Open Enrollment

This year’s open enrollment period is October 2 – October 27, 2017.

The annual open enrollment period is here. During open enrollment, eligible employees may:

  • Enroll for coverage if currently uninsured.
  • Change health plans.
  • Change from single to family, or family to single coverage, without restrictions.
  • Enroll or disenroll adult dependents (spouses or children of married adult dependents are not eligible to be covered) or domestic partner and domestic partner’s children from your family policy for the following year.

Any enrollment for coverage, or changes to coverage you request, become effective January 1, 2018.

Please be aware that for 2018 there are many changes to the health insurance carriers and provider networks available. There are also significant changes to coverage for domestic partners.

Also to note, in 2018 there will be changes to the Well Wisconsin program that will impact 2019 health insurance contribution rates.

In-person Assistance

Walk-in Sessions

The benefits staff will be holding walk-in sessions to help you understand your benefits options and the enrollment process.

Walk-in Sessions
October 26 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Engelmann Hall
Room 122
October 27 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Engelmann Hall
Room 122

All employees may enroll and view current benefit choices through the eBenefits link on their My UWM Portal page. eBenefits is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your view on the eBenefits website is customized with your information.

eBenefits Self Service Quick Guide

The benefits staff will be holding eBenefits sessions to help you enroll in benefits online.

eBenefits Sessions
October 26 8:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Engelmann Hall
Room 242
October 27 8:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Engelmann Hall
Room 242

Online Assistance

Introducing ALEX, Your Online Benefits Counselor

In an effort to make the annual benefits enrollment period less stressful for current employees, UW System is introducing this new online tool for anyone who wants a better understanding of the comprehensive benefits offered at UW.

ALEX explains all your options in plain English, and helps you choose the plans that make the most sense for you and your family. ALEX will ask you a series of questions to walk you through benefits offerings and suggest appropriate plans based on your answers.

It’s Your Choice Booklets Available Online

The above links will also provide you with a number of other useful tools and publications for the annual enrollment period.

If you wish to obtain a paper copy of the booklet, please visit the Human Resources Office, in Engelmann Hall, Room 125.

Important Changes to Your Benefits for 2018

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Contributions Effective January 1, 2018

Employee Required Contribution

6.70% General, Teachers and Educational Support Personnel

(Decreased .10%)

Employer Required Contributions

6.70% General, Teachers and Educational Support Personnel

(Decreased .10%)

There are many complex factors that affect WRS contribution rates, such as investment performance, legislative adjustments to benefit levels, demographics, etc. It is important to remember, WRS assets are smoothed over a course of five years to prevent large swings in WRS contribution rates.

For more information, please see the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds’ news item.

Insurance Plan Rates Effective January 1, 2018

2018 Employee Monthly Premiums*

UW System State Group Health
Monthly Employee Premium for 2018
Employees Covered by WRS Non-WRS Employees covered by Graduate Assistant/Short-Term Academic**
Single Family Single Family
It’s Your Choice (formerly Tier 1) with dental $88.00 $219.00 $45.50 $113.50
It’s Your Choice (formerly Tier 1) without dental $85.00 $211.00 $42.50 $105.50
Access (formerly Standard Plan) with dental $266.00 $664.00 $134.50 $336.00
Access (formerly Standard Plan) without dental $263.00 $656.00 $131.50 $328.00

The above rates represent no employee contribution increase from 2017 to 2018.

UW System State Group Health
High Deductible Health Plan Premium for 2018
Single Family
It’s Your Choice HDHP (formerly Tier 1) with dental $33.00 $82.00
It’s Your Choice HDHP (formerly Tier 1) without dental $30.00 $74.00
Access HDHP (formerly Standard Plan) with dental $211.00 $527.00
Access HDHP (formerly Standard Plan) without dental $208.00 $519.00

*Premiums listed do not apply to those who are required to pay less than half-time rates or total cost.

**Not eligible for High Deductible Health Plan

Dental and Vision Plan Rates for 2018

Plan Employee Employee + Spouse Employee + Children Family
Dental WI Select $21.04 $43.24 $49.90 $73.36
Dental WI PPO $22.38 $47.40 $52.98 $80.10
EPIC Benefits + without vision $21.38 $42.76 $42.76 $64.14
EPIC Benefits + with vision $25.02 $49.16 $49.16 $73.58
VSP $6.54 $13.08 $14.73 $23.54

Important Plan and Program Changes

Provider Changes
Access Health Plan WEA Trust will replace WPS as administrator.
Arise Health Plan Will no longer be available.
Humana-Eastern including Medicare Advantage Will no longer be available.
United HealthCare of Wisconsin Will no longer be available.
WEA Trust-Eastern Will no longer offer the following providers in their service network:

  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Froedtert Hospital
  • SSM Dean Medical Group
  • United Hospital System
If you are enrolled in one of the health plans that will no longer be available in 2018, you need to select a new health plan during the open enrollment period. If you do not, you will not have any coverage in 2018. See Plan Design Options to help you select a new health plan.
Domestic Partner Coverage
The 2017-2019 biennial budget eliminates domestic partners from being covered under the following plans:
  • State Group Health Insurance (including Uniform Dental)
  • Dental Wisconsin
  • EPIC Benefits +
  • VSP
  • State Group Life Insurance
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
Pharmacy Benefits
CVS (Including Target pharmacies) are no longer in-network.
Level 4 prescriptions must be filled through the new specialty pharmacies: Lumicera or the UW Specialty Pharmacy.
Serve You is replacing WellDyneRX as the new mail order pharmacy.
Well Wisconsin Program
The $150 incentive will continue to be available in 2018. To earn the $150, you will need to complete the current requirements of an online health risk assessment, biometric screening plus a new third step of an easy health engagement activity through StayWell.
Note: Participation in the 2018 Well Wisconsin Program will also determine your eligibility for a 2019 reduction on employee contribution rates.
Epic Benefits +

Special Enrollment Opportunity

Employees who enroll in EPIC Benefits + during this special enrollment opportunity will receive graduated dental benefits. The annual maximum benefits are as follows:

  • 2018: annual maximum benefit of $750
  • 2019: annual maximum benefit of $1,000
  • 2020: annual maximum benefit of $1,500 (full benefits)
In addition to the graduated dental benefits schedule, employees who enroll during this special enrollment opportunity will have an extended waiting period of 24 months for orthodontia benefits.
Dental Wisconsin
Annual maximum benefit increased from $1,000 to $1,250 per member.
New enrollees during ABE will be subject to:

Graduated Dental Benefits:

  • 2018: $600 annual maximum benefit
  • 2019: $800 annual maximum benefit
  • 2020: $1,250 annual maximum benefit (full)benefit)

Orthodontic Waiting Period is 24 months.

Waiting periods for basic and major restorative services have been removed.
Increase in contact lens and frame allowances from $130 to $150.
Contact lens exam copay reduced from $60 to $40.
New: Full coverage for UV protection coating on eyeglass lenses.
New: Primary EyeCare Supplemental Coverage, which includes additional benefits at a $20 copay.
Opt-Out Incentive
$2,000 Opt-Out Incentive

Employees must re-enroll for Opt-Out Incentive if elected in 2017. The Opt-Out Incentive remains at $2,000 for 2018.

Craftworkers and Graduate Assistants are not eligible for the incentive.

For more information please see It’s Your Choice 2018.

Additional Resources

The UW System Administration has posted additional information regarding WRS contributions and the various benefits plans on their annual benefits enrollment website.

UW System Annual Benefits Enrollment