Your Benefits: New Year Checklist

For benefit-eligible employees, the start of a new year is a great time to review all the benefit options available to make sure you’re fully utilizing them throughout the year. The following list of tips and resources to consider will help you get the most out of your employee benefits:

  1. Schedule Wellness Check-ups: if you’re enrolled in an MSU health, dental, and/or vision plan, you’ve just entered a new plan year. Even though an annual check-up is usually recommended by doctors, many people miss out each year because they forget to schedule an appointment. Set your family up for success by scheduling any annual or wellness check-ups now.
  2. Prepare for Illness: Teladoc is an online medical care service that gives you 24/7 access to a health care professional via web, phone, or mobile app in minutes. A doctor can even write you a prescription if necessary. Enroll in Teladoc now so you’re prepared when illness strikes. Available to employees and their dependents that are enrolled in an MSU health plan.
  3. Review Retirement Contributions: the IRS sets new retirement contribution limits each year. Make sure you’re saving as much as you can by reviewing the 2023 IRS retirement contribution limits and make adjustments if needed.
  4. Note Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Deadlines: if you’re enrolled in an FSA for the 2022 and/or 2023 plan year, please note important deadlines and resources for utilizing your FSA funds.
  5. Use Educational Assistance Funds: support staff and academic specialist employees have access to educational assistance funds to use towards professional development opportunities. These funds reset each fall, so make sure you don’t miss out. If you’re looking for learning opportunities, we recommend checking out courses offered by HR’s Organization and Professional Development department.
  6. Note Mental Health Resources: the MSU community offers a variety of mental health resources to employees and their dependents.
  7. Save Caregiver Resources: the MSU WorkLife Office has an extensive list of resources for caregivers. Bookmark this page so you’re prepared when you need it.
  8. Schedule Vacation/Personal PTO: taking time to rest and reset is important to maintain mental health. Make sure you’re using all your PTO by planning out and scheduling your time off in advance.
  9. Employee Discounts: Visit the MSU Benefits Plus website for deals and discounts on everything from travel and experiences to electronics and toys. Additional discounts can be found on the MSU Human Resources website.
  10. Voluntary Benefit Options: you may enroll in, change, or cancel auto, home, and pet insurance benefits at any time through the MSU Benefits Plus website. Legal, critical illness and vision insurance only allow benefit changes during Open Enrollment in October.
  11. Register for Free Diabetes Management Program: if you or a dependent are living with diabetes, Livongo by Teladoc Health can help by providing free necessary medical supplies and optional coaching. Employees or dependents enrolled in Medicare are not eligible.
  12. Get a Second Medical Opinion: if you are facing a serious medical diagnosis, Teladoc Medical Experts can review your case and offer a second medical opinion from leading health care specialists. Coaching and online educational tools are also available. Employees with mandated insurance under the ACA are not eligible.

We hope this list will help keep you on track as you plan out how you and your family will use your employee benefits this year. You can learn more about these benefit options on the HR website.

Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Open Enrollment Events

With MSU’s Benefit Open Enrollment period rapidly approaching (October 1–31, 2022), we put together this helpful list of events to ensure you don’t miss a thing. Mark your calendars, get answers to your questions and sign up for your 2023 benefits this October.

MSU Benefits Fair

The MSU Benefits Fair will be in-person this year. If you have questions about your benefits options for the 2023 plan year, consider visiting the fair and speaking with benefits providers as well as MSU Human Resources staff. Get answers to all your benefits-related questions, enroll in your benefits on-site, and even get a flu shot (by appointment only)!


  • Wednesday, October 19 from Noon to 7:00 p.m.


The MSU Benefits Fair will be held at the Breslin Student Events Center Concourse. Fair attendees should use Parking Lot 63.

Breslin Center
627 S Harrison Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824

Learn More: Find more details on the HR website about the MSU Benefits Fair, including how to make an appointment for your flu shot, parking information and participating providers.

In-Person HR Site Labs

Take advantage of two separate in-person HR Site Labs in October. MSU HR staff will be available to answer questions and help you enroll in your benefits.

Note for MSU Retirees: a Humana representative will also be available at the HR Site Labs to answer any questions specific to your benefits.


  • Thursday, October 6 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Monday, October 31 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


HR Site Labs will be held in Room 125 of the HR building.

1407 S. Harrison Rd
East Lansing, MI 48823

Virtual HR Site Lab

Along with the two in-person HR Site Labs, there is also a virtual option in October.

Note for MSU Retirees: a Humana representative will also be available at the HR Site Labs to answer any questions specific to your benefits.


  • Thursday, October 6 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Join the Virtual Site Lab via Zoom at

As always, you can find more information on all things Open Enrollment on the HR website. And if you’re unable to attend any of the events listed, never fear. The HR Solutions Center is available to answer your questions by phone (517-353-4434) or by email at In-person assistance is available by appointment. Please note: The HR Building is not available for drop-ins.

It’s Time to Choose Your Benefits for 2022: Your Open Enrollment Checklist

October is just around the corner, which means the MSU Benefits Open Enrollment period (October 1-31, 2021) is about to begin for benefits-eligible employees. Please use the following checklist to help guide you through Open Enrollment and be sure to make your benefit selections for the 2022 plan year between October 1-31, 2021.

1. Determine your benefit needs

During Open Enrollment, you may enroll in, change or cancel coverage in the following benefits:

  • Health
  • Dental
  • Flexible spending accounts (health and/or dependent care)
  • Life or accidental death and dismemberment Insurance
  • Some voluntary benefits, including vision, legal and critical illness insurance

Make sure you review the Open Enrollment guide carefully and choose the best benefit plans for your family. Find Open Enrollment guides on the HR website.

2. Complete the spouse/other eligible individual (OEI) affidavit

If you want to cover a spouse/OEI 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 2022 plan year include:

  • Increase to Maximum Benefit for Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance: You can enroll in AD&D coverage at 1 to 10 times your annual salary, up to a maximum of $1,500,000 for the employee (increased from 1,000,000), $750,000 for a spouse/OEI (increased from 600,000), or $100,000 per child (no change). Additionally, various benefit enhancements are included for the 2022 plan year. Learn more about AD&D insurance in the open enrollment guides on the HR website.
  • Upgrades to Critical Illness Insurance Coverage Effective January 1, 2022: The upgraded plan offers more benefits with coverage for different, distinct medical conditions. Contact MSU Benefits Plus at 888-758-7575 or visit for details. If employees are currently enrolled and do not change their coverage election during open enrollment, their plan will be upgraded automatically as of January 1, 2022.

4. Make your changes online before October 31

If you want to make changes to your benefits selections and/or cover a spouse/OEI on your benefits plans, you must participate in Open Enrollment from October 1-31, 2021. Find enrollment instructions here.

5. Ask questions at the MSU Benefits Fair or HR site labs

Please Note: events are subject to change at any time due to the pandemic. Please review the most updated details on the HR website.

We hope this checklist is helpful as you prepare for and participate in Open Enrollment this year. You can find all the details about Open Enrollment on the HR website, including links to the appropriate benefits guide, enrollment instructions, and detailed benefits information.

Questions? We’re happy to help! We encourage you to get in touch via phone or email. Limited in-person help will be available by appointment only. Please call or email the HR Solutions Center at 517-353-4434 or to make an appointment or ask a question.

Use Your Free Livongo Benefit to Manage Your Diabetes

Are you or a family member living with diabetes? Data shows the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes in the United States is rising each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • More than 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it.
  • More than 88 million US adults have prediabetes, and more than 84% don’t know they have it.
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States (and may be underreported).
  • In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese.

So, what is diabetes? There are two variations: Type I and Type II. As explained by MSU’s Health eGuide, Type I diabetes occurs when the pancreas ceases to make insulin, a hormone that helps the body use sugar for energy. Lack of insulin causes a high blood sugar level, which can be harmful to many parts of the body and can increase the risk for other health complications. Type II diabetes differs in that the body is still able to make insulin, however, it is unable to use it in the right way. While Type I diabetes is not yet preventable, Type II can be avoided by living a healthy lifestyle (Healthwise Staff, 2020).

For those living with diabetes, MSU offers a benefit called Livongo – a diabetes management program completely free to MSU employees and their spouses/dependents. The Livongo program aims to reduce the burden on those living with diabetes by offering technology and support to help members easily manage their health.

One of the first to enroll in Livongo was Jeff Brodie, a Management Analyst for MSU Human Resources, who was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011. Here’s what Jeff had to say about his experience using Livongo: “There is nothing to lose at all, and everything to gain. Even if you sign up and do the minimal, you will be healthier than if you didn’t sign up at all.” You can read more about Jeff’s experience using Livongo in this previous HR blog post.

You can enroll for Livongo at any time and it takes less than 10 minutes to sign up. Once you register, you will receive a welcome kit in the mail. The kit contains your own Livongo connected meter, unlimited testing strips, a lancing device, lancets, a carrying case, and optional coaching by a healthcare professional. Many users say the best part of the program is the unlimited free test strips and lancets mailed right to your door whenever you need them – why pay for these supplies when they are available free?

To learn more about using your free Livongo benefit, visit the Livongo for Diabetes Management webpage. If you have questions or are ready to sign up, visit the Livongo website. Find more testimonials for Livongo here. Do you have your own experience with Livongo? We’d love to hear in the comments below or email us at


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020, June 11). Diabetes Quick Facts. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from

Healthwise Staff. (2020, June 29). Diabetes. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from

Back to School Discounts!

The transition back to school this year might look a little different, but thanks to MSU Benefits Plus, MSU benefit-eligible employees can enjoy all kinds of great discounts and savings to help prepare themselves and their families for the upcoming school year. Whether you just need a new pair of shoes or want to treat yourself to a pair of Apple’s AirPods, MSU Benefits Plus has you covered this year.


MSU faculty and staff can enjoy employee pricing on select Apple products such as iPhones, AirPods, MacBooks, and Apple Watches and more just by shopping through this link.


With ABCMouse, employees can gain access to over 850 virtual lessons for kids ranging from reading, math, and science to social studies in the comfort of their own homes. Get two months of access to ABCMouse for only $5 when you shop through this link!


By purchasing a Costco Membership Activation Certificate, not only can employees become a new Costco member, but they will also receive a Costco Shop Card with a value of $20. Click on this link to join as a new member today.


Employees can enjoy $15 off orders of $75 or more by using code SAVE15 when you shop at Crocs online!


MSU faculty and staff can access savings of up to 30% on select systems by shopping through this link.


Save $20 off any purchase of $150 or more by using the code SAVE20A and can get free shipping on orders over $99 by shopping at Discount School Supply.


Save on your back to school essentials with the MSU Tech Store! MSU staff and faculty can instantly save up to a $25 value on any Apple iPad with an Apple Pencil by shopping with the MSU Tech Store.


Employees who register for a one-year new membership can save up to 50% off on their membership and will receive a limited-time free gift!


Those who shop through can save up to 20% off sitewide and can enjoy free shipping by using the code SHOESDOTCOM at checkout.

To access all of these discounts and more, visit MSU Benefits Plus and sign-up for a free account using your ZPID number (located on your Spartan Card ID badge), or you can find the number in EBS. For more information on employee discounts, visit the HR website. If you have any questions about these discounts, please call MSU Benefits Plus at 888-758-7575.

Source Newsletter – April 2020

In case you missed it, here are the April 2020 HR Source Newsletters: 

You can find older editions of the newsletter on the HR website.

This Month’s Headlines at Glance:

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family Medical Leave Act
  • CARES Act Allows Distributions from Retirement Accounts 
  • Coronavirus: Information and Resources
  • Coronavirus Benefit-Related Resources
  • Leading with Emotional Intelligence
  • Leading in Uncertain, Rapidly Changing Times 
  • Important Updates to Your Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
  • Individual and Team Resources in elevateU to Continue Professional Development 
  • Strategies to Work from Home from the WorkLife Office 
  • The Importance of Not Socially Isolating While Practicing Social Distancing 
  • Annual Raise for Regular CTU Support Staff