Open enrollment starts Oct. 1 for annual health care benefits

Open enrollment logo

The annual benefits open enrollment starts Oct. 1. Employees eligible for health care benefits are encouraged to learn more about insurance and their benefit options in preparation for taking required action by the Oct. 31 deadline.

A good starting point is the Get Savvy About Health Insurance webpage, which is maintained by the benefits office in the Office of Human Resources. It provides an overview of medical and dental plans, highlights changes for 2022 and includes other information to help employees better understand their health insurance.

“We want to empower employees to take charge of their open enrollment process,” said Cindi Peterson, associate director of benefits. “Knowing your options, comparing coverages and learning commonly used terms makes the open enrollment experience less confusing.”

The benefits office will host a virtual benefits fair again this year. The fair goes live Oct. 1 on the HR website. It will be open the entire month of October so employees can visit when it is most convenient.

“This is a time for employees to review plan changes and explore all options, not just reenroll in the same plans,” Peterson said.

Open enrollment happens each year and gives benefit-eligible employees the opportunity to review benefit offerings and keep or change their elections for the following year. Participating in open enrollment is mandatory; all benefit-eligible employees are required to take action even if no changes to current elections are made. The deadline for completing open enrollment is Oct. 31. Failure to take action results in higherdeductible and surcharges.

A health engagement model will be a part of the open enrollment process again this year. Employees who plan to participate in the HEM can complete the health assessment questionnaire now, but no later than Oct. 31. Visit the HR website for more information about the HEM.

The benefits office and PEBB will share additional information in the weeks ahead as the open enrollment period gets underway. Benefits-eligible employees should watch for emails and direct mail delivered to their home address. The open enrollment webpage is a valuable source of information to keep employees apprised of processes, updates and deadlines throughout the open enrollment period.