Start preparing now for the annual benefits open enrollment

Open enrollment logo

Employees eligible for health care benefits are encouraged to learn more about insurance and their benefit options before the required open enrollment period this October.

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 a preview of 2019 medical and dental plans and 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, UO benefits manager. “Knowing your options, comparing coverages and learning commonly used terms makes the open enrollment experience less confusing.”

Learning about all available options at the university and knowing their current benefit elections provides employees with key information needed to make informed decisions. The Public Employees Benefit Board, the university’s benefits administrator, has added a new option for 2019. A Kaiser Permanente medical plan will be available to Eugene employees in addition to the Providence and Moda plans.

Benefit-eligible employees are invited to attend the Benefits Fair on Oct. 2 at the Erb Memorial Union in the Crater Lake Rooms from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Representatives from each medical plan will give presentations and be available to answer questions.

“This is a time for employees to review plan changes and explore all options, not just re-enroll in the same plans,” Peterson said. “With Kaiser as an added option for all, now is an excellent time for employees to re-evaluate their insurance needs and select a plan that aligns best.”

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 a higher deductible 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 model can complete the health assessment questionnaire beginning Sept. 1. Visit the open enrollment page on the HR website for more information about the model.

The benefits office and PEBB will share additional information in the weeks ahead as the open enrollment period approaches, including enrollment instructions and information about benefit plans. Benefit-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.