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Get ready for a Halloween Open Enrollment

Piles of candy, grinning pumpkins, tiny superheroes asking for treats, and… Open Enrollment! Halloween marks the beginning of Open Enrollment, from 8 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 31 through 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 26 — with good news about premium costs, a few important medical plan changes and new Supplemental Health Plans that complement your medical and disability plans.

Grab a pumpkin spice latte and cuddle up with your Open Enrollment booklet, coming to you the week of Oct. 28, to read all about this year’s options, changes and costs. In the meantime, here’s the big news for faculty and staff.

Continued low costs

Despite increases in health care costs nationwide, UC’s premium changes for faculty and staff are moderate, with some members even seeing decreases. Changes to employee contributions for single coverage across all pay bands range from a decrease of $12 per month to an increase of $16 per month.

Once again, UC has adjusted premiums by pay level to ensure costs are distributed fairly, and offers dental and vision plans for you and your family at no cost to faculty and staff. See this year’s rates.

Termination of Western Health Advantage (WHA)

As of Jan. 1, 2020, UC Davis Health will no longer provide primary care services through WHA for UC employees, retirees and their dependents. Making sure members have access to a UC medical center if they choose is a priority for UC. Without UC Davis Health in the WHA network, UC’s WHA members would lose their access to a UC medical center and the vast majority would need to change providers.

WHA members will have the opportunity to choose a new medical plan during Open Enrollment. WHA members who do not choose another plan during Open Enrollment will be automatically enrolled in UC Blue & Gold HMO.

The UC Blue & Gold network is almost identical to the network of providers available through WHA, and the network of behavioral health providers available to members of UC Blue & Gold (through MHN, Health Net’s behavioral health care subsidiary) overlaps considerably with Optum’s. Contact MHN at 800-663-9355 or visit the UC Blue & Gold website at to determine whether your provider is available through MHN’s network. If not, transition assistance may be available. 

Changes to prescription drug formulary for UC’s non-Medicare PPO plans

To help keep prescription drug costs and premiums affordable, CORE, UC Care and UC Health Savings Plan will transition from the current Anthem National Drug list to the Anthem Essential Drug list. The Essential drug list focuses on less costly medications with the same effectiveness as more expensive — and often brand name — medications.

The majority of members currently taking medications will not notice differences as a result of this change. Some members will have either a higher or lower copay if they are on a medication that moves to a different tier. To minimize the impact on members, any current medications not on the new drug list will be grandfathered (in current form and dosage), meaning members can continue taking them without disruption for the duration that they use that specific medication and dosage. 

New Supplemental Health Plans

UC is offering three new supplemental insurance options — Accident, Critical Illness and Hospital Indemnity plans — that pay cash benefits if you experience a covered accident, illness or hospital stay.

UC’s Supplemental Health Plans are not a substitute for medical or disability coverage, but they can complement your coverage with extra protection against the unexpected. Depending on the coverage you select, you’ll receive a pre-determined cash payment if you’re injured, ill or hospitalized — regardless of your actual medical costs or lost income. The payment is yours to use however you choose.

During Open Enrollment, you can enroll in one, two or all three plans:

  • Accident: Cash benefits if you receive services related to an accident, such as ER and urgent care visits, ambulance rides, X-rays, surgery and physical therapy.
  • Critical Illness: Depending on the level of coverage you choose ($10,000 or $30,000), provides a lump-sum payment if you are diagnosed with certain illnesses, including cancer, heart attack, stroke and more. Plus, a cash payment just for getting an annual health screening exam or mammogram.
  • Hospital Indemnity: Pays a pre-determined dollar amount if you’re admitted to the hospital due to an accident or illness, or for maternity care. And continues to pay a cash benefit for every day you’re in the hospital, up to 31 days.

Visit to learn more about the benefits offered by each plan and (beginning Oct. 31) enroll with Aflac. If you have questions or need assistance enrolling, call the dedicated UC Plus customer service team at 888-212-7201.

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  1. Clare Sheridan October 22, 2019 Reply

    Does the “week of October 28” mean that open enrollment info will be on the website beginning on Monday or just via U.S. mail? Or will it not be available until the 31st?

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