2016 Open Enrollment Begins

Benefits changes include a matching contribution to high-deductible health savings account, adjustments to mitigate pharmaceutical, imaging and laboratory costs.

September 30, 2015

Open Enrollment

GW's annual open enrollment period begins Oct. 1, and faculty and staff will notice changes to benefits plan offerings beginning in 2016.

Open enrollment is an annual opportunity for university employees to review and make changes to their benefits—medical, dental, flexible spending accounts, life insurance, vision and more. Changes made during open enrollment, which runs through Oct. 30, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2016. Changes to health plans made outside this period require a "qualified life event," such as a change in marital status, birth, or spouse's work status/eligibility for health insurance coverage.

Beginning Oct. 1, faculty and staff can make open enrollment selections online using the university’s EasyEnroll system. Elections and/or changes must be made by 8 p.m. Oct. 30.

"Open enrollment is an important part of the year for employees to make informed decisions about GW's benefit options for the following year," said John Kosky, associate vice president for HR talent management. "To improve understanding of the changes for this year, we encourage everyone to take time to attend this year's benefit fairs and benefit overview sessions."

Plan enhancements in 2016—outlined in detail in previous GW Today reports—include a GW matching contribution for participants enrolled in the High-Deductible Health Plan Health Savings account, removal of the pharmacy deductible on the Basic and Medium plans and UnitedHealthcare Virtual Visits.

Additional plan changes in 2016—aimed at mitigating pharmaceutical, imaging and laboratory costs—include the introduction of prescription drug coinsurance in the university's Basic and Medium health plans, pharmacy management programs and a new preferred network for labs and imaging.

Vice President for Human Resources Sabrina Ellis and Associate Vice President for HR Talent Management John Kosky presented changes to the plan at the September meeting of the Faculty Senate and at a series of benefits briefings on both the Foggy Bottom and Virginia Science and Technology campuses. University Human Resources will host several educational events over the next month, including sessions on benefits in general and the university’s high-deductible health plan, specifically. Open enrollment fairs also are scheduled for the Foggy Bottom and VSTC campuses and the Rockville Biostatistics Center.