October is here, which means the Benefits Open Enrollment period (October 1-31, 2019) has officially begun for benefits-eligible employees. Make sure you enroll in the best benefits plans to fit the needs of you and your family for the 2020 plan year (Jan.–Dec.). Use the following checklist to help guide you through Open Enrollment and be sure to make your selections now through October 31, 2019.
1. Double Check Your Benefits Needs
During Open Enrollment, you may enroll in, change, or cancel coverage for the following benefits:
- Flexible spending accounts (health and/or dependent care)
- Life insurance
- Some voluntary benefits, like vision, legal or critical-illness insurance
Make sure you review the Open Enrollment guides carefully and choose the best benefits plans for your family. Remember, you also have access to various voluntary benefits, like vision insurance. Find the Open Enrollment guides on the HR website.
Need help deciding which health plan is right for you? Try asking ALEX, the virtual benefits counselor. This tool is designed for MSU employees and allows you to enter your personal family needs and info (completely confidential) and then provides you with an easy-to-understand summary of your best benefits options. Find links to the ALEX tool on the HR website.
2. Do you cover a spouse/other eligible individual (OEI) on your benefits? Complete the Affidavit.
If you have a spouse/Other Eligible Individual (OEI) that you cover on your benefits plan, you MUST complete the affidavit online through the EBS Portal every year. Find instructions for completing the affidavit as part of Open Enrollment here.
3. Review the Changes for Next Year’s Plans
Changes for the 2020 plan year:
- Increase to the premium threshold for spousal affidavit: If your spouse/OEI has access to health care coverage through their own current or former employer, they must purchase the coverage their own employer offers if the annual employee premium cost for single-person coverage is $1,400 or less. You may still cover your spouse/OEI on your MSU health coverage as a secondary plan.
- Aetna DMO co-pay changes for dental: Support staff employees should note that some Aetna DMO co-pays, including orthodontics, have increased to ensure employees eligible for the plan continue to receive the full MSU contribution to the monthly premium rate. Co-pays have not changed for the Aetna Premium DMO plan. Find co-pays by plan in the Support Staff Open Enrollment Guide.
4. Make Your Changes Online Before the October 31 Deadline
If you want to make changes to your benefits selections – or you cover a spouse or Other Eligible Individual (OEI) on your benefits plan – you must do so during the Open Enrollment window: October 1 – 31, 2019. If you don’t make the deadline, you won’t be able to make any changes to your benefits unless you experience a qualifying life-changing event (like a marriage, divorce, birth, etc.). NOTE: instructions for completing Open Enrollment this year have changed. Find instructions for completing Open Enrollment here.
5. Come Visit Us for In-Person Assistance
We want you to feel confident that you’re making the best choices for you and your family. Consider attending one of the in-person site labs this October to talk to a Human Resources (HR) representative, understand your benefits options and even enroll in your benefits on-site.
- HR Site Labs – HR staff are available to answer your benefits questions and help you enroll on-site! Visit us between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 22, 28, and/or 31 at the Nisbet Building, Room 125. Find parking info on the HR website.
We hope this checklist is helpful! Remember, everything you need to know about Open Enrollment is available on the HR website Open Enrollment page, including links to the appropriate benefits guide, ALEX virtual benefits counselor, and detailed benefits information.
Questions? We’re happy to help! Call or email the HR Solutions Center at 517-353-4434 or SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu.