October 2007

Featured Articles

Major Dual Choice changes for 2008

2008 Health Insurance Premiums

Dual Choice Booklets

Benefits Fair

ERA (Employee Reimbursement Account)

Dental Plan Changes

Spectera Open Enrollment

Dependent Coverage Health Insurance

Dual Choice

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 8, 2007 through October 26, 2007.  The effective date of any change is January 1, 2008. 

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 2008?

  • Have I reviewed the Dual Choice Booklet (booklets may be accessed online)?

  • Have I checked which Tier my plan is in for 2008?

  • 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 26, 2007. 

What are the major Dual Choice changes for 2008?



Humana Western has significant changes in 2008:

  • Luther/Midelfort/Mayo is no longer part of Humana network

  • Marshfield network will be covered by Humana

Verify with your health plan that your provider is still available to you in 2008.


Changes to Pharmacy benefits

For most plans, the annual prescription drug out-of-pocket amount will increase to $350 per individual and $700 per family.  The out-of-pocket amount for the Standard Plan will remain at $1,000 per individual and $2,000 per family.


SMP (State Maintenance Plan) no longer available

SMP is no longer available in Pierce County.  Subscribers using providers in these counties must consider selecting another plan or will be limited to the SMP providers remaining in other areas.  Subscribers are not required to live or work in an SMP county to be eligible for SMP.


Health plan name change

CompcareBlue has changed its name to Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield.  The plan will mail information to current members and produce new identification cards at the end of this year.

What are the health insurance premiums for 2008?

For calendar year 2008, the employee share for premiums will be as follows:

Family Coverage Single Coverage Tier
$ 68.00 $ 27.00 1
$150.00 $ 60.00 2
$358.00 $143.00 3

Dual Choice Booklets will be e-mailed to all currently covered employees during the week of October 8th.  The booklet contains important information about changes in uniform benefits, prescription drug coverage, and provider network changes. Anyone with questions about insurance coverage or anyone considering a change is encouraged to meet with representatives at the Benefits Fair scheduled for October 15.

A complete list of notable plan and program changes may be found in the “It’s Your Choice” 2008 Dual Choice Booklet at http://etf.wi.gov/publications/et2107_2008.htm

Benefits Fair

Monday, October 15, 2008

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

Council Fire Room of Davies Center 


The following vendors/representatives will be attending:

Health Insurance

Anthem (Blue Cross/Blue Shield)

Group Health

Humana Western

Epic Insurance

Wisconsin Physicians Svcs (WPS)(Standard Plan)

ERA (Employee Reimbursement Account)

Fringe Benefits Mgmt Company


Dental Insurance

*  Anthem (formerly DentalBlue)* 

Life Insurance

Minnesota Life Ins (State Group Life and Individual and Family Life)

UW Employees, Inc.

Long-Term Care               

John Hancock Senior Care Insurance

Health Choice Long Term Care

Other Enrollment Information

ERA (Employee Reimbursement Account)

ERA enrollment is scheduled from October 8 through November 16, 2007.  Information will be sent through e-mail during the week of October 8.  The booklet explains online enrollment procedures.

Medical expenses for services provided through March 15, 2008 may be reimbursed with funds remaining from the 2007 plan year.  However, any unused amounts from the prior plan year that are not used for expenses incurred by March 15 remain subject to the "use it or lose it" rule and will be forfeited.  This grace period rule applies only to Medical Expense Accounts. The deadline (or "run-out" period) for filing both medical expense and dependent care claims incurred during the plan year, as well as medical expenses incurred during the grace period, will be April 15, 2008. 

Are you planning to retire in 2008?  If so, you may want to have your entire annual contribution amount withheld from the number of checks you will receive in 2008 so you can take advantage of the pretax benefit for the entire calendar year.  Contact Donna Weber (36-3871) for assistance if necessary.

Faculty and teaching academic staff only: Your annual contribution will be withheld from nine checks.  ERA contributions are not taken out during the summer, even if you are receiving paychecks during the summer.  


*Anthem (formerly DentalBlue/DentaCare plans)


Anthem plans are offered under two separate contracts.  One is sponsored by UW System and the other is sponsored by the Office of State Employment Relations (OSER).

  • October 8 - 26, 2007 is open enrollment period for both the UW System and the Office of State Employment Relations (OSER) sponsored Anthem plans which includes HMO, PPO, and the Supplemental Plan.

  • Coverage will be effective January 1, 2008.  To enroll in Anthem, employees must be eligible to enroll in the State of Wisconsin group health insurance program with either an immediate or future state share contribution.

  • If you are already covered under any of the above plans, the annual change opportunity also runs from October 8 - 26, 2007.  During this period you can add eligible dependents or change to a different Anthem plan.  Coverage changes will be effective January 1, 2008.

  • The Supplemental Plan is available to anyone who already has some dental coverage provided by their participating health plan.

UW sponsored plan: Unclassified staff, non-represented classified staff (including LTEs covered by the retirement system), and graduate assistants are eligible to enroll for single, employee +1 (including domestic partner), or family coverage.  Rehired annuitants are not eligible.

OSER sponsored plan: All represented classified employees are eligible for single, employee +1 (including domestic partner), or family coverage.

Important Note: The UW System and OSER plans are virtually identical; however, represented employees must enroll in the OSER sponsored plan.  More information will be e-mailed to eligible employees.

Spectera Open Enrollment

Open enrollment for Spectera Vision Insurance is October 8 - November 16, 2007.  Applications must be submitted to the Human Resources office by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16, 2007.  Coverage will be effective January 1, 2008.  Premiums will be deducted from your paycheck on a pretax basis.  Spectera Vision Insurance information will be sent to eligible employees, and is available online at www.spectera.com


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 should 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 intend to change plans during the Dual Choice Enrollment period.  Your current company will forward your completed information to the appropriate health insurance plan. 

Is my dependent child covered in 2008?
  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, or

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 2008 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.

Trust Fund News

The September issue of the Trust Fund News is available online for employees enrolled in the Wisconsin Retirement System. Please select the following link:

http://etf.wi.gov/publications/tfn_200709.pdf Up



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

 Updated: Thursday, October 04, 2007

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