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What You Need to Know About What’s Changing for 2013

Earlier this month, we announced the 2013 benefit changes. These changes are expected to slow the university’s rate of benefits expense growth, while maintaining a competitive benefits program.

Here’s a quick summary of the changes:

  1. Salary-based medical plan premiums are being introduced for the CareFirst BCBS and EHP Plans. There will be six salary tiers for 2013. What you pay out of your paycheck for medical coverage will depend on which tier you fall into.
  2. Your share of medical plan premium costs is increasing from 22% to 25% (on average) over time. Premium costs are being compared to our peer institutions and will continue to rise over time.
  3. Your dependents are eligible for coverage up to the end of the year in which they turn age 26, regardless of additional coverage availability.
  4. Benefit dollars are being retired. You will still receive a medical waiver credit if you decline medical coverage through the university. Your medial waiver credit will depend on your salary tier you fall into.
  5. Deductibles and out-of-pocket limits are increasing for non-preventive care. The deductible is the amount you pay out of your pocket before cost-sharing begins. The out-of-pocket limit is the amount you need to spend before the plan begins to pay 100% of the cost.
  6. Copayments for the Kaiser Permanente plan are increasing.
  7. A new coverage level, “Adult and Child(ren),” is being introduced for the CareFirst BCBS and EHP plans to make it easier for single parents to afford coverage. This level replaces “parent and child” coverage level and increases the number of dependents that may be covered.
  8. Copayments for prescription drugs are increasing in all plans. However, you can save money by using mail order instead of a retail pharmacy and choosing generic prescriptions.
  9. Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) will be capped at $2,500. Due to Health Care Reform legislation, you will not be able to contribute any more than $2,500 to a health care flexible spending account annually. The maximum for the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account is still $5,000 annually. Keep reading to find out whether an FSA is right for you.
  10. Two new voluntary benefits, Critical Illness Insurance and Accident Insurance, are being introduced. Read on to learn more about these added benefits.

Even if you’re not planning to make changes to your benefits this year, you should consult the Decision Guide and explore the benefits website to learn more about the 2013 changes and how they will impact you beginning January 1, 2013.

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