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.

Your Mid-Year Benefit Wellness Check-up

National Insurance Awareness Day (June 28) encourages us to review our insurance options to make sure we’re enrolled in the best plans for our families. As an MSU employee, you have a variety of benefit options available to you beyond just health care and dental plans. While many of these benefits allow you to enroll in or make changes at any time, several require you to sign up, change or cancel enrollment during the Open Enrollment period in October. If you’re interested in a benefit but unable to sign up right away, review the plan options and make a list of changes you’d like to make so you’re prepared for the upcoming Open Enrollment period in October.

Benefits without an Enrollment Period

The following benefits are available to enroll in, change or cancel at any time. You’ll find a brief description of each benefit below and you can click on the benefit name for more details and information on how to enroll/register.

  • Auto: find special pricing on insurance for your vehicle through MetLife or Liberty Mutual Insurance.
  • Home: find special pricing on insurance for your home through MetLife or Liberty Mutual Insurance.
  • Livongo: employees and their dependents enrolled in an MSU health plan can receive diabetes management supplies and coaching for free.
  • Pet: find special pricing on pet insurance through Nationwide.
  • Teladoc: an online medical care service that gives you 24/7 access to a healthcare professional via web, phone, or mobile app. Use Teladoc to get help for a range of conditions including cold/flu, bronchitis, allergies, pink eye, dermatology and more.
  • Teladoc Medical Experts: get medical advice from leading medical experts. Whether you need medical questions answered, a diagnosis double-checked, help deciding on a treatment plan or guidance about a surgery, Teladoc Medical Experts can help.
  • TruHearing: Some benefit providers offer discounts on hearing aids. Please contact the providers directly to learn more about the discounts they offer.

Benefits with an Enrollment Period

The following benefit options have an enrollment period. This means you can only enroll in, change or cancel the benefit during Open Enrollment in October each year. We encourage you to review the plans you’re currently enrolled in along with the options available and make a plan to make any necessary changes this October:

  • Critical Illness: MetLife gives you extra cash in the event you or a covered family member experiences a covered illness.
  • Dental: various plans are available based on your employee type. We encourage you to check which dentists are available in your area before enrolling in a new plan.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA): there are two FSA options available for employees – Dependent Care FSA and Health Care FSA. Be sure you know the difference before you enroll.
  • Health Care (including prescription): various plans are available based on your employee type and work location.
  • Legal: ARAG currently offers several plan options to help cover a wide range of legal needs.
  • Life/Accident Insurance: several types of life insurance are available for you to enroll in, along with voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance.
  • Vision: two plan options are available through VSP for vision care.

Please visit the HR website to learn more about all the benefit options available to you. For questions about enrollment and eligibility, please contact the HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.