Employee Benefits Open Enrollment to Be Held Online October 9–November 3
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will hold its annual Open Enrollment for employee benefits online from October 9–November 3, 2017. Through Employee Self-Service (ESS), you will have 24/7 access to the online Benefit Enrollment System to make changes to your benefits and your tobacco-use attestation(s). You must submit any benefit changes and your tobacco attestation(s) no later than November 3, 2017. Changes made to your benefits will be effective January 1, 2018.
During Open Enrollment, eligible employees can—
- Enroll in benefits
- Change health insurance carriers
- Make changes to coverage levels
- Add or drop dependents*
- Enroll in flexible spending account(s) (FSAs) for 2018
- Designate life insurance beneficiary(ries)**
You may enroll in the full employee benefit plan or choose only the individual components (medical, dental, vision, or prescription drug) that meet your needs. For example, you may select medical and prescription drug coverage but decline vision and dental coverage. However, all family members must have the same coverage.
Tobacco Attestation Requirement
During Open Enrollment, if you are covered by an MCPS-provided medical plan, you are required to attest to both your and your covered spouse’s tobacco-use status, even if you are not making changes to your benefits. If you do not attest for you and your spouse, or you attest to one or both of you NOT being tobacco free throughout the 12 months prior to January 1, 2018, your contribution to your health insurance will include a 25 percent surcharge on the total cost of your health insurance. Learn more.
Effective January 1, 2018, the Wellness Initiatives
tobacco-user surcharge will increase to 25 percent.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
Open Enrollment also is your time to enroll in an FSA for 2018. If you are participating currently in an FSA and wish to do so again in 2018, you must reenroll. The annual limit on medical FSA accounts for 2018 will increase to $2,600; the limit for dependent care FSA accounts will remain at $5,000. Keep reading for more information about the benefits of enrolling in an FSA for medical or dependent care expenses and how to sign up for 2018.
Benefit Rates for 2018
Your 2018 benefit rates will be based on the benefit plan(s) you elect and, as a result of the Wellness Initiatives program, on whether or not—
- you completed a biometric health screening between October 10, 2016, and October 6, 2017;
- you completed your medical plan’s online health risk assessment between October 10, 2016, and October 6, 2017;
- you and/or your spouse use tobacco in 2017; and
- you make your and your spouse’s tobacco-use attestation during the fall 2017 Open Enrollment.
Base rates for the 2018 plan year, which do not include Wellness Initiatives credit(s) or the tobacco-use surcharge, are available in the 2018 Employee Benefit Summary. Rate charts for 2018 that do factor in Wellness Initiatives credits or charges are available on the Open Enrollment web page. Find rates for the current plan year on the Employee Benefits web page.
Studies show that an educated health-care consumer is best able to navigate the confusing world of health insurance and make better decisions. For details about your benefit options, refer to the 2018 Employee Benefit Summary. In addition, be sure to read “Summary of Major Changes to Your Benefits” in this issue of For Your Benefit to learn about upcoming changes to the benefit offerings for 2018. It is important to pay close attention to the Open Enrollment materials to ensure that you make the best choices for you and your family.
Keep reading for instructions on making your tobacco-use attestation(s) and changes to your benefits.
*Documentation may be required.
**Current designated life insurance beneficiary(ries) will not be displayed on the Benefit Enrollment System screen. Any changes made to beneficiary(ries) from the Benefit Enrollment System will replace all previously designated beneficiaries.