Open Enrollment moves online

The Open Enrollment process – the time when employees can elect health plans, add or drop dependents, select savings accounts, elect or increase supplemental life and other plan management tasks – has been moved online for the first time this year. Instead of filling out and submitting paperwork, the forms will be filled out and submitted using Google forms. A copy of the form will be sent to employees’ email, an option that was not available with paper forms. Open Enrollment will run from April 17 to May 15 this year.

The change is part of ongoing efforts to streamline business practices and increase efficiency. The option was not available until all UA employees were using Google and could securely sign-on to access the forms.

The forms limit users to maximum allowable contributions automatically. Remember, payroll deduction for the HSA ends at the end of the fiscal year so the form must be submitted for payroll deduction to continue. More information on the HSA is here. If you don't want the FSA or HSA, and are not changing life insurance, health plan or enrolled dependents, you do not need to submit any forms.

The electronic forms will be processed through OnBase and directed to personnel files, significantly reducing the amount of paperwork that Human Resources staff have to manage.

All of the information that employees need for Open Enrollment will be available from the main benefits site http://www.alaska.edu/benefits. There's an enrollment guide, links for all the forms, plus information about rates, a plan comparison chart, preventive services for the three health plan options, and links to more information.

Accommodations are being made for for employees without reliable internet access, for example those on the Research Vessel Sikuliaq, to select an appropriate designee. Such exceptions are quite limited and must be authorized through the employee’s Human Resources director.

If you need help deciding which health plan is right for you, contact DirectPath (formerly Patient Care) at (866) 253-2273. They will ask the right questions to help you pick the health plan that's right for your circumstances.

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