributed according to your wishes.

If you need to update your beneficiary designations, complete the Change of Beneficiary form (Fort Dearborn Life) and return it to your institution’s benefits office.
If you have any questions about how to complete the Beneficiary Designation Form, please contact Fort Dearborn Life Insurance Company at (866) 628-2606.

In addition to updating your Life/AD&D beneficiary with UT, you may want to review your designated beneficiary on file with the Teacher Retirement System (TRS), or with your providers under the Optional Retirement Program (ORP), UTSaver Deferred Compensation Plan or UTSaver Tax Sheltered Annuity.

Contact Us

If you have a Benefits question, submit your question by replying to the “newsletter email” or by sending an email to benefits@utsystem.edu.

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