Open Enrollment Begins October 30, 2008

Open Enrollment for UC health and welfare benefits plans runs from Thursday, October 30 to Tuesday, November 25. If you are an eligible UC employee, this is the time of year to review your health and welfare benefits and make changes, if you choose to do so.

You can begin today to think about your current benefits coverage and changes you may need to consider by visiting the Open Enrollment website on At Your Service (found in Related Information), where you should look for and select the "Open Enrollment 2009" icon. Also, watch for the general Open Enrollment booklet that will be mailed to your home for arrival by October 30.

At the Open Enrollment website, you will find information about UC’s health and welfare plans, an outline of who is eligible for coverage, summaries of plan changes for 2009, medical plan costs, tools to help you select the right health plan for you and your family and much more.

If you make changes, your new coverage will be effective January 1, 2009. If you are satisfied with your current coverage and do not need to make any changes for 2009, no action is required by you, except, if you wish to participate in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) next year, you must enroll or re-enroll for 2009.

The Open Enrollment website will be open for business starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, October 30 and will shut down promptly at midnight on Tuesday, November 25. Please don’t wait until the last minute to make your changes and FSA enrollment(s).

UC Protects Employees against Rising Health Insurance Costs

As you know, health care costs throughout the country continue to rise, and the University is not an exception. Total premium costs for UC in 2009 will increase by 8.9 percent ($91 million) over 2008 costs, bringing UC’s annual total cost for employee health benefits to nearly $1 billion.

As UC President Mark Yudof announced earlier this month, UC has worked very hard to develop a plan that helps shield employees, especially lower-paid staff, from escalating health care costs, while not cutting benefits. In fact, some employees will see a decrease in their monthly premiums. (See more details at the link in Related Information.)

In addition to continuing to pay 87.5 percent of employee premium costs, UC will contribute a special one-time subsidy of $5.2 million for 2009, which will further defray a portion of employees’ increases. With the additional one-time subsidy, approximately 36,000 of UC’s 110,000 employees covered by medical plans, including some 21,000 lower-paid staff, will see a decrease in their 2009 net monthly rates as compared to 2008. Most other employees will see only slight increases in their premiums.

UC will also continue its salary-based approach to health insurance whereby lower-paid employees pay lower monthly premiums than other UC employees.

Few Changes for 2009; New Administrator for Flexible Spending Accounts

UC health benefits, including expanded programs for wellness, behavioral health and preventive care introduced last year, will not change in 2009. Out-of-pocket costs (copays and deductibles) also will not increase, and your dental and vision benefits will continue to be fully paid by UC.

For those currently enrolled in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) there are some exciting changes to these plans beginning in 2009. UC has chosen a new FSA plan administrator, CONEXIS, which will result in improved services to you. The names of the FSA plans are changing to “Health FSA” and “Dependent Care (DepCare) FSA.” For those employees who enroll in the Health FSA, you will have a new Health FSA Debit Card for 2009. More information is available on the Open Enrollment website in Related Information.

Actions You Can Take During Open Enrollment

  • Change to a different medical plan.
  • Change to a different dental plan (California residents only).
  • Enroll eligible family members in your health plans (medical, dental, vision).
  • Enroll or re-enroll in a Flexible Spending Account—the Health FSA or Dependent Care FSA. Even if you are currently enrolled in these plans, you must re-enroll to participate in 2009, as these plans do not automatically roll over to the following year.
  • Opt out of your medical, dental, or vision plan, or enroll in a new plan if you previously opted out.
  • Change participation in the Tax Savings on Insurance Premiums (TIP) program. Enrollment is automatic unless you opt out.

Notice to Employees in Bargaining Units

  • Medical plan contributions for represented employees are subject to collective bargaining negotiations.
  • Changes in employee contributions for 2009 will not become effective for employees in bargaining units with expired collective bargaining agreements until the University and their unions’ representatives reach agreement or until the rates are in effect in accordance with the requirements of HEERA.
  • Due to operational requirements, the medical plan options made available on the website and in written communication to all employees during Open Enrollment will reflect the new employee contribution rate for all participants.
  • However, employees in bargaining units with expired collective bargaining agreements can make enrollment changes during Open Enrollment, and they will be charged the applicable employee contribution rate until the University and their unions’ representatives reach agreement or until the rates are in effect in accordance with the requirements of HEERA.

If you have any questions, please contact the Campus Benefits Office at (310) 794-0830, or Health Systems at (310) 794-0500.


Campus Human Resources, Benefits Services
Phone: (310) 794-0830 | Fax: (310) 794-0835