Now that the general membership meetings for the 3rd quarter are completed, I wanted to take time to address those members who were unable to attend for whatever reason and remind those who attended that Annual Enrollment is here.
October 19th through October 30th is Annual Enrollment for active members. There are multiple changes for 2016, therefore I recommend everyone gets engaged in their benefits and access Hewitt’s website, http://resources.hewitt.com/att to determine what is best going to fit you and your family’s needs for the upcoming year.
When trying to determine what your needs may be several factors need to be determined, what is the monthly premium, deductibles and out of pocket expenses will be. The website allows you to do side by side comparisons of the plans available to you.
The company medical sponsored plans have an option 1 and an option 2; the difference is in the upfront deductibles and out of pocket expenses for each plan. If you are considering option 2, the deductible is integrated with the prescription plan therefore your prescription co-pays would not be applicable until you have satisfied the deductible first. Also, if are choosing a family plan for option 2 there is no individual deductible and before the co-insurance would apply the family deductible amount would need to be satisfied.
There are several HMO medical products available in the Midwest. Your options are determined by your home zip code. For 2016 all HMO products available in Michigan have raised the deductibles and out of pocket maximum! So, again, engage in your benefits so you are making educated decisions.
The dental plan for 2016 has increased monthly premiums and the benefit levels remain the same.
The vision plan for 2016 is changing. You will only have one option for vision; if you do not opt into the plan you will not have coverage. The monthly premium has decreased and the benefit levels for the majority of the plan are richer so, this plan is an overall win.
No changes to the basic life and supplemental life options. If you are adding or increasing supplemental life for yourself or an eligible dependent you may be required to submit an evidence of eligibility.
Flexible Spending Account is an account that you set aside pre-tax monies that are payroll deducted for reimbursement for eligible medical and or dependent care. Keep in mind that you do not want to overfund this account; any unused money at the end of the year is forfeited. If you participate in the FSA for 2015 and wish to continue you must positive report by selecting this option each as this plan does not roll over into the next calendar year.
This is just a brief over view for 2016. Please take ownership of your benefits and access the website. Once you have selected your options I highly recommend printing the confirmation. If you have issues in 2016 coverage options we will need the confirmation as proof of your elections.
I want to thank those of you who did attend the general membership meetings who received a more in depth coverage of annual enrollment, and for those of you who did not attend I look forward to seeing you at future upcoming meetings.
Executive Vice President
CWA Local 4034