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K-State Today

September 15, 2014

Health insurance changes, open enrollment

Submitted by Stephanie Harvey

Division of Human Capital Staff has just received the first official information for Health Insurance Open Enrollment Oct. 1-31.

The division will host in-depth health insurance information sessions at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 2 in Forum Hall as part of the annual Benefits Expo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the K-State Union Ballroom.

Complete information on the expo will arrive in campus mailboxes next week. Additionally, in-depth information on procedures, choices, plan changes and all things open enrollment, will be mailed to campus addresses before Oct. 1. Some of these documents, such as rate charts and plan matrices, have not been finalized for publication by the State Employee Health Plan.

As a reminder, the State Employee Health Plan sent every employee a postcard months ago indicating that no printed copies of the enrollment booklet will be mailed unless the employee opted to receive one by emailing the state their choice. All documents will be online in an easy-to-read format.

Below is a list of changes to consider as you prepare for open enrollment.

1. The first big change is the elimination of premium costs according to an employee's salary, or salary tiers. For plan year 2015, the premium will be based on coverage type — employee only, employee and family, etc. Premium changes for next year are small. Rate charts will be available by the end of September for October open enrollment.

2. Elimination of Plan B: Another change is the elimination of Plan B, leaving Plans A and C available. Plans A and B were identical in coverage, differing only in co-insurance and co-pays. Statewide, Plan B enrollment declined significantly with the increased participation in Plan C. Currently less than 5 percent of covered K-Staters are enrolled in Plan B; 20 percent of K-Staters in the health insurance plan are enrolled in Plan C.

The elimination of Plan B provides those who are currently enrolled in Plan B two choices: 1) Choose Plan A or C during open enrollment along with your health insurance provider, or 2) Default to Plan C. See more in No. 3.

Note: Plans A and B are traditional health plans with co-pays and co-insurance. Plan C is a high-deductible health plan paired with a health savings account. For those contemplating a switch to Plan C, specific information on the differences will be provided in a special session in early October.

3. Changes to health care providers: For plan year 2015, only Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Aetna — who bought Coventry — will provide coverage for the state's health plan. During open enrollment, you have the option to choose Blue Cross/Blue Shield or Aetna. If you had Coventry or United Healthcare and do not choose a new provider during open enrollment, your provider will default to Aetna.

4. Addition of a health reimbursement account to Plan C: An health reimbursement account was added to Plan C for those who had been ineligible for Plan C because they were enrolled in Medicare A or use Veterans Services or Tri-Care for life. Other provisions of Plan C are the same with the exception of a slight increase in deductible.

5. Employees wanting to add a spouse or dependent to their health plan will upload supporting documentation — marriage and/or and birth certificate as appropriate — directly through the Health Insurance Portal, or MAP, instead of the previous practice of sending copies to Division of Human Resources.

Other enhancements to the health plan include two new services, RX Savings Solutions and Castlight Services, and a new dollar rollover feature for medical flexible spending accounts.

Benefits staff as well as representatives from all health insurance providers and auxiliary services will be available at the Oct. 2 Benefits Expo in the K-State Union.