Employee Benefits Open Enrollment to Be Held Online October 10–November 4
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will hold its annual Open Enrollment for employee benefits online from October 10–November 4, 2016. 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 4, 2016. Any changes made to your benefits will be effective January 1, 2017.
This year, if you are covered by an MCPS-provided medical plan, you are required to attest to both your and, if married, your 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, 2016, your contribution to your health insurance will include a 3 percent surcharge on the total cost of your health insurance. For details about the tobacco-use attestation requirement, please see the spring 2015 issue of For Your Benefit.
For instructions on making your tobacco-use attestation(s) and any changes to your benefits, be sure to read “How to Access and Use the Online Benefits Enrollment System or Stand-alone Tobacco Attestation Form” in this issue of For Your Benefit. After making changes to your benefits, you will be able to view and print a benefit confirmation statement directly from the Benefit Enrollment System. You also will receive confirmation in your MCPS Outlook e-mail account.
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 2017
- 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.
Open Enrollment also is your time to enroll in a flexible spending account (FSA) for 2017. If you are participating currently in an FSA and wish to do so again in 2017, you must reenroll. If you decide to enroll in a medical FSA, MCPS will match the first $100 of contributions to your medical FSA. Read on for more information about the benefits of enrolling in an FSA for medical or dependent care expenses and how to sign up for 2017.
Your 2017 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 12, 2015, and October 7, 2016;
- you completed your medical plan’s online health risk assessment between October 12, 2015, and October 7, 2016;
- you and/or your spouse use tobacco in 2016;
- you make your and your spouse’s tobacco-use attestation during the fall 2016 Open Enrollment.
For details about your benefit options, refer to the 2017 Employee Benefit Summary. Studies show that an educated health care consumer is best able to navigate the confusing world of health insurance and make better decisions. 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.
Unsure about which plans are right for you? Keep reading to find out how to learn more about your benefit options.
*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 beneficiary(ries).