October 2005

Featured Articles

Major Dual Choice changes for 2005

Dual Choice Booklets

Benefits Fair

ERA (Employee Reimbursement Account)

Dental and Excess Medical (EPIC)

Non-rep Dental (Dentacare)

UW-Employees Inc. Life Insurance

Dependent Coverage Health Insurance

Dual Choice

Health Insurance Changes

Each year employees enrolled in one of the State Group Health Insurance plans have the opportunity to change from one health insurance carrier to another, or to add eligible family members who are not presently covered.  This year, the Dual Choice enrollment is from October 10 through October 28.  The effective date of any change is January 1, 2006. 

To help employees assess their current health care plan and determine the need to make changes in coverage, the Office of Human Resources is providing the following checklist:

  • Is my plan still available? If not, have I selected a new plan and completed the application?

  • Is my physician, clinic, or hospital still affiliated with my plan?

  • Are there sufficient providers, including specialists, conveniently located?

  • Have benefits changed with my plan?

  • Has the premium for my plan changed?

  • Does my plan include dental coverage?

  • Am I satisfied with my plan?

  • Do I want to change from single to family coverage for 2006?

  • Have I reviewed the Dual Choice Booklet (booklets being sent out week of October 10)?

  • Have I checked which Tier my plan is in for 2006?

  • Am I changing plans?  If so, have I submitted an application to Human Resources?

Applications are due in the Human Resources office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 28, 2005. 

What are the major Dual Choice changes?



  • Atrium has been acquired and merged with CompcareBlue Northwest.  Subscribers currently enrolled in Atrium will automatically be enrolled in CompcareBlue Northwest for 2006 unless they complete an application selecting another plan.  Check the provider list at: www.bluecrosswisconsin.com.

  • The administration of the Standard Plan and State Maintenance Plan (SMP) is changing from Blue Cross Blue Shield United of Wisconsin to Wisconsin Physician Service (WPS) effective January 1, 2006.  Subscribers currently enrolled in the Standard Plan who wish to remain in the Standard Plan do not have to complete a new application.  Check out the Web site at www.wpsic.com/state.

  • SMP is newly available in Pepin and Pierce County.

  • Group Health Cooperative - Eau Claire has expanded its provider network.  Check it out at www.group-health.com.

  • Group Health Cooperative-Eau Claire has added limited orthodontia coverage.

  • GHC-Eau Claire remains in Tier 1 for 2006.

Dual Choice Booklets will be sent to all currently covered employees during the week of October 10th.  The booklet contains important information about changes in uniform benefits, prescription drug coverage, and provider network changes.  Booklets will be distributed through campus mail.  Anyone with questions about insurance coverage or anyone considering a change is encouraged to meet with representatives at the Benefits Fair scheduled for October 12.

A complete list of notable plan and program changes may be found in the “It’s Your Choice” 2006 Dual Choice Booklet at http://etf.wi.gov/publications/et2107_2006.htm

Benefits Fair

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Council Fire Room of Davies Center 


The following vendors/representatives will be attending:

Health Insurance

CompcareBlue Northwest

Group Health

Humana Western

Epic Insurance

Wisconsin Physicians Svcs (WPS)


Luther Midelfort

Marshfield Clinic

Sacred Heart

Oak Leaf Medical

Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF)

Wisconsin Retired Educators Association

Long-Term Care               

John Hancock Long-Term Care

Senior Care Insurance Svcs

ERA (Employee Reimbursement Account)

Fringe Benefits Mgmt Company

Dental Insurance



Other Enrollment Information

ERA (Employee Reimbursement Account)

ERA enrollment is scheduled from October 10 through November 18, 2005.  Information will be sent through campus mail during the week of October 10.  The booklet explains online enrollment procedures.

  • The Medical Account and Dependent Care Account claims submission deadline for 2005 has been extended from March 31, 2006 to April 15, 2006.

  • The Medical Account “period of coverage” end date of December 31, 2005 has been extended to March 15, 2006. 

  • The Dependent Care Account “period of coverage” end date was NOT extended.

Are you planning to retire in 2006?  If so, you may want to have your entire annual contribution amount withheld from the number of checks you will receive in 2006 so you can take advantage of the pretax benefit for the entire calendar year.  Contact the Human Resources office (36-3871) for assistance if necessary.

Faculty and Teaching Academic Staff only You must have your annual contribution withheld from nine checks.  ERA contributions are not taken out during the summer, even if you are receiving paychecks during the summer.


Dental and Excess Medical (Epic)


There will be an open enrollment period for those individuals who missed their initial opportunity to enroll.  The open enrollment period will be from October 10 – 28, 2005, and effective date of coverage would be January 1, 2006.  There will be a slight premium increase for 2006, and for new enrollees, there will be a graduated dental benefit over the first two years of coverage.  Further information will be sent to eligible individuals.


Non-Represented Dental Insurance Open Enrollment (Dentacare)


Dentacare will host an open enrollment from October 10 – 28, 2005, and the effective date of coverage would be January 1, 2006.  This plan is available to Non-represented Classified staff, LTEs and unclassified employees.  There will be a slight premium increase for 2006.  Eligible employees should watch for more information to be mailed in October.


UW Employees Inc., Life Insurance


Open enrollment for UW Employees Inc. Life Insurance is October 10 – 28, 2005, with an effective coverage effective date of January 1, 2006.  Employees who are eligible to be insured in the State Group Health Insurance Program are eligible for this decreasing term life insurance policy.  Further information will be sent to eligible individuals.  

On October 1, 2005 Country Insurance and Financial Services replaced Mutual Service as the program vendor.  Effective October 1, 2005, benefit increases for all age categories and premium rate increases for all age categories (except 65 and older) will take place.  Also effective October 1, 2005, the Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefit will be eliminated. 


Dependent Coverage for Health Insurance


If you have dependents who are over 19 and are still covered under your health insurance plan, your health insurance company will be mailing out Student Status forms.  They will arrive in your mail in late October, and are due back to the health insurance company by December 1It is crucial to complete and submit the forms in a timely manner.  Coverage for your dependents could be jeopardized if you ignore the form.  Employees must submit the student status information to their current insurance company, even if they plan to change plans during the Dual Choice Enrollment period.  Your current company will forward the completed plans appropriately. 

* Is my dependent child covered in 2006?
  Coverage for dependent children who are not physically or mentally disabled terminates at the earliest of the following dates:
The end of the month in which the child marries.

*  The end of the calendar year in which the child
*  Turns 19 while not a full-time student
*  Ceases to be a full-time student and is age 19 or older
*  Turns 25 while a full-time student
*  Ceases to be dependent on either parent or guardian for   support.

If you have a dependent who is no longer eligible for coverage in 2006 please contact the Office of Human Resources. We must remove the dependent from your health insurance and offer continuation benefits. The notification is not part of the dual choice enrollment function, but rather a separate requirement.


Questions regarding Dual Choice may be directed to the Office of Human Resources at 36-2513.

Human Resources Home Page
UW-Eau Claire Human Resources, Schofield 220, (715)836-2513

 Updated: Monday, November 13, 2006

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