This year’s open enrollment — employees’ chance to sign up for or make changes to their benefits — will begin on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 8 a.m. and end on Friday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m.
Despite the University of California covering a larger share of medical plan premiums, there will still be significant increases in rates, so it’s important to make sure you understand your options. You can review the Employee Medical Plan Costs (2024) chart for more information about monthly employee contributions. (To see rates specific to your location and bargaining unit, if you are represented, visit ALEX, your virtual benefits counselor.)
Like other employers nationwide, the UC is experiencing cost increases due to three main factors that impact medical plan premiums — costs for medical care, costs for prescription drugs and how much medical care is utilized by the insured population. To help mitigate the impact of rising costs on employees, retirees and their families, the UC Office of the President approved a significant budget increase for 2024 — an additional $84 million for employees and $9 million for Medicare-eligible retirees.
Starting Oct. 23, visit UC’s open enrollment website for an overview of choices, changes and costs — and check your postal mailbox for your open enrollment packet. Also, visit UCnet for more information on the planned changes.
Several important enhancements to benefits will be available across all of UC’s employee plans:
- FDA-approved over-the-counter contraceptive drugs and devices will have $0 cost share (after the deductible, for UC Health Savings Plan and CORE) and no prescription requirement.
- Male sterilization (vasectomy services) will have $0 cost share (after the deductible, for UC Health Savings Plan and CORE), if obtained in-network.
- Health Net will transition the administration of their behavioral health benefit from Managed Health Network (MHN) to Health Net Behavioral Health. Coverage, benefits and the provider network will not be affected by this transition.
- Effective Jan. 1, 2024, a provision of the Inflation Reduction Act will enhance coverage for Medicare participants with high prescription drug costs. Medicare participants who reach the catastrophic phase ($8,000 in drug costs) will no longer be responsible for any Medicare Part D out-of-pocket costs. This change will affect the UC Medicare Choice PPO and Kaiser Senior Advantage Medicare plans.
- UC continues to pay the full cost of dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible dependents. Employee vision plan coverage for contact lenses will change from a combined maximum benefit of $160 for lenses and exam to a maximum benefit of $160 for lenses, with the exam covered separately with a co-pay of up to $60.
- UC’s accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity plans will be administered by Prudential in 2024.
If you decide not to make a change during Open Enrollment, your current health coverage will continue in 2024; however, your costs may change. Log in to UCPath starting Oct. 26, at 8 a.m. to see the medical plan premiums that apply to you and make your benefit elections. Be sure to finalize and submit your choices by Friday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m.
Finally, you may have heard Anthem Blue Cross and UC’s health system are in negotiations to keep UC health care providers in the Anthem Blue Cross network when the current agreement expires. Please note, these negotiations do not affect in-network availability for employees and retirees who have coverage through UC Care, UC Health Savings and UC Core plans and UC students with SHIP coverage.