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

The MSU Benefits Open Enrollment period in October is an opportunity for you to review your benefit options and make any changes necessary for the upcoming plan year. While you may be aware you need to review your health and dental benefits, some voluntary benefits also only allow you to enroll in, change or cancel during Open Enrollment. 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 (like adding a dependent or switching to a different plan) or cancel your enrollment for the 2021 plan year, you must do so in October. If you’re currently enrolled in one of these voluntary benefit options and you do not make any changes, your enrollment will continue in 2021 with the exact same coverage.

How to Learn More, Enroll in, Change or Cancel Voluntary Benefits

Find a brief description of these voluntary benefits below. You can enroll in, change or cancel these optional benefits via the voluntary benefits portal at MSUBenefitsPlus.com. For additional information on these voluntary benefits, please review the appropriate Open Enrollment guide: Support Staff Open Enrollment Guide or Faculty/Academic Staff Open Enrollment Guide.

VSP Vision Insurance: Vision insurance can help with the cost of glasses and contact lenses for you and your family. VSP offers two plan options: the standard coverage plan or a premium coverage plan with an additional enhanced eyewear option of your choice. You can view a plan summary sheet with basic information about the two plan coverage options and rates in the voluntary benefits portal.

MetLife Critical Illness Insurance: Critical illness insurance gives you extra cash in the event you or covered family members experience a covered illness (view the plan summary on the HR website for a list of covered illnesses). This money can be used to offset unexpected medical expenses or for any other use you wish. You can view a plan summary sheet with basic information about the plan coverage and rates in the voluntary benefits portal.

ARAG Legal Insurance: Legal insurance gives you access to legal assistance in a wide variety of situations when you need it without worrying about the costs. The legal plan offers expanded and/or enhanced benefits, such as insurance claims, divorce, home equity loans, refinancing and elder law. ARAG® legal insurance excludes most pre-existing legal issues and business-related matters. You can view a plan summary sheet with basic information about the two plan coverage options and rates in the voluntary benefits portal.

Questions? You can learn more about, enroll in, change or cancel voluntary benefits in the voluntary benefits portal at MSUBenefitsPlus.com. Learn about all your benefits options on the Open Enrollment HR website page. Additionally, the HR Solutions Center is available for questions at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.

Give your children a healthy start for back to school with VSP Vision

August is National Eye Exam Month! As you’re getting ready for back to school, don’t forget to schedule annual eye exams for your kids. Are you an MSU benefit-eligible employee? Are you enrolled in VSP Vision Care for 2019? Then you have access to coverage for everything from the annual eye exam to new prescription glasses. Make sure your family starts the new school year right with a healthy vision!

According to VSP Vision studies show that 84% of parents agree that regular eye exams help their kids in school, but they often wait until their child complains to make an eye doctor appointment. Getting an eye exam before school starts can help your child start the school year off right.

And while you might be soaking up those last moments of summer, keep this in mind:  your eyes can get sunburned. After being in the sun all summer long your eyes can get damaged from the sun. The best way to protect your eyes is by wearing sunglasses while outside. An eye exam can see if your eyes were damaged by the sun and consider the next steps to take care of them.

Whether or not you’ve already used your coverage for your annual eye exam or prescription, you can start planning ahead for next year. MSU Benefits Open Enrollment starts October 1, which makes now a great time to start thinking about what you might need for vision insurance next year and make sure you pick the plan that’s right for your family’s needs. VSP Vision Care offers two different plans – standard and premium. You can check out the benefits of both plans here. Note: Information is currently based on the 2019 plan year; check back in October for updated information for 2020.

For more information on VSP Vision Care, visit MSU Benefits Plus.


Take advantage of your vision insurance with VSP Vision Care

Have you used your vision insurance yet this year? Don’t worry, there’s still time to schedule your annual eye appointment! If you are an MSU benefit-eligible employee and enrolled in VSP Vision Care, take advantage of your plan. Getting your eyes checked is a good idea for several reasons.

A routine eye exam can detect diabetes and other hidden health concerns like high blood pressure. Here are some things that can show up in your eye exam:

  • Signs of diabetes can show in the eyes with blood spots and leaking fluid, your optometrist can also determine diabetic retinopathy.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which continuing damage to retinal tissues from diabetes can lead to impaired vision or even blindness if left untreated.
  • About 24,000 people lost their sight ever year to diabetes and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Blurry vision can be a sign of high blood pressure.
  • High blood pressure can affect your eye by blood covering the macula which affects the light sensing of retina tissue.

Don’t wait until vision problems occur to make an important eye exam. For more information on VSP Vision Care, visit MSU Benefits Plus.