Penn’s Open Enrollment period will run April 24 through May 5, presenting an opportunity for the University’s faculty, staff, and postdoctoral researchers and fellows to make changes to their benefits elections for the 2023-24 year, which takes effect on July 1, 2023.
“Open Enrollment provides a variety of resources for faculty, staff, and postdocs so that they can make informed decisions about their Penn health plans, life insurance, and flexible spending account options,” says Jack Heuer, senior vice president, Division of Human Resources.
The Open Enrollment Benefits fair will be held on April 25 in the Gimbel Gym at the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be an opportunity for Penn employees to talk with the University’s health care providers to find out what plan is right for them.
On-campus and virtual benefits presentations will also be held on April 6 at 11 a.m., April 10 at 12 p.m., April 11 at 11 a.m., and April 20 at 11 a.m. Visit www.hr.upenn.edu/registration for log-in links and other session information details.
Upcoming plan changes
Among the changes this upcoming plan year, says Sue Sproat, executive director of benefits in the Division of Human Resources, is a reduction in the copay for behavioral health services under the PennCare/Personal Choice PPO, Aetna Choice POS II, and Keystone/AmeriHealth HMO plans. Copays will also be lowered, under these plans, for occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy.
“We wanted to make sure that nothing stands in the way of our faculty and staff getting the behavioral health care services they need,” says Sproat. “There seems to be an increased demand and need for good behavioral health therapy, and we want to encourage participants to get the care they need.”
Sproat says that Penn HR has been very responsive to how staff and faculty are using their benefits. In the years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased awareness of behavioral health resources and an increase in the use of benefits such as the Employee Assistance Program. Under that program, benefits-eligible employees receive eight free counseling sessions.
Those enrolled in the Keystone HMO Plan will notice a switch from the Magellan Network to IBX Behavioral Health. Participants should not expect a dramatic change, says Sproat. That network will continue to use the same phone number and participants will keep the same card.
Also new is an increase in the maximum amount eligible employees can contribute to a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA). The cap has been raised from $2,850 to $3,050. Those who participate can roll over as much as $610 to the following plan year.
Another change is that fertility benefits will transition to a new provider. The $30,000 lifetime maximum for fertility treatments remains the same, but Carrot Fertility will replace the current medical coverage for all fertility-related services, effective July 1. The new provider will work with the Penn Fertility Clinic and fertility clinics nationwide to support staff in different locations. As a result of the new provider, the fertility benefit will be enhanced allowing participants to better navigate providers, coverage, and other services.
“Carrot will give employees a concierge-level [experience] to get where they need to be,” says Tamika Graham, director of benefits operations. “Whether it’s a specific provider they’re looking for because they have a specialized case or situation, Carrot has the tools and resources to assist and guide participants with what they may uniquely need.”
Medical plan and dental rates, meanwhile, will see a slight rate increase. Vision rates will remain the same. More information is available in the Benefits Enrollment Guide 2023-2024, which will soon be mailed to homes and can be found online.
New postdoc benefits plan
This year, postdoctoral researchers and fellows will have new options available through the Penn Postdoc Benefit Plan. The plan changes take effect on July 1, 2023. As a result, the current coverage through Gallagher will end on June 30, 2023. Postdocs who are NRSA Fellows will re-enroll with Gallagher for benefits to continue coverage as of July 1. All other postdocs will not be able to retain their current coverage and must make an election during Open Enrollment in order to participate in the Penn Postdoc Benefit Plan.
Under this new plan, postdocs will have access to:
· Three medical plans: Keystone Health Plan HMO, Aetna POS II, and PennCare/Personal Choice. All three plans provide access to the Penn Provider network.
· MetLife Dental Plan and VSP Vision Plans
· Fertility Benefit
· Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts: Postdocs will have the option to elect the Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts. There is a maximum election amount of $3,050 for Health Care and $5,000 for Dependent Care. You have until June 30, 2024 (end of the plan year) to incur expenses and until Sept. 30, 2024, to submit eligible claims for services you received before June 30.
Postdocs will also have access to other benefits programs such Health Advocate services, Penn Healthy You resources, including the Be in the Know campaign and Virgin Pulse wellness platform, and MindWell at Penn. For detailed information about the Penn Postdoc Benefit Plan, review the online Postdoctoral Researchers and Fellows Benefits Enrollment Guide.
Staff, faculty, and postdocs must enroll using Workday@Penn. During Open Enrollment, changes can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if you don’t need to change elections, staff and faculty are encouraged to review their benefits and beneficiary information on all of their Penn benefits plans.
Staff, faculty, and postdocs can find detailed instructions on how to enroll in the Self Service: Manage, View and Change Your Benefits tip sheet.
Enrollment guides are available for download at www.hr.upenn.edu/openenrollment.
For additional assistance, contact Health Advocate at answers@HealthAdvocate.com or call 1-866-799-2329, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.