It’s almost open enrollment season for George Washington employees, and the university is unveiling a number of new and expanded benefits.
”The university offers a range of benefit options and open enrollment provides the opportunity to make changes if necessary,” said Sabrina Ellis, vice president for human resources. “Understanding all of the available options can help employees save money and get the most out of their benefits.”
Open enrollment, the annual opportunity to change benefit selections for the upcoming year, will take place from Oct. 8 to Oct. 26. Changes include adding or removing benefits, dependents and amount of insurance.
Among the changes planned for Jan. 1, 2013, is a new Maintenance Choice Prescription Program with CVS/Caremark that will enable employees to receive the lowest total copay for 90-day prescriptions filled at CVS pharmacies or through CVS/Caremark mail order. Employees who currently get a 30-day supply of maintenance drugs, will be able to receive a 90-day supply instead. The prescription drug program also encourages employees to utilize the mail order option to save money.
The university is offering a new program for employees and their family members who want to stop smoking. GW has partnered with Alere Wellbeing to offer free telephonic coaching and up to eight weeks of over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy (patch or gum) at no cost starting Oct. 1. The benefit is available to all GW employees and their household members regardless of participation in UnitedHealthcare medical plans.
Faculty and staff will also be able to participate in an enhanced Employee Assistance Program (EAP) beginning Oct 1. Through the EAP, employees and their families can receive counseling services at no cost from a large network of trained clinicians. Management of the program will transition from Cigna Behavioral, GW’s current EAP provider, to ComPsych, one of the largest EAP providers worldwide. Employees do not need to participate in UnitedHealthcare medical plans to utilize the benefit.
Employees who are enrolled in UnitedHealthcare can take advantage of GW’s Healthy Pregnancy Program. The program provides expectant mothers with 24-hour access to experienced nurses and one-on-one support throughout pregnancy, plus free gifts and resources. In addition, those enrolling in the healthy pregnancy program for the first time in 2013 have the opportunity to receive up to $250. The program is open to partners and dependents who are on the university’s health plan.
GW is offering a second vision plan option through UnitedHealthcare for 2013. Additional features under the new plan include frames every 12 months and a $150 contact lens allowance.
The university will offer new plan features in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. These include in-network coverage of preventive care services for women, such as mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care and lactation counseling. Due to requirements under the Affordable Care Act, contributions to a health care flexible spending account (FSA) will be capped at $2,500 for 2013.
George Washington will continue to offer three health care plans administered by UnitedHealthcare: Choice Plus Blue, Choice Plus Buff and Choice. Most employees will experience a contribution increase of $5 to $50 per month depending on the plan selected and the number of dependents covered.
To better reflect costs associated with types of dependents covered, the university will now offer four tiers of medical coverage: employee only, employee + spouse/domestic partner, employee + child(ren) and employee + family. In the past, GW provided three tiers of coverage.
To assist employees, the university will offer several benefits fairs this fall and extend call center hours to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. for Oct. 1 to Oct. 26. The call center number is 1-888-4GWUBEN (449-8236). Starting Oct. 8, employees can make changes to benefits via the university’s web-based enrollment system at http://benedetails.gwu.edu/openenrollment.
For a full list of changes for 2013, visit http://financeoffice.gwu.edu/benefits.