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Medical costs are rising: Choose the benefits that are right for you Oct. 26 – Nov. 17, 2023

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Open Enrollment for 2024 benefits begins on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 8 a.m., and ends on Friday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m. With significant increases in medical plan costs — despite UC covering a larger share of premiums — it’s more important than ever to make sure you understand your options and costs.

Premium contributions for certain employee groups and locations may vary from the amounts shown on UCnet and in your Open Enrollment materials. To see rates specific to your location and bargaining unit (if represented), visit ALEX, your virtual benefits counselor. You’ll also see the premiums that apply to you when you sign in to your UCPath account to enroll for 2024 benefits.

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If you don’t act during Open Enrollment, you’ll continue your current health coverage in 2024, but your costs may change. For the lowest-cost Kaiser plan (self-coverage for people making $68,000 or less per year), the monthly employee premium will change by less than $8/month. For UC Health Savings Plan members covering family members, premiums will be up to three times higher than they were last year.

UC and employers nationwide are feeling the effects of big increases in three main factors that impact medical plan premiums — costs for medical care, costs for prescription drugs and how much care is used by the people who are insured. To help protect UC employees, retirees and their families from rising premiums, UC approved a significant budget increase for 2024 — an additional $84 million for employees and $9 million for Medicare-eligible retirees. These additional subsidies directly reduce premiums for employees, retirees and their families.

2024 changes

UC will offer the same medical and non-medical plans in 2024.

As a reminder, you must enroll or re-enroll in your Health and/or Dependent Care FSA each year.

Changes to medical benefits are minor, but there are a few important enhancements to benefits 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.

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 copay of up to $60.

UC’s accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity plans will be administered by Prudential in 2024. Premium costs aren’t changing, but there are a few changes in benefits, including:

  • Accident — Benefits are increasing for hospital admittance, ground transportation, medical appliances and more.
  • Critical illness
    • Pre-existing cancer diagnosis limitations will be removed.
    • New infectious disease coverage (including for meningitis, anthrax and Lyme’s disease) and wellness benefits will be added.
  • Hospital indemnity — Mammography benefits are paused pending DOI approval; benefits for hospital admission and more are increasing.

There are no changes to premium costs or benefits for legal, disability, life or AD&D insurance.

Learn more

As always, UC is offering a full range of tools and resources this year to help you make informed benefits decisions. ALEX is ready for 2024. 

Starting Monday, 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, including medical plan comparison charts.

If you need more personal assistance, contact your local Health Care Facilitator (HCF).

Log in to UCPath (employees) starting Thursday, Oct. 26, at 8 a.m. to see the medical plan premiums that apply to you and make your benefits elections. Be sure to finalize and submit your choices by Friday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m.

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