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Open enrollment for annual benefits is now underway

It's that time of year again: Annual benefits open enrollment has begun. 

Employees can now complete the open enrollment process. Action must be taken by Tuesday, Oct. 31, by all benefit-eligible employees even if no changes are being made.

The benefits office maintains an open enrollment webpage to provide employees with instructions, information and quick links to everything needed to complete the process quickly. 

“We ask that employees set aside time to take action well in advance of the Oct. 31 deadline,” said Cindi Peterson, benefits manager. “The benefits team is available to answer questions and provide assistance.” 

Open enrollment is completed in a two-step process. First, benefit-eligible employees elect enrollment in plans for 2018, which includes electing participation in the Health Engagement Model. Second, those currently participating in the model must complete a health assessment.

All new, current and returning benefit-eligible employees must take action for 2018 benefits to avoid penalties, which include higher plan deductibles and surcharges.

There are few plan changes for 2018, Peterson said. A summary of plan changes is available on the open enrollment webpage.

Peterson emphasized the importance of taking action sooner rather than later. 

“The benefits office will send reminders throughout open enrollment, but it is up to each individual to manage his or her benefit elections and take necessary action,” she said. Contact the benefits office for open enrollment questions and assistance.