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October 15, 2012   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | Benefits open enrollment to feature HMO plan, Athens…

Benefits open enrollment to feature HMO plan, Athens Kaiser option

Sara Freeland

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By Sara Freeland | October 15, 2012

UGA will hold open enrollment Oct. 15-Nov. 9, and during that time employees can change or enroll in health, dental or other benefits that will take effect Jan. 1.

“This isn’t a tricky open enrollment,” said Travis Jackson, a senior managing consultant in Human Resources. “It’s the same plans with some very minor tweaking.”

Open enrollment will feature four health plans, including two HMO plans that weren’t available last year—Blue Choice and Kaiser Permanente. 

Kaiser Permanente now has an Athens facility located at 2142 West Broad St. This HMO plan features coordinated in-house care with internal medicine, pediatrics, radiology, lab services and a pharmacy all in one location. The facility is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. with an urgent care network that includes Athens Regional and Regional First Care locations in Athens, Bethlehem, Jefferson and Watkinsville.

Both HMO plans are co-pay driven with no deductible. Flat-rate co-pays for both plans are $15 per office visit or $25 to see a specialty doctor. The Kaiser Permanente plan will cost employees $133 a month for single coverage or  $384 for family coverage. The Blue Choice plan is $142 a month for single coverage and $410 for families. 

Rates for the four health plans are increasing slightly for 2013—between 2 percent and 9 percent. The Point of Service plan (formerly PPO) is up about $5 a month to $180 for single coverage, and up $13 a month to $521 for family coverage. The high deductible plan is increasing to $47 a month for single coverage and $132 for family coverage. 

For eligible employees on the high deductible plan, the University of Georgia will provide matching money up to $375 for individual plans or $750 for more than individual plans. Those who don’t make contributions to a HealthHub HSA via payroll deduction won’t get matching money.

The new benefits enrollment system,, is now compatible on most browsers including Safari and Google Chrome. 

For pharmacy plans, Express Scripts has merged with Medco. Employees who are currently covered by the Open Access POS plan and will keep the same coverage for 2013 can continue to use their Medco cards in 2013.

The dental plan is available for enrollment this year and the rates remain unchanged from last year. For 2013, the dental plan’s yearly annual benefit increases from $1,200 to $1,500. The plan is now considered an “open” plan. This means the dental plan will be available for enrollment each year during the open enrollment period.

For employees staying with their current health plan for the next year, no action is required. Those with flexible spending accounts, however, must enroll each year to participate.

A new limited purpose flexible spending account launched this summer will be available during open enrollment. These accounts are available only to individuals who are currently contributing to a HealthHub health savings account and can be used for eligible vision and dental care expenses. 

Information sessions about open enrollment for active employees will be held Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. in Masters Hall of the Georgia Center for Continuing Education, Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. and Oct. 25 at 9 a.m. in the Chapel. 

For retirees, information sessions will be held Oct. 17 at 9:30 a.m., Oct. 23 at 2 p.m., Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. and Oct. 29 at 9:30 a.m. in Masters Hall of the Georgia Center.  Medicare-eligible retirees also will receive information from Express Scripts (formerly Medco) about a new Express Scripts Medicare Part D plan for Open Access POS plan participants.

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