benefitsFOCUS: Know before you go (on summer break)!

benefitsFOCUSWhat’s the BIG news?

Before you head out for the summer break, be sure to note that your annual benefits Open Enrollment period will be held August 1st through August 17th.

What’s Open Enrollment???

Open Enrollment is your ONE time of year to make any change you wish to your current medical or dental elections: You can add/drop/change a plan or add/drop dependents. It’s also the one time of year when you can enroll in a medical or dependent care flexible spending account (FSA). FSA contracts DO NOT roll from one year to the next; you must re-enroll if you wish to participate in an FSA next year, even if you have a rollover balance at the end of the current medical FSA plan year.

A brief summary of what you can expect for the next plan year (Effective October 1, 2018)

  • There will be no change to our current medical plan options (but read on to learn about some upcoming related changes you might want to be aware of …)
  • There will be no change to our current medical plan rates.
  • There will be no change to our current dental plan offerings.
  • There will be no change to our current dental plan rates.

What’s even BIGGER news?

We will be transitioning our medical & dental plans and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to a calendar plan year (January through December) effective January 2019. This will:

  • Make understanding (and communicating!) annual FSA and HSA contribution information MUCH easier.
  • Move the annual Open Enrollment period to the Fall (and isn’t that a MUCH better time for Open Enrollment?)

What do you need to do?

STAY INFORMED!* As always, we’ll send you email updates via benefitsFOCUS newsletters as we get closer to the Open Enrollment period AND we’ll post information about rates, plans, info sessions, on-site benefits assistance sites and much more on our Open Enrollment website. This site will go live towards the end of July. You can also expect to receive a reminder mailing at your home in late July.

Here are just a few things that we’ll be telling you more about in the coming weeks:
  • New Anthem technology updates for next year means new ID cards for most medical plan participants.
  • Transitioning plan years will require TWO Open Enrollment periods: one in August, and another in mid-Fall.
  • How we’ve structured the plans to minimize the impact of the plan year transition on YOU.

Have a fun, relaxing and restorative summer break!

*If you plan to move over the summer, be sure to keep your contact information current with Human Resources by logging in to your Greenshades account and then go to the HR Profile tab to submit your changes.

For more information about your employee benefits, our web pages are always available when you are. If you have questions, please contact Human Resources at 296-5827 or