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Learn About the 2016 Health and Life Insurance Changes

This year, Annual Enrollment for your health and life insurance benefits coincides with Retirement Choice. Between October 14 and November 11, you will need to make decisions about all of your 2016 benefits—health, life and retirement. It’s important that you focus, first, on the retirement changes. That’s why we’ve kept our Annual Enrollment changes to a minimum this year. Here’s a quick summary.

  • This year, rates for medical insurance will increase an average of 9% to reflect rising health care costs sustained by the university. We continue to price our plans based on salary bands—so those who are paid less have lower premiums.
  • If you wish to decline university medical coverage, you are still eligible for a medical waiver credit of $800 annually, if your salary is $40,000 or less and $500 annually, if your salary is more than $40,000.
  • There are no changes to plan deductibles, copays or coinsurance; these remain in line with benchmarks.
  • There are some minor changes to the Medical Plan as a result of new Affordable Care Act provisions. We’ll summarize them here, and more information is available at
    • New preventive screenings have been added for certain at-risk children and adults, and
    • If you are enrolled with Carefirst BlueCross BlueShield, you or your provider can request a pre-authorization for certain services, so you will know whether it is covered and the amount of your financial obligation.
  • For the short-term disability plan, we’ve removed the pre-existing condition limitation. You can enroll in the plan after seeing a doctor for a medical condition, and you will not be denied coverage.
  • As a reminder, the flexible spending account limit has increased to $2,550 annually, and up to $500 of unused Health Care FSA funds will be rolled over into the next plan year.

Even if you’re not planning to make changes to your benefits this year, you should learn more about the 2016 changes and how they will impact you by going to

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