Reminder: enroll in, change or cancel vision, legal and critical illness insurance during Open Enrollment

The MSU Benefits Open Enrollment period is here! As you’re reviewing your benefit options for the 2023 plan year, please note some voluntary benefits only allow you to enroll in, change or cancel coverage during Open Enrollment in October. These include VSP vision insurance, ARAG legal insurance, and MetLife critical illness insurance.

If you’re interested in enrolling in these benefits, need to make changes (such as adding a dependent or switching to a different plan), or cancel your coverage for the 2023 plan year, you must do so in October. If you’re currently enrolled and you do not make any changes, your enrollment will continue in 2023 with the exact same coverage.

How to Enroll in, Change or Cancel Voluntary Benefits

You can enroll in, change or cancel these benefits via the MSU Benefits Plus website. Find a guide to help you enroll at msubenefitsplus.com/faq.

  • First-Time Users: Enter your MSU email, click Get Started, and fill out the form. Signing up for an account does not obligate you to enroll in any benefits; it just gives you access to learn about and enroll in various programs. You will need your MSU ZPID number, which is located on your MSU Spartan ID Card or in the EBS Portal. Use a capital “Z” when putting in your ZPID number.
  • Existing Users: Enter your email address and click Get Started, then enter your password and click Log In.

How to View Current Participation

To view your current participation or deduction history, log in to the MSU Benefits Plus website and click on the My Benefits tab at the top of the page to view a summary of your enrollment elections. Click on My Deductions to view an itemized list of your voluntary benefit deductions. Please note the My Benefits section only provides participation status on products you have enrolled in within the MSU Benefits Plus website—such as vision, legal and critical illness insurance.

Learn More about Voluntary Benefits

Please review a brief description of vision, legal and critical illness insurance below. For additional information on all voluntary benefits, please review the appropriate Open Enrollment guide: Support Staff Open Enrollment Guide or Faculty/Academic Staff Open Enrollment Guide.

VSP Vision Insurance can help with the cost of glasses and contact lenses for you and your family. VSP is the benefit provider, and they offer two plan options: the standard coverage plan or a premium coverage plan with an additional enhanced eyewear option of your choice. Visit the MSU Benefits Plus website to view a plan summary sheet with basic information about the two coverage options and rates.

MetLife Critical Illness Insurance gives you extra cash in the event you or covered family members experience a covered illness. This money can be used to offset unexpected medical expenses or for any other use you wish. Simplified plan options are offered through MetLife with no evidence of insurability requirement. Visit the MSU Benefits Plus website to view a plan summary sheet with basic information about the plan coverage and rates.

ARAG Legal Insurance makes it affordable to get the legal help you need. Network attorney fees are 100% paid-in-full for most covered matters. Life is full of legal situations. Some you plan for, like creating a will, and others are more unexpected—like fighting a traffic ticket. Choose between two plans for coverage that best fit the needs of you and your family. UltimateAdvisor® covers most common legal issues. UltimateAdvisor Plus™ includes more robust coverage plus additional services. Visit the MSU Benefits Plus website to view a plan summary with basic information about the two coverage options and rates.

Questions? You can learn more about, enroll in, change or cancel voluntary benefits on the MSU Benefits Plus website. Learn about all your benefits options on the  HR website. If you have questions, consider participating in the MSU Benefits Fair or an HR Site Lab. Additionally, the HR Solutions Center is available for questions at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434. 

What is legal insurance and do you need it?

During Open Enrollment in October, eligible employees have the option to choose their benefit options for the upcoming year. While you’re probably aware you need to review your health and dental coverage, don’t forget to add legal insurance to your list of options to consider. Eligible employees may only enroll in, change or cancel ARAG legal insurance coverage during Open Enrollment in October.

Voluntary legal insurance through ARAG will pay for 100% of in-network attorney fees for covered matters. They also offer guidance and advice on a variety of legal situations. Review the following information to determine if legal insurance is right for you and your family. ARAG offers two types of legal insurance plans to MSU employees: UltimateAdvisor and UltimateAdviser Plus. Visit the MSU Benefits Plus website to find out what each plan covers and monthly premium costs.

Important Milestones

When you think of important milestones – marriage, childbirth/adoption, buying a house, moving – legal assistance may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the truth is these important events usually require help from a legal professional. If you anticipate any of these events happening in the upcoming year, consider whether legal insurance may help. Some common uses include:

  • Wills: create a will naming a beneficiary of property and assets, executor of your estate, and guardian of your dependents or minor children.
  • Sale or Purchase of a Home: transfer property from one owner to another.
  • Trusts: set up a trust to protect assets and reduce taxes, name a trustee to manage it, and name beneficiaries to receive the assets.

The Unexpected

While it’s hard to plan for the following situations, consider if having legal coverage just in case is worth the peace of mind. Some common uses include:

  • Divorce: resolve an uncontested divorce where the couple agrees on the terms or a contested divorce where the couple disagrees, and the court must hear from both parties to make decisions based on law.
  • Traffic Troubles: defend a traffic violation such as a speeding ticket.
  • Family Law: create, change, or enforce alimony and child custody, support, and visitation agreements.
  • Identity Theft: access to identity theft materials and monitoring services to help protect you from identity theft and restore your identity if it is stolen.
  • Property Protection: resolve issues such as neighbor disputes, disputes with your landlord, or real estate, contract, or financing issues.

A Note to Current Members

If you’re currently enrolled in legal insurance, please note monthly costs for the 2023 plan year have increased. View new plan premiums on the MSU Benefits Plus website to determine if you’d like to continue your coverage (your coverage will continue unless canceled during Open Enrollment).

How to Enroll

Visit the MSU Benefits Plus website to enroll in coverage during the upcoming Open Enrollment period (October 1-31). For questions or help with enrollment, contact the MSU Benefits Plus customer care team at 888-758-7575.

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)!

When:

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

Where:

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.

When:

  • 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.

Where:

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.

When:

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

Where:

Join the Virtual Site Lab via Zoom at https://msu.zoom.us/j/94557444554.

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 SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu. 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 MSUBenefitsPlus.com 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 SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu to make an appointment or ask a question.

Increase to Benefit Level for Optional, Employee-Paid Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

Effective for the 2021 plan year, the benefit level for optional, employee-paid life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance will increase to 1 – 10 times your annual salary (previously, it was available from 1 – 8 times your annual salary). There are also various levels of coverage available for your spouse/other eligible individual (OEI) or dependents.

Please Note: these changes are applicable to optional, employee-paid life and AD&D insurance only. MSU offers you several different types of life/accident insurance plans, which you can learn more about on the HR website.

MSU benefits-eligible employees can enroll in, change or cancel these optional benefits for the 2021 plan year during Open Enrollment in October. Use the following information to help you decide if these benefits are right for you and your family. You’ll also find information to help you calculate your monthly costs if you decide to enroll in one or both options.

Optional, Employee-Paid Life Insurance

Life insurance can provide a lump-sum payment to beneficiaries upon the insured’s death. Optional, employee-paid life insurance is available to all regular full- and part-time (50% or more) employees, as well as to your spouse/OEI and dependent children. There are various levels of coverage, and the cost of the plan varies according to the plan selected.

How to Calculate Your Monthly Cost: find formulas for how to calculate your monthly costs in this year’s Open Enrollment guides. Be sure to reference the appropriate guide: Support Staff Open Enrollment Guide or Faculty/Academic Staff Open Enrollment Guide.

Optional, Employee-Paid AD&D Insurance

AD&D insurance provides various amounts of coverage for accidental death or dismemberment or loss of sight, whether during business or pleasure. Optional family coverage is also offered. This is available to all regular full- and part-time (50% or more) employees, as well as to your spouse/OEI and dependent children. Benefit levels vary by type of insurance selected and the extent of the injury.

How to Calculate Your Monthly Cost: find formulas for how to calculate your monthly costs in this year’s Open Enrollment guides. Be sure to reference the appropriate guide: Support Staff Open Enrollment Guide or Faculty/Academic Staff Open Enrollment Guide.

Questions? You can learn more about your life/accident insurance options on the HR website or contact the HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.

Time to Choose Your Benefits for 2021: Your Open Enrollment Checklist

It’s more important than ever to make sure you have the best benefits options selected for you and your family. October is almost here, which means the MSU Benefits Open Enrollment period (October 1-31, 2020) is about to begin for benefits-eligible employees. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, we will not be having our usual in-person Benefits Fair or offering in-person assistance with our MSU HR staff. However, we will be providing virtual opportunities for you to ask questions and get assistance, including a Virtual Benefits Fair (learn more below).

Use the following checklist to help guide you through Open Enrollment and be sure to make your selections between October 1 -31, 2020.

  • Double Check Your Benefits Needs
    During Open Enrollment, you may enroll in, change, or cancel coverage for the following benefits:
    • Health
    • Dental
    • 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 guide carefully and choose the best benefits plans for your family. Remember, you also have access to various voluntary benefits, like vision insurance. Find Open Enrollment guides on the HR website.
  • Review the Changes for Next Year’s Plans
    Changes for the 2021 plan year include:
    • Increase to the premium threshold for the 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 $1,500 or less. You may still cover your spouse/OEI on your MSU health coverage as a secondary plan.
    • Increase to Benefit Level for Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance: Employee-paid Life and AD&D insurance is now available at a benefit level 1-10 times your salary. Previously, it was available at a benefit level 1-8 times your salary. Learn more about these benefits in the Open Enrollment guides.
    • Aetna DMO Co-Pay Increase for Orthodontics: The Aetna DMO co-pays for orthodontics have increased from $2,300 to $3,000. Only support staff are eligible to enroll in the Aetna DMO plan. Co-pays have not changed for the Aetna Premium DMO plan. Find co-pays by dental plan in the Open Enrollment guides.
  • Make Your Changes Online Before October 31
    If you want to make changes to your benefits selections – or you cover a spouse/OEI on your benefits plan – we encourage you to do so during the Open Enrollment window: October 1 – 31, 2020.
  • Virtual Benefits Fair
    In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we will not be having an in-person Benefits Fair this year. Instead, we’re offering a Virtual Benefits Fair from October 12-16, which will consist of an online source for curated content from our benefits vendors (such as videos, brochures and more), along with the opportunity for you to ask your benefits questions to MSU HR staff and/or our benefit vendors on October 15 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and October 16 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit theVirtual Benefits Fair Information page on the HR website to find the most up-to-date info about the fair. 

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, enrollment instructions, 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.

Don’t Forget to Protect Your Eyes during UV Safety Month!

Did you know long-term exposure to bright sunlight may increase the risk of cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer? Did you also know that you can easily reduce this risk and protect your eyes from UV damage simply by doing things such as wearing sunglasses, a wide-brim hat or applying sunscreen around your eyes? Your eyes are one of your most important muscles, as well as one of the most sensitive, so it is important to make sure you are protecting your vision.

With VSP vision insurance, taking care of you and your family’s eyecare is almost as easy as simply wearing your favorite pair of sunglasses. Their vision insurance plans are available to benefit-eligible faculty and staff and their dependents.

Why Enroll in VSP?

VSP offers a range of access to care, quality eyewear options, and plan options. Additionally, VSP has partnered with Eyeconic.com to provide you with the lowest market price costs and savings on glasses, contacts, sunglasses, and even your copay when you connect your specific vision insurance plan. This a great option for those prefer online shopping.

VSP offers two vision plans — standard or premium coverage — for all MSU benefit-eligible employees to enroll in. To learn more about these plans, visit VSP’s plan summary sheet available on the HR website.

As a reminder, for those benefits-eligible faculty and staff thinking about their vision insurance needs for 2023, Open Enrollment for MSU’s voluntary, employee-paid benefits begins in October. Outside of open enrollment, benefits-eligible new hires or newly eligible faculty and staff have 30 days to enroll from their date of hire or date of eligibility. If you are a new hire or newly eligible and wish to enroll in VSP, please call MSU Benefits Plus Customer Care at 800-877-7195.

More Savings with VSP

Another great perk to VSP’s vision insurance plans is VSP EasyOptions. With VSP EasyOptions, you and each member on your plan can choose one of these enhanced eyewear options when purchasing your glasses or contacts:

  • An additional $100 frame allowance, or
  • An additional $50 contact lens allowance, or
  • Fully covered premium and custom progressive lenses, or
  • Fully covered anti-reflective coatings

VSP also offers a 20% discount on additional glasses and sunglasses to all VSP enrollees. The result? Extra money for you, at a time when every dollar counts. And, more affordable options for you to look good, see more clearly and protect your eyes.

How to Use Your VSP Benefit

To use your VSP benefit, simply follow the steps listed below and VSP will handle the rest:

  1. Create an account at vsp.com. Once your plan effective, review your benefit information. MSU and VSP provide you a choice in your vision plan — choose the Standard Coverage or select the Premium Coverage with VSP EasyOptions.
  2. Find an eye doctor who’s right for you. Visit vsp.com or call 800-877-7195.
  3. At your appointment, tell them you have VSP. There’s no ID card necessary. If you’d like a card as a reference, you can print one at vsp.com.

To enroll in VSP during Open Enrollment, go to MSUBenefitsPlus.com. For questions, contact VSP directly at 800-877-7195.

Consider Enrolling in Critical Illness Insurance During National Critical Illness Awareness Month

Have you or a family member ever faced a health emergency and wished you were better prepared? Critical illness insurance can alleviate some of the financial burden by giving you a lump-sum of money to help cover unexpected or additional costs in the event of a health emergency. During the Open Enrollment period (October 1-31), benefits-eligible faculty, academic staff and support staff have the option to enroll in critical illness insurance through MetLife.

Outside of the Open Enrollment period, benefits-eligible new hires or newly-eligible employees have 30 days to enroll from their date of hire or date of eligibility.

What is Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical illness insurance works to complement your medical coverage. This type of insurance helps safeguard your finances by providing you with a lump-sum payment when you or an eligible dependent (such as your spouse or child) need it most. In the event your family experiences a health emergency, such as a heart attack, cancer or stroke, your critical illness insurance can help you pay for unexpected medical costs or anything else you may need. The extra cash can help you focus on getting back on track— without worrying about finding the money to cover some of your expenses (MetLife, 2019).  

Watch the video below to learn more about Critical Illness Insurance through MetLife:

What Illnesses Does It Cover?

The following medical conditions are covered under critical illness insurance:

  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Full Benefit Cancer
  • Partial Benefit Cancer
  • Kidney Failure
  • Major Organ Transplant
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
  • And many more! Find a complete list on the plan summary sheet on the HR website.

Benefits-eligible faculty, academic staff and support staff have now through October 31 to enroll in this optional benefit through MetLife. Find more information and enroll through MSU Benefits Plus.

Questions? Learn more about critical illness insurance and other voluntary benefits on the HR website. For questions about enrollment, contact MSU Benefits Plus Customer Care at 888-758-7575. Contact the HR Solutions Center with any additional questions at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.


MetLife (2019). MetLife Critical Illness Insurance provides you cash when you need it most. New York City, NY.