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Are you covered? Open Enrollment is time to look at benefits, consider any changes



Reminder: UCOP employees will follow a special Open Enrollment process this year.

Open Enrollment – which begins at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, and ends at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, – is your annual opportunity to review your UC benefits to make sure you have the best coverage for 2016.

Here are some highlights:

  • UC has worked hard to maintain a full range of quality medical plan and pricing choices for employees, and to control costs as health insurance costs nationwide continue to rise. Next year, many employees will see less than a $6 monthly premium increase. View 2016 rates for employees here.
  • All UC’s current medical plans will be available in 2016, and UC added several programs to improve your care.
  • UC makes sure you are covered for dental and vision care, and again these plans will be free to you and your family.
  • Due to the Affordable Care Act, benefits eligibility will be calculated differently, and some employees not previously eligible for benefits will be eligible beginning January 2016. Details here.
  • The ARAG Legal Plan is open for enrollment. There will be no rate changes and the plan is very affordable, with a monthly cost of $10 to $15, depending on the eligible family members you choose to cover.

While there aren’t major benefits changes in store for 2016, there will be some changes, including a few benefits enhancements. Complete details will be available beginning Oct. 26, when the 2015 Open Enrollment website launches and employees begin to receive their Open Enrollment booklets via U.S. mail.

The Open Enrollment website also will have videos and other tools to help you understand benefits coverage for you and your family.

Medical plan enhancements

UC has added several programs to improve your care.

  • For those who travel, all plans in 2016 will cover immunizations needed for travel. Check with your plan or the Open Enrollment website for the coverage your plan will offer.
  • For smoking cessation, Health Net Blue & Gold will add the “Quit for Life” telephonic behavioral coaching program, in addition to its current online program.
  • Health Net Blue & Gold will expand the Omada Prevent program for people with pre-diabetes to support those who are at risk for heart disease.
  • Blue Shield Health Savings Plan and Core will add “Oncology Practice of the Future,” a program designed to ensure comprehensive cancer care for its members.
  • Core will add coverage for applied behavioral health services to support autism care.
  • UC Care will add more Ambulatory Surgery Center providers in its UC Select tier with a $100 co-pay. 


UC Living Well, the systemwide wellness initiative, will continue to promote numerous wellness activities offered at each location and in addition will highlight wellness resources available through UC’s medical plans. Wellness coaching and the $75 incentive earned through Optum will not be available in 2016.

Legal plan

The expanded identity theft protection coverage continues next year with lost wallet services, credit monitoring, Internet surveillance to protect personal information and other features. Slight changes will be made, which will result in fewer limitations and more benefits for certain services. For example, the limitation of one claim per benefit year per family will be eliminated.

Open Enrollment is your opportunity to explore your options in order to make the best choices for you and your family. Review your Open Enrollment booklet for more information about what to consider during Open Enrollment and the steps to take if you decide to change your benefits. Beginning on Oct. 26, visit the Open Enrollment website and use the videos, tools and resources for answers to questions about your UC benefits.

Learn more at the Benefits Fair and brown bags

Be sure to take advantage of UCOP’s Benefits Fair and other upcoming events sponsored by the UCOP Benefits Office, where you can learn more and make the most of your medical benefits.

The UCOP Benefits Fair takes place Thursday, Oct. 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Franklin Lobby 1. This is your chance to meet with UC medical plan vendors including Blue Shield, Health Equity, Health Net Blue & Gold, Kaiser, UC Care and Western Health Advantage, as well as Delta Dental and Vision Service Plan.

Representatives of other UC benefit plans will also be on hand, including ARAG (legal plan), Conexis (flexible spending accounts), Fidelity Retirement Services and Optum (Behavioral Health and Living Well), as well as supplemental insurance providers California Casualty, Liberty Mutual and Prudential.

Flu shots will be available at the Franklin Building. There will be treats, giveaways and raffle prizes.

Several brown bags are scheduled in both Franklin and Kaiser locations where you can ask questions and get answers from benefits staff, as follows:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 3, 12 to 1 p.m., Kaiser 512
  • Wednesday, Nov. 4, 12 to 1 p.m., Franklin 5320
  • Tuesday, Nov. 10, 12 to 1 p.m., Kaiser 512
  • Wednesday, Nov. 18, 12 to 1 p.m., Franklin 12322

Benefits staff will also be on hand at Friday breakfasts — Nov. 6 at Franklin and Nov. 13 at Kaiser — to answer questions.

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