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Annual Enrollment News

Annual Enrollment for Benefits

Annual Enrollment for benefits for the 2009-2010 plan year begins on July 1, 2009, and lasts through July 31, 2009. Over the past several months, the OEB “A Matter of Health” newsletter has focused on benefits topics related to the selection of insurance vendors, exciting opportunities for wellness and lifestyle management programs, and new developments with the electronic Evidence of Insurability form. Annual Enrollment is also the time to remove any ineligible dependents from the program or request coverage for eligible dependents. This June 2009 edition of the newsletter is designed to give active employees, retirees, and qualified dependents detailed benefits information for the upcoming plan year.

Just like past years, watch for the arrival of emails (as well as printed materials if you do not have a valid email address on file) from the UT System Office of Employee Benefits (OEB) and from your own institution’s Benefits Office providing you with information related to Annual Enrolment, 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 “UT Benefits Handbook for Employees” and the “UT Benefits Handbook for Retired Employees” posted by July 1, 2009, on the OEB website at www.utsystem.edu/benefits .

Premium Rate Increase for UT SELECT PPO Medical Plan

The UT SELECT medical plan administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is self-funded by the UT System. As a self-funded plan, all claims are paid by UT System through premium sharing monies allocated by the State Legislature, UT System, and your monthly out-of-pocket cost (for dependent coverage). The claims experience during the current benefit year (2008-2009) indicates an upward trend of 10% in the cost of providing health care services to UT members. Due to the rate of increase in the claims experience trend, it is necessary to increase premium rates 6.5% for the upcoming 2009-2010 plan year which will result in an increase in out-of-pocket cost of approximately $10 each month for employee/retiree with spouse or children coverage and an increase of approximately $20 each month for employee/retiree with family coverage. Full-time employees with no dependent coverage will continue to have no out-of-pocket premium cost.  Retirees without dependents will also continue not to have any out-of-pocket premium costs.

If you are a Full-time Employee or Retired Employee, UT System and the State of Texas will continue to 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.

*Basic Coverage Package includes Employee/Retiree only medical coverage plus 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.

The following chart reflects the UT SELECT 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. The final column indicates the total out-of-pocket increase in your monthly premium effective September 1, 2009.

UT SELECT Medical: Full Time Employees

Level of Coverage
Total Monthly Premium Cost
Monthly Premium Sharing Paid by the State and U.T.
Your Monthly Out-of-Pocket Cost
Increase in Monthly Out-of- Pocket Cost
Employee/Retiree Only

$393.08

$393.08

$0.00

$0.00

Employee/Retiree & Spouse

$768.37

$599.14

$169.23

$10.37

Employee/Retiree & Child(ren)

$701.91

$524.91

$177.00

$10.85

Employee/Retiree & Family

$1,065.47

$732.19

$333.28

$20.43

The following chart reflects the UT SELECT 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. The final column indicates the total out-of-pocket increase in your monthly premium effective September 1, 2009.

UT SELECT Medical: Part-Time Employees

Level of Coverage
Total Monthly Premium Cost
Monthly Premium Sharing Paid by the State and U.T.
Your Monthly Out-of-Pocket Cost
Increase in Monthly Out-of- Pocket Cost
Part-time Employee

$393.08

$196.54

$196.54

$11.98

Part-time Employee & Spouse

$768.37

$299.57

$468.80

$28.67

Part-time Employee & Child(ren)

$701.91

$262.46

$439.45

$26.87

Part-time Employee & Family

$1,065.47

$366.10

$699.37

$42.80

*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.

UT SELECT Plan Changes

Medical Benefits–Office Visit Copayments
Office visit copayments will increase $5 effective September 1, 2009. The copay for a Family Care Physician office visit will increase to $30 (from $25), and the copay for a Specialist office visit will increase to $35 (from $30). There are no other medical benefit changes.

Prescription Benefits–Deductible and Copayments
The self-funded prescription drug benefit program is administered by Medco Health Solutions. Your prescription drug program features an annual deductible and three different benefit levels based on the drug category. Due to increased costs associated with prescription drug claims, the annual deductible will increase from $50 per individual per plan year to $100 per individual per plan year (the prescription deductible does not apply to the medical plan deductible). Additionally, while the copayments for generic drugs will remain the same for both retail and home delivery prescriptions, prescription drug copayments will increase for non-generic medications listed in the “preferred drug” category and the “non-preferred drug” category.

The following chart outlines the $5 retail copayment increase for preferred medications (to $35 from $30) and non-preferred drugs (to $50 from $45). The copayment for 90 days supply through home delivery for preferred medications will increase to $87.50 (from $75) and for non-preferred drugs will increase to $125 (from $112.50).

Annual Deductible $100 per person / per plan year (does not apply to the medical annual deductible)
Access Options Generic Drug Copayment Preferred Drug Copayment Non-Preferred Drug Copayment

Retail Network Pharmacy:
Up to a 30-day supply.
Refills allowed as prescribed.
(Good option for new prescriptions)

$10

$35

$50

Home Delivery Pharmacy:
Up to a 90-day supply.
Refills allowed as prescribed
(Best option for maintenance medication)

$20

$87.50

$125

UT SELECT Dental–Premium Rate Increase

The UT SELECT Dental plan administered by Delta Dental is self-funded by the UT System. With UT SELECT Dental, you may see network or out-of-network dentists and referrals are not required to see a specialist. If you see a Delta Dental network dentist, Delta Dental will pay the dentist directly.
 
Effective September 1, 2009, there will be a premium increase of approximately 6% to all coverage levels. The premium increase is necessary due to the overall increased utilization of the plan and will result in an increase in the monthly out of pocket premiums from a range of $1.70 for employee/retiree only coverage to $5.05 for employee/retiree and family coverage.

Disability Insurance–Premium Rate Decrease and Plan Enhancements

As outlined in the May 2009 “A Matter of Health” newsletter effective September 1, 2009, Short-Term Disability (STD) and Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance will be provided by Fort Dearborn Life Insurance company.

Highlighting the changes with the new  disability insurance plans are the ability of benefits eligible employees to enroll in STD and/or LTD without Evidence of Insurability, a reduction in the elimination period for STD to 14 days (from 30 days currently), and reduced rates for both STD and LTD.

Effective September 1, 2009, the STD premium rate will be $0.267 per $100 of monthly earnings to a maximum of $5,000 (a 48% reduction from $.51 per $100). LTD premium rates will be $0.397 per $100 of monthly earnings to a maximum of $20,042 (a 3% reduction from $.41 per $100).

For more information on Disability insurance, please see the May 2009 OEB newsletter at http://www.utsystem.edu/benefits/newsletter/articles/09may_ben.htm.

Vision Insurance–Premium Rate Decrease and Plan Enhancements

Superior Vision has been selected to provide vision benefits for UT System employees, retirees and eligible dependents for an additional six years (per the April 2009 OEB “A Matter of Health” newsletter http://www.utsystem.edu/benefits/newsletter/articles/09apr_ben.htm).

Effective September 1, 2009, the premium rates for employee only/retiree only coverage will decrease approximately 7.6%. Monthly premium rates for all levels of coverage will decrease an average of 7.1%. Reductions in monthly out of pocket costs will range from $0.56 for subscriber only coverage to $1.50 for subscriber and family coverage.

Additionally, beginning in September, the Superior Vision plan coverage will allow a member to receive both a comprehensive eye exam and a contact lens fitting exam in the same plan year. Each exam will be subject to a $35 copay through an in-network provider. All other benefits of the plan, such as the $140 in-network frame allowance, will remain in place providing continued value for all UT System vision plan participants.

No Changes in the Premium Rates or Benefits for Dental HMO, Group Term Life, AD&D

There will be no changes to the premium rates or plan benefits provided by or for Assurant Dental HMO, Group Term Life Insurance provided by Fort Dearborn Life, or for Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance provided by Fort Dearborn Life.

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

Long–Term Care Insurance Buy–Up Offer

Special Opportunity for current members of the UT Group Long-Term Care plan

Since 2001, the University of Texas System has offered Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance as a voluntary benefit. LTC insurance pays for the costs associated with care needs up to the benefit level selected. There are currently four different daily options available in the plan.

This summer there is great news for active employees who already participate in the LTC plan and have the standard inflation protection – the Guaranteed Benefit Increase Option (GBO). If you are enrolled in the GBO option, you will have an opportunity during this Annual Enrollment to increase your coverage to keep pace with the increasing costs of care due to inflation. The benefit increase is based on a 5% annually compounded basis. All currently insured, active employees and their spouses will be receiving a letter from CNA by the first week of July explaining the offer. The offer is guarantee issued, meaning there are no medical questions to complete. If you accept the offer, your premium will be adjusted only for the cost of the additional benefit being offered. If you would like to increase your coverage, just complete the Election Form that will be with the letter and mail it back to CNA in the envelope that will be provided. The new increased coverage will be effective September 1st.  If you decide not to increase your coverage, you can disregard the letter and your coverage will continue with no changes.

Retirees and their spouses, as well as any other participants (other than active employees and their spouses) who have GBO will also be receiving a letter from CNA with an offer to increase coverage. Those who were not in the plan when the last buy-up offer was made in 2005, as well as those who accepted that last offer, will also get this new offer on a guarantee issue basis. Those plan participants (other than active employees and their spouses) who declined the offer last time will need to complete a short form application and be approved for coverage as the offer will not be guaranteed. The short form application will be included with your offer letter.

This offer does not apply to those who have the optional inflation protection – The Automatic Benefit Increase (ABI). Coverage with ABI automatically increases each year by 5% automatically. Those who chose ABI will not be getting a special notice as there is nothing for them to do. The ABI benefit is already increasing to keep up with inflation.

So, if you have coverage with the GBO, watch for this offer in your mailbox. If you do not currently have this important coverage at all, please consider it during this Annual Enrollment period.

UT FLEX: Your 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 2009-2010 during July 2009 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. If you currently use the PayFlex Debit Card this plan year for your Medical Expense Reimbursement Account, your debit Card will continue for the 2009-2010 plan year unless you specifically cancel your selection during this Annual Enrollment. If your PayFlex Debit Card has an expiration date of 08/09, you will receive a new card prior to 9/1/09. If your Debit Card has an expiration date of 08/10 or later, you will continue to use this card during the 2009-2010 plan year.

Important: After you make your UT FLEX election(s) in the online My UT Benefits (formerly 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 9/1/09. If you receive your paycheck monthly, then the first UT FLEX withholding for plan year 2009–2010 will be reflected on your 10/1/09 paycheck. If you discover a mistake (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 2009, UT System will not approve the change.

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

FLEX Update–IRS Notice Affecting Debit Card Purchases

Beginning in December of 2008, the Office of Employee Benefits and PayFlex Systems USA, Inc. sent a communication to debit card holders informing card users of IRS Notice 2008-104 regarding drug store and pharmacy merchant category codes. The requirements affecting certain categories of vendors have been phased-in since the enactment date. Please note, effective July 1, 2009, drug stores and pharmacies are required to either have implemented an IRS-approved inventory information approval system (IIAS) or satisfy the IRS' 90% rule, which states that 90% of the store's income consists of eligible healthcare expenses, in order for healthcare cards such as the PayFlex Card to continue to be accepted.

For plan participants, this means that the PayFlex Card might not be accepted at a drug store or pharmacy that had accepted the PayFlex Card prior to July 1, 2009, if the store has not met the IRS' requirements stated above. Please note that the decision to comply with the IRS' requirements is made by the individual drug store or pharmacy.

For additional information on IRS rules specifying where debit cards can be used as well as to view a listing of drug stores and pharmacies that will continue to accept the PayFlex Card, visit http://www.payflex.com/forms/announce/IRS_Changes_Affecting_Your_PayFlex_Card.pdf.

Reminder:

UT SELECT Medical Paperless Explanation of Benefits

Since September 1, 2008, your Blue Cross and Blue Shield Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) are being delivered electronically (paperless) through the Blue Access for Members (BAM) website, unless you specifically request your EOB's to be mailed to your residential address.

Receiving EOB’s electronically ensures that benefit information is available when and where it is needed. Electronic EOB’s also reduce administrative costs and demonstrate environmental awareness by reducing paper usage. With electronic EOB’s, you can choose to receive an e-mail notification to the e-mail address designated by you whenever one of your claims is processed. You may then log into BAM to see the EOB, review 18 months of EOB history, see at-a-glance claim status and print copies for your records, if needed.

You must be registered for BAM to view your electronic EOB’s. To register, have your Blue Cross and Blue Shield/UT SELECT ID card handy and go to the website, www.bcbstx.com/ut. Click on the Log In link under Blue Access for Members; then select the Register Now button under the link for New User. If you have any questions about this change to paperless EOB’s or how to enroll in BAM, call Blue Cross Blue Shield Customer Service at 1-866-882-2034.

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