Benefit Choice time to consider insurance plans

Dollar sign and stethescope

Employees can change health care plans through May 31.

UIC employees can change health and dental plans and enroll in flexible spending accounts through May 31 during the Benefit Choice period.

Employee and dependent health, dental and life insurance premiums remain the same as the current plan year, which ends June 30. Those premiums may increase later because of an ongoing legal dispute between the state and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The legal dispute, which is pending before the Illinois Labor Relations Board, could require university employees to pay retroactive increases on their insurance premiums, dating back to July 1, 2015. “Employees should handle the Benefit Choice period just like they do any other year,” said Brenda Butts, associate director of University Payroll and Benefits Services.

Additional insurance plans might be introduced after the legal dispute is resolved. The university’s Office of Governmental Relations is urging the state not to charge retroactive premiums and instead begin collecting the new premiums after a second Benefit Choice period, when employees can reconsider the plans and costs.

“That’s all going to be determined by the state and we’re going to have to follow suit with whatever plan the state sets up,” Butts said.

All changes during the Benefit Choice period — the only time employees can make adjustments without qualifying events such as childbirth or marriage — must be made through NESSIE.

All changes will be effective July 1.

Employees who want to enroll in a flexible spending account must re-enroll each year.

For more information, call 312-996-6471.

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