The UC Health Savings Plan (HSP) is a high-deductible PPO (preferred provider organization) paired with a health savings account (HSA), a federal tax-free account maintained by Health Equity, to help pay your out-of-pocket costs.

2018 changes: Effective Jan. 1, 2018, Anthem Blue Cross will administer pharmacy benefits for UC HSP and UC’s other preferred provider organization (PPO) medical plans.

Anthem currently administers medical and behavioral health benefits for UC’s PPO plans, and will continue in that role in 2018. Although UC and OptumRx have worked hard to improve member experience and to address problems with enrollment and authorizations, UC determined that Anthem would be a better fit as pharmacy benefits administrator for UC’s PPO plans moving forward.

More information and answers to your questions will be provided as soon as they’re available, and highlighted in Open Enrollment materials.

OptumRx will continue as the pharmacy benefits administrator for UC’s PPO plans through 2017. If you have questions about your current PPO pharmacy benefits, visit the OptumRx website or call OptumRx at 855-798-4682.

ID cards

Need a copy of your ID card? Register and log in to the Anthem website to print a copy, or call Anthem (844-437-0486) to request your ID number.

How the HSP plan works with the HSA

  • As a UC HSP member, you can use your HSA funds now to pay for your plan’s deductible and/or out-of-pocket maximum for all eligible health care expenses, or you can save your HSA funds until you turn 65. Make sure you only use your HSA funds to pay claims that are incurred after you have established your HSA. For a complete list of eligible expenses, read the IRS Publication 502 on the IRS website
  • While you are an active UC HSP member, claims from your UC plans (through Anthem, OptumRx, VSP and Delta Dental) will be sent weekly to HealthEquity and will be reflected on your HSA member portal (select View Claims from the Claims and Payments tab). Claim information for family members covered by UC HSP will be reflected on the subscriber’s HSA member portal. If you are a UC HSP member through COBRA, your claims will not be sent to HealthEquity; you must provide claim information for payment or reimbursement.
  • For claims that are not reflected on your HSA member portal, you may file directly with HealthEquity. You can save your receipts or upload them to the HealthEquity website, You can also contact HealthEquity anytime by phone (866-212-4729) or email (
  • To pay for health care services (medical, behavioral health, vision and dental) under this plan, these are the steps: 
    • Visit a provider and receive the services.
    • Your provider bills Anthem Blue Cross, VSP or Delta Dental.
    • Anthem Blue Cross or VSP or Delta Dental sends you an Explanation of Benefits (EOB).
    • Your provider sends you an invoice.
    • You can choose to pay this out-of-pocket and save your HSA funds until you turn 65 or you can pay your invoice now using funds available in your HSA. To pay your provider using your HSA funds, you can: 
      • pay your bill with your HSA debit card or
      • pay your provider directly through the HealthEquity portal or
      • use another method of payment and reimburse yourself through your HealthEquity portal.
  • To pay for pharmacy services or products, these are the steps: 
    • Fill or refill a prescription.
    • The pharmacy verifies your pharmacy coverage and provides a cost for your prescription(s).
    • Pay for prescription with your HSA funds. Use your HSA debit card or pay your provider directly through or use another method of payment and reimburse yourself through
  • You can choose any doctor or hospital you wish, but services obtained from providers in the Anthem Blue Cross PPO network cost less.
  • Preventive care from in-network providers is covered at 100% without the need to meet your deductible.
  • For all other services and prescriptions, you pay 100% of the cost, until you meet the deductible.
  • Once you meet the deductible, you pay 20% for Anthem Blue Cross PPO network providers and 40% for out-of-network providers.
  • The in-network deductible is $1,300 for individual coverage and $2,600 for family coverage; the out-of-network deductible is $2,500 for individual coverage and $5,000 for family coverage.
  • Annual out-of-pocket maximums limit what you pay for covered services. If you reach the annual maximum, the plan pays 100% of your medical and prescription drug costs for the rest of the year. The maximums for in-network services are $4,000 for individual coverage, $6,400 for family coverage; out-of-network maximums are $8,000 for individual, $16,000 for family.
  • Behavioral health benefits from both in-network and out-of-network providers are provided by Anthem Blue Cross. Anthem in-network providers generally cost less, but you may also use out-of-network providers. Costs are included in your deductible and out-of-pocket maximums.
  • If you are already enrolled in Medicare, you cannot enroll in this plan, according to the IRS. Medicare eligibility usually begins at age 65 and you can be retroactively enrolled in Medicare Part A, unless you can postpone your Medicare enrollment. Medicare Part A is mandatory for those who receive Social Security income. Check with Social Security to determine your eligibility to postpone Medicare enrollment.
  • Due to the UC contribution to your HSA, if you cover a family member and he/she is enrolled in Medicare, you cannot enroll in this plan unless you de-enroll your Medicare-enrolled family member from your coverage. Remember that the entire UC contribution is deposited automatically at the beginning of the year and is based on your coverage level.

The Health Savings Account

  • The Health Savings Account (HSA) by HealthEquity allows you to pay for your out-of-pocket health care expenses with tax-free dollars. You can use the funds at any time for qualified medical expenses or save them for future health care needs. For a complete list of eligible expenses, read the IRS Publication 502 on the IRS website.
  • New members will receive a debit card (generally valid for three years from issue date) and welcome packet from HealthEquity. Continuing HealthEquity account holders will receive a replacement debit card before their current card is set to expire.
  • Your HSA has a “use-it-or-keep-it” feature, so your entire year-end account balance rolls over annually and continues to grow tax-free.
  • The IRS sets the contribution limits each year for each coverage level. For 2017, it is $3,400 if you only cover yourself under the HSP and $6,750 if you cover at least one other family member. This contribution limit includes funds from all sources, including the UC contribution.
  • UC contributes to the HSA (up to $500 for individual coverage/$1,000 for all other coverage) and you can, too, with pre-tax payroll deductions, subject to payroll deadlines. Remember to reduce your total contribution by the amount UC contributes to your HSA to comply with the IRS limits. Individuals age 55 and older can make an additional "catch-up" contribution of $1,000 using the UPAY850 form (employees only). 
  • If your UC HSP coverage begins any time after January, UC’s contribution toward your HSA for the year will be prorated according to this schedule. However, the plan deductible for the year is not prorated.
  • UC contributions for current HSP members are sent to HealthEquity on or before the member’s first paycheck of the year and the funds are posted to their accounts within 5 business days of their paycheck date. UC contributions for new HSP members are sent to HealthEquity as soon as the HSA eligibility criteria is met (usually after the first day of the month following the day of HSP enrollment). 
  • Retirees make after-tax contributions directly to HealthEquity and take the tax benefit when filing federal income taxes.
  • Spouses of UC employees who are covered under the HSP may establish their own HSA by making after-tax contributions directly to HealthEquity and take the tax benefit when filing federal income taxes.
  • You can make contributions directly to HealthEquity for the 2016 plan year through April 15, 2017, or until you file your taxes.
  • You own your HealthEquity account, so any money in the account remains yours when you leave the HSP or when you end your employment with UC. You can continue to contribute to it as long as you are enrolled in a qualifying high-deductible health plan — even into retirement. You can also continue to use your funds for eligible health care expenses even if you can no longer contribute to the HSA. 
  • When you’re ready to use your funds for eligible health care expenses, you can take them out of your HSA without paying any federal taxes.
  • You earn interest on your account, and can invest any funds in excess of your $1,000 balance — the same way you invest funds in retirement savings accounts, except interest accrues federal tax-free.
  • Contributions and earnings are currently subject to California income tax.
  • You must have a valid Social Security number and U.S. address to establish your HSA.
  • You cannot enroll or have any balance as of December 31 in UC's Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA) if you enroll in the UC Health Savings Plan effective January 1 of the following year.
  • Here are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to become an HSP member. You are responsible in administering your Health Savings Account (HSA). As an HSA owner, you decide: 
    • Whether you are eligible to make contributions to an HSA
    • The amount of the eligible contribution to the HSA for any calendar year
    • The withdrawal of any excess contributions
    • How funds in your HSA will be spent, and
    • Whether the distributions from your HSA are taxable or non-taxable.
  • You cannot delegate these responsibilities to either the University or to HealthEquity. Since as HSA owner you are in control of the HSA, you are responsible for reporting all contributions and distributions to the IRS on your Form 1040. If you make any errors and do not correct them timely, you must pay additional tax and/or penalties to the IRS.

Monthly plan costs

Retiree plan costs chart »

Pay Band
(per annum)
Self Self +
Self +
$53,000 and under $16.93 $30.47 $37.08 $50.60
$53,001–$104,000 $52.98 $95.36 $119.38 $161.74
$104,001–$156,000 $89.98 $161.96 $193.14 $265.10
$156,001 and above $128.29 $230.92 $269.56 $372.17
Rates for union-represented employees are subject to ongoing collective bargaining as appropriate.

Typical out-of-pocket costs

Once you've met the deductible, you pay:

  • Office visit/urgent care visit: preferred provider: 20%; non-preferred provider: 40%; (in-network preventive care has no charge)
  • Emergency room: 20%
  • Hospital stay: 20% in-network; 40% out-of-network
  • Prescription drugs: 20% if purchased from in-network pharmacy; 40% from out-of-network pharmacy