New changes for Open Enrollment for 2021-22

Sue Sproat, executive director of benefits in the Division of Human Resources, outlines the changes to benefits for Penn employees.

Medical doctor wearing a face mask and stethoscope sits at a desk holding a pen and paper going over details with a masked patient.

Penn’s Open Enrollment period is an opportunity for eligible faculty and staff to make changes to health care benefits. April 19 through May 7 marks the Open Enrollment period for the 2021-22 plan year, which takes effect July 1.

Sue Sproat, executive director of benefits in the Division of Human Resources, says there are some important changes every eligible employee at Penn will want to pay attention to.

“Each year we forecast the cost of Penn’s health plans, and we are expecting a small increase in overall cost, so the employee contributions will also increase slightly,” she says. “This will be the first increase since July of 2017. The dental and vision rates will not increase.”

Some additional major changes this year include: flexible spending accounts get uncapped rollovers from the current year, the addition of a hearing aid benefit, and an additional vision plan.

Although some things are changing, there are a few new resources for participants to use. For instance, a virtual Open Enrollment Benefits Fair will be held on April 20 and 21. Faculty and staff can also attend virtual benefits presentations during April and May. HR will also launch during Open Enrollment, “The Choice is Yours,” a new, three-episode podcast where benefits experts will discuss the upcoming plan changes and other health plan-related topics.

See below for what is changing in the 2021-22 plan year:

Workday@Penn upgrade

During Open Enrollment, eligible participants can make changes to their benefits coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via Workday@Penn. As a result of a Workday upgrade, the benefits screens will have a new look starting mid-April.

Virtual Open Enrollment Benefits Fair and benefits presentations

This year, the Open Enrollment Benefits Fair will be held virtually on Tuesday, April 20, and Wednesday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Representatives from Penn’s health care providers and wellness partners will conduct live presentations and provide recorded presentations that participants can access via the Virtual Open Enrollment Benefits Fair website, which will be launched during Open Enrollment.

Open Enrollment presentations will also be held virtually on April 13 at 12:30 p.m., April 19 at 12:30 p.m., April 28 at 2:30 p.m., and May 4 at 12:30 p.m.

Met Life Insurance for dependents: Action required

It will be required that plan participants provide the name of each dependent to be added for the Child Life MetLife Insurance plan. Faculty and staff who have enrolled in the Dependent Life Insurance plan offered through MetLife will have to re-elect the coverage and list any eligible dependent children who are under the age of 26 this year. If participants do not re-elect the coverage, they will be defaulted to waive.

Flexible Spending Accounts get uncapped rollovers in the current plan year ending June 30, 2021

If eligible participants currently have a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA), they will be able to roll over all unused funds from the current 2020-2021 plan year to the 2021-2022 plan year. DCFSA participants will not have a grace period to incur expenses after June 30, 2021. The grace period will be replaced by the rollover allowance. Eligible participants must incur all expenses between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Claims must be submitted by Sept. 30, 2021.

“This may impact the amount you wish to contribute for the new plan year: July1, 2021 to June 30, 2022,” says Sproat. “Because this rollover change was a result of the most recent stimulus legislation, it is unclear whether this change will continue into the following year. Carefully consider your contribution each year.”

As a result of the recent stimulus legislation, participants can now use their health care flexible spending dollars for reimbursing themselves for personal protective equipment such as masks and hand sanitizers.

Hearing aid benefit added

A hearing aid benefit has been added to the PennCare/Personal Choice PPO, Aetna Choice POS II, Keystone/AmeriHealth HMO, Aetna High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account, and the Aetna POS II Standard plans. The benefit is up to $4,000 per participant to be covered as medically necessary, but not more than every three years. For High Deductible Health Plan participants, the deductible must first be met, then participants pay 10%.

Additional vision plan

VSP Choice Plan is a new vision plan that will provide a greater level of benefit for glasses and contact lenses. There will be an additional cost for the enhanced plan, but all other rates will remain the same.
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