What Is Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment is the annual period when employees have the opportunity to make changes to their benefits for the next calendar year. It is also when the University announces benefit plan changes and biweekly contribution rates for the next calendar year. The choices you make during Open Enrollment take effect on January 1. Open Enrollment is generally the only time of year that you can change your benefits options, unless you have a qualifying life event like marriage, childbirth, or divorce.
Employee Open Enrollment Webinar
Want to learn more about how Open Enrollment works, and what your benefit options are at the University? Watch the recording of the November 1 webinar below.
What's New for 2024?
For 2024, there are no plan design changes. A few things to know include:
- Medical plan rates are changing for 2024. See 2024 medical rates.
- The deductible for the HSA medical plan is changing to $1,600 for employee-only coverage and $3,200 for family coverage due to IRS regulations.
- Dental plan rates are changing for 2024. See 2024 dental rates.
- Health Savings Account (HSA) maximum contributions are increasing for 2024. The University will continue to contribute $750/Employee Only and $1,500/Family (either tier) to employees participating in the HSA, and in addition, employees can now contribute $3,400/Employee Only or $6,800/Family.
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA) contribution limits are set at $3,050 for Health Care and $5,000 for Dependent Care.
- Starting January 1, 2024, HSA Bank will be the administrator for both the FSA and HSA programs. Look for more information about this transition in the coming months, but for now you can browse frequently asked questions (PDF) or learn more about this transition on the OHR website.
Preparing for Open Enrollment
The enrollment period is always a good time to review your current benefit selections, and your covered dependents, to make sure your benefits are meeting your needs. Whether you have to do anything during Open Enrollment depends on if you want to change any of your benefits:
"I don’t want to change my benefits."
The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is the only employee benefit that you will lose in 2024 if you do not re-enroll. Your other benefits will stay the same if left untouched.
"I want to make changes to my benefits."
Browse the benefit tabs below to learn more specifics about each of the benefits and changes you can make, but as a general overview, you can consider:
- Medical and Dental: Choose a different medical plan or dental plan.
- Dependent Coverage: Add or remove coverage for your spouse or dependent children.
- Flexible Spending Accounts: Enroll in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) so you can use pre-tax dollars for health care or dependent care expenses—participants must enroll every year!
- Voluntary Short-Term Disability: Increase the amount of your existing voluntary short-term disability insurance by $100 or $200 without evidence of good health, not to exceed the maximum, or cancel your existing coverage. (If you do not have existing coverage and want to apply, or to add more than $200 in coverage, use this separate Voluntary Disability Enrollment Form rather than the MyU Portal.)
- Voluntary Long-Term Disability: Begin, decrease, increase, or cancel voluntary long-term disability insurance coverage if you are a Civil Service or Labor-Represented employees or Faculty and P&A working 50-67% time.
- Child Life Insurance: Enroll in coverage without evidence of insurability, or cancel existing coverage.
- Additional Employee and Spouse Life Insurance: Decrease or cancel your existing coverage.
Remember, some benefits can be added or updated throughout the year and you don’t have to wait for Open Enrollment:
- Additional Employee and Spouse Life Insurance: if you wish to enroll or increase the amount of coverage throughout the year, you will need to provide medical evidence of insurability (proof of good health)
- Retirement Savings: enroll in the Optional Retirement Plan or 457 Plan, change your contribution to a voluntary plan, meet with a retirement planner, and update beneficiaries
- Health Savings Account (HSA): change your contribution, as long as you are in the Medica HSA medical plan. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
- Voluntary Short-Term Disability coverage: enroll in short-term disability, subject to underwriting.
- Wellbeing Program: all full-time and part-time employees can now create an account with Virgin Pulse throughout the year, regardless of health insurance coverage. Employees enrolled in a University medical plan can still earn a discount of $500-750 on insurance rates for the following year.
- Financial Counseling and the Employee Assistance Program are always available to eligible employees.
How Do I Enroll?
To complete your Open Enrollment, follow these steps:
1. Collect the materials you’ll need before you go online.
- University Internet ID, MyU Password, and Duo device for logging in.
- Any lists or notes of plan changes you’d like to make, including: If you’re enrolling in Medica Elect & Essential for the first time, have you chosen a Primary Care Clinic (PCC)? If you are already enrolled in Medica Elect & Essential and you’d like to change your PCC, reach out to Medica directly.
- If you're enrolling in an HSA or FSA, do you know the amount you are going to contribute?
- If you’re choosing short- and/or long-term disability coverage, do you know your maximum amount?
- Birthdate and Social Security number for any dependents or a spouse you’re adding to your plan, if applicable. (Remember to add each dependent to each plan they're joining. For example, your dependent's enrollment in Medical will not automatically enroll them in Dental, they must be added to each.)
2. Go to MyU.umn.edu.
- Log in.
- Select “My Benefits” in the left panel.
- Choose "My Benefits Enrollment," scroll down, and click "Select."
3. Click to choose your benefits options.
- All your benefits will automatically re-enroll except the FSA, which must be enrolled in annually.
- You can save drafts and make changes before hitting “Submit.”
4. Click “Submit” on or before November 30, 2023.
- Saved drafts that aren’t submitted won’t be officially entered.
- Once you've submitted your benefits enrollment in MyU, check your enrollment choices by going back into the My Benefits section in MyU and clicking "Confirmation Statement."
- If what you see doesn’t look right, you can go back into the Open Enrollment event until the last day (November 30), make changes, and submit again.
- You will not be allowed to make changes after Open Enrollment ends, so it is important to review the confirmation statement before November 30.
Verifying Dependent Eligibility
If you add new dependents to your medical or dental plan, the Office of Human Resources will send a checklist form to you that gives you the steps to follow to submit the proper documentation to verify eligibility. Use the matrix to determine what documents are acceptable to confirm your dependent’s eligibility.
You have about six weeks to provide proper documentation. If documentation isn’t received by the deadline, your dependents will be removed from benefits coverage.
If you have additional questions, they may be covered in the Frequently Asked Questions.
The University offers five medical plan options, some are designed to save you money and others to give you more flexibility. The plans available to you are based on where you live or work. Learn more about the medical plan options and 2024 rates at z.umn.edu/medicalbenefits.
The plans cover the same set of health care services, so you’ll want to pay attention to differences in provider networks, biweekly rates, and the out-of-pocket amounts that you pay up front, such as copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. Questions to consider as you review your options include:
- Does the plan meet the needs of you and your family? Some plans require everyone in the family to use the same healthcare network.
- Is your current doctor within the network?
- Do you want to choose a plan based on where you work or where you live?
- Are the associated costs—such as copays, deductibles, and rates—worthwhile given the benefits of the plan?
- Did you earn the wellbeing incentive for 2024? Keep in mind that if you change tiers, your incentive amount also changes.
Learn more about your plan options, resources, and commonly asked questions on the Medica website.
Once you sign up for your medical plan, you are also enrolled in the pharmacy program. You’ll receive a separate ID card from Prime Therapeutics that you can also use for Fairview Specialty Pharmacy. Present the card at your local pharmacy when you have your prescription filled.
- The 2024 Medical Plan Comparison gives you a side-by-side look at how each plan option covers medical services including everything from office visits to lab and x-ray services to prescription drugs to hospital services and more.
- Visit the Medica website to search for providers and more information to help you select a medical plan or call Customer Service at 952-992-1814 or 877-252-5558; TTY users, please call 711.
- Learn more about the University’s Pharmacy Program, including a recorded presentation with FAQs and a recorded overview of the Specialty Pharmacy Program.
A Health Savings Account (HSA) is available to any member of the Medica HSA medical plan. Unlike Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds, HSA funds roll over from year to year and can be used into retirement. Starting January 1, 2024, University HSAs will be administered by HSA Bank. Look for more information about this transition in the coming months, but for now you can browse the frequently asked questions (PDF) or learn more about this transition on the OHR website.
The University will contribute $750 for employee-only coverage, and $1,500 for coverage with dependents into the HSA in 2024. The amount is contributed over the number of pay periods remaining in the year. In addition, employees can contribute up to $3,400 for employee-only or $6,800 for dependent coverage per year.
Why is the deductible increasing for the Medica HSA medical plan, but not any other plans?
The deductible for the HSA medical plan is changing to $1,600 for employee-only coverage and $3,200 for family coverage. This is because the IRS announced new minimum HSA deductibles for 2024. In order for the University to continue to offer the HSA medical plan, the deductible has to increase to the IRS minimum.
Flexible Spending Accounts
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to use pre-tax dollars on routine expenses using either a Health Care FSA or a Dependent Care FSA. Starting January 1, 2024, FSAs will be administered by HSA Bank. Look for more information about this transition in the coming months, but for now you can browse the frequently asked questions (PDF) or learn more about this transition on the OHR website.
To have an FSA in 2024 you must enroll during Open Enrollment, regardless of whether or not you currently have an FSA. FSAs do not automatically renew.
FSA basics, like eligible expenses, procedures for reimbursement, and more can be found on the Flexible Spending Account page.
Choosing your FSA Contribution:
Do you have questions about how to choose the right amount to contribute to an FSA? Make a strong decision using these guiding questions:
What does my household’s year look like as of now?
Take a look at your household’s calendar and budget. What health and dependent care needs do you anticipate having in 2024, based on the information you have now? Compare your household’s needs to examples of eligible FSA expenses at z.umn.edu/flexspending.
With your tentative expense list in hand, mark or examine projected expenses that could possibly change due to circumstance, and then read the next section. It is possible to change your FSA outside of Open Enrollment, but only in specific circumstances.
What life changes would allow me to change my FSA election(s)?
From your daycare closing, to your work hours changing, to a birth, adoption, or marriage in your family, there are many reasons you could change your FSA dollar amount throughout the year. It is possible, but the change must be a specific circumstance known as a Family Status Change, and you must request the change within 30 days of the occurrence of the change, and submit a verification document.
During Open Enrollment, you may join a dental plan, change which plan you are covered by, cancel your existing coverage, and add or remove dependents. You can choose a dental plan based on where you live or work, and see if your preferred providers and services are in-network. At the University, dental insurance is provided by Delta Dental.
The University offers two dental plan options. Learn more about the dental plan options and 2024 rates at z.umn.edu/dentalbenefits. See the Dental Plan Availability and Comparison for the coverage levels for each category of dental services by plan.
Research the plans to see which one meets the needs of you and your family. Since the plans cover the same types of dental care services, you’ll want to pay attention to out-of-pocket costs and whether your current dentist is in your plan’s network.
Questions? Search providers and services or speak to a live Delta Dental representative using Delta Dental’s UMN web portal.
Choosing a Plan Based on Where You Live or Work:
Depending on where you live in Minnesota or the surrounding states, the base plan for Delta Dental is different. This is so you can get the same quality of in-network care no matter where you live. Use the dental plan comparison document to explore your options.
Additional Life Insurance
Life insurance protects your family from a loss of income in the event of your death. Your University employment gives several life insurance options, all provided by Securian Financial. All full-time, benefits-eligible employees are automatically signed up for basic life insurance. Part-time employees (50% to 74% time) are eligible for basic life insurance but need to enroll and pay a premium.
Every year during Open Enrollment, you have the chance to decrease or cancel your life insurance coverage by requesting a paper form. The new insurance amount will be effective on January 1, 2024.
If you wish to enroll again or increase the amount of additional coverage at a later date, you will need to provide medical evidence of insurability (proof of good health).
Get an overview of life insurance, your coverage options, and calculating your coverage needs in this recorded presentation by Securian:
Voluntary Short- and Long-Term Disability Insurance
If you’re away from work due to illness and injury, bills could start piling up. Disability coverage can provide continued income if you are unable to work for an extended period of time, allowing you to pay bills and loans. At the University, disability benefits, which include voluntary short-term disability, voluntary long-term disability, and academic disability, are provided by Unum.
Depending on your position at the University, different disability benefits are available for you. Use this University Disability Programs overview to determine your benefit options. Note that voluntary short-term and long-term disability require enrollment, and academic disability does not.
During Open Enrollment, you can increase your existing short-term disability coverage by $100 or $200 with no underwriting. You can view rates and get more information at z.umn.edu/shortdisability.
To learn more about enrolling in long-term disability coverage, or increasing existing coverage, view rules and restrictions at z.umn.edu/longdisability.
The new insurance amount will be effective on January 1, 2024.
Open Enrollment Information for Retirees
Retirees may enroll in medical and dental benefits through the University. Dental plans for all retirees are the same as those for active employees, but the retiree will pay the whole monthly premium. Learn more about your options below or download the Enrollment Guide for Retirees and Disabled Participants (PDF).
Retiree Medical Plans Age 65+
During Open Enrollment, you may enroll in, change, or cancel coverage using this form. If you are satisfied with your current retiree benefits and do not want to make a change, you do not need to fill out and return the form.
The University provides a number of plan offerings from which to choose—you can check out additional resources below, and compare plan offerings in the Retiree Guide.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield: Find additional resources or speak to a live Blue Cross Blue Shield representative using the Blue Cross Blue Shield UMN Retirees webpage.
- HealthPartners: Speak to a live HealthPartners representative by calling 952-883-7428 or 866-993-7428 (TTY: 711), or visiting the HealthPartners page for UMN Retirees.
- Medica: Talk to a live Medica representative, find medication or benefit info, and find care providers using Medica’s page for UMN Retirees.
- UCare: Contact UCare and learn more about their offerings on the UCare webpage.
Retiree Medical Plans Under Age 65
Medical plans for retirees under 65 are the same as those for active employees, though the retiree will pay the whole monthly premium.
During Open Enrollment, you may enroll in, change, or cancel coverage using this form.
Learn about Social Security benefits, including Medicare registration, as you plan your retirement. Get started with these materials:
The state of Minnesota provides free resources for retirees, including more information on Medicare, on the Senior LinkAge website. You can also call the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433 to discuss Medicare plans.
Open Enrollment Information for Former Employees
Review eligibility information and medical and dental rates for COBRA on the OHR website. When you’re ready, enrollment in COBRA benefits is done directly through BRI COBRA, LLC. Contact BRI with any questions or to request the COBRA Open Enrollment form by calling 866-996-5200 or emailing email@example.com.