October 2008


Featured Articles

Major Dual Choice changes for 2009

2009 Health Insurance Premiums

Dual Choice Booklets

Benefits Fair

ERA (Employee Reimbursement Account)

Anthem Dental Plan Changes

Vision Open Enrollment

UW Employees Inc Life Insurance

EPIC Excess Medical & Dental

Dependent Coverage Health Insurance

SWIB (State of Wisconsin Investment Board) News


Open Enrollment 2009

Health Insurance Dual Choice

October 6 - 24, 2008 is the Dual Choice enrollment period for coverage effective January 1, 2009.  Dual Choice provides an opportunity for subscribers (active employees, annuitants, and former employees who have continued their coverage) to change health plans and/or change from single to family coverage without a waiting period for pre-existing conditions.


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 2009?

·         Have I reviewed the Dual Choice Booklet? Booklets are available online.

·         Have I checked which Tier my plan is in for 2009?

·         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 24, 2008. 



What are the major Dual Choice changes for 2009?




Plan provider network changes:

  • Gundersen Lutheran (Eau Claire and Chippewa counties) and Health Tradition (Eau Claire, Chippewa, Barron, and Dunn counties) are added providers.  Please refer to the map on page A-5 and the Plan Descriptions in Section G of the It's Your Choice booklet.
  • SMP is newly available in Pierce county in Wisconsin and also in Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington counties in Minnesota.  Please refer to the "It's Your Choice 2009 Booklet" for more information.

Verify with your health plan that your provider is still available to you in 2009.


Changes to Pharmacy benefits for 2009

For most plans, the annual prescription drug out-of-pocket amount will increase to $385 per individual and $770 per family.  The out-of-pocket amount for the Standard Plan will remain at $1,000 per individual and $2,000 per family. Navitus Health Solutions is still the benefit manager for prescriptions.


SMP (State Maintenance Plan) no longer available

SMP is no longer available in Burnett county.  Subscribers using providers in this county must consider selecting another plan or they 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.  GHC-Eau Claire is now the qualified plan in Burnett County.


What are the health insurance premiums for 2009?

For calendar year 2009, the employee share for premiums will be as follows:

Family Coverage

Single Coverage


$ 78.00

$ 31.00



$ 69.00





Grad Rates

Family Coverage

Single Coverage


$ 39.00

$ 15.50



$ 34.50





Dual Choice Booklets In early October, Dual Choice booklets will be e-mailed to eligible employees.  E-mail messages will include a link to the Department of Employee Trust Fund's (ETF) Web site to obtain the "It's Your Choice" booklet.  Note: Paper copies of the Dual Choice booklet will be available at the Benefits Fair.  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 Tuesday, October 14. (There is a correction on Anthem NW provider list in the "It's Your Choice" booklet, Marshfield Clinic is a provider, not Luther Midelfort.)

A complete list of notable plan and program changes may be found in the “It’s Your Choice" Dual Choice booklet.


Benefits Fair

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Tamarack Room of Davies Center 


The following vendors/representatives will be attending:

Health Insurance

Anthem Blue Preferred Northwest Network

Group Health

Gundersen Lutheran

Health Tradition

Humana Western

Security Health

OptumHealth Vision (formerly Spectera Vision)

Standard Plan (Wisconsin Physicians Svcs)

ERA (Employee Reimbursement Account)

Fringe Benefits Mgmt Company


Dental Insurance

 Anthem DentalBlue


Excess Major Medical & Dental

 *  EPIC Insurance

Life Insurance

Individual & Family Group Life Insurance (administered by MN Mutual Life Insurance Co)


State Group Life Insurance (administered by MN Mutual Life Insurance Co)


UW Employees Inc Life Ins

Long-Term Care               

Senior Care Insurance Svcs




Other Enrollment Information

ERA (Employee Reimbursement Account)

ERA open enrollment is scheduled from October 6 through November 14, 2008.  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, 2009 may be reimbursed with funds remaining from the 2008 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, 2009. 


Are you planning to retire in 2009?  If so, you may want to have your entire annual contribution amount withheld from the number of checks you will receive in 2009 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 DentalBlue

·  October 6 - November 14, 2008 is open enrollment period for Anthem plans which includes HMO, PPO, and the Supplemental Plan.

·  Coverage will be effective January 1, 2009.  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 6 - November 14, 2008.  During this period you can add eligible dependents or change to a different Anthem plan.  Coverage changes will be effective January 1, 2009.

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


Anthem DentalBlue monthly premiums

Dentacare HMO

Preferred PPO

Supplemental Plan







Employee & 1


Employee & 1


Employee & 1


Employee & 2+


Employee & 2+


Employee & 2+



OptumHealth Vision (formerly Spectera Vision) Open Enrollment

Open enrollment for OptumHealth Vision Insurance is October 6 - November 14, 2008.  Applications must be submitted to the Human Resources office by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 14, 2008.  Coverage will be effective January 1, 2009.  Premiums will be deducted from your paycheck on a pretax basis.  OptumHealth Vision Insurance information will be sent to eligible employees, and is available online at www.myoptumhealthvision.com/members/index.jsp. All subscribers will receive ID cards in late December.

OptumHealth Vision monthly premiums

Single Coverage

Employee + Spouse or Domestic Partner

Employee +Children

Full Family

$ 5.83

$ 11.34




UW Employees Inc Life Insurance

Open enrollment period will be October 6 – November 14, 2008 for coverage effective date January 1, 2009.  UW Employees Inc Life  Insurance is a term life insurance policy.  Anyone can enroll in coverage regardless of health.  This policy provides an inexpensive way to increase your overall life insurance coverage.  For more information (including rate and coverage information):  http://www.uwsa.edu/hr/benefits/ins/uwee-ga-1117.pdf.


The amount of insurance benefits paid to your beneficiary depends on your age at the time of death, as noted in the following benefit schedule.




Monthly Premium


























Dental and Excess Medical (EPIC)

Open enrollment period will be October 6 – November 14, 2008 for effective date January 1, 2009.  Employees must be previously enrolled in the State of Wisconsin group health insurance program with either an immediate or future state share contribution.  Dental benefits will be limited to an annual maximum of $500 and $750 during the 1st and the 2nd year respectively, then increasing to $1000 the third year. Premiums will increase as follows:

2009 rates

















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 the week of October 27.  The forms are due back to the health insurance company by December 1It is crucial to complete and submit the forms in a timely manner.  If you do not reply, coverage for your dependent will end December 31, 2008.


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 2009?

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 2009 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: Wednesday, October 01, 2008

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