Employee Benefits Open Enrollment to Be Held Online October 7–November 1, 2019
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will hold its annual Open Enrollment for employee benefits online from October 7–November 1, 2019. Through Employee Self-Service (ESS), you will have 24/7 access to the online Benefit Enrollment System (BES) to make changes to your benefits and your tobacco-use attestation. You must submit any benefit changes and your tobacco attestation no later than November 1, 2019. Changes made to your benefits will be effective January 1, 2020.
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 2020
- Designate life insurance beneficiary(ries)**
*Documentation may be required.
**Current designated life insurance beneficiary(ries) will not be displayed on the BES screen. Any changes made to beneficiary(ries) from the BES will replace all previously designated beneficiaries.
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 (if you are married) 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, 2020, your contribution to your health insurance will include a 25 percent surcharge on the total cost of your health insurance. Learn more.
Do you need help to quit using tobacco? Consider registering for and completing Well Aware’s Quit for Good tobacco cessation program. MCPS will waive the tobacco-user surcharge for the following calendar year if the program is completed between September and December of each year. If the program is completed between January and May of any year, MCPS will waive the tobacco-user surcharge and refund any surcharge paid during that year. Learn more.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
Open Enrollment also is your time to enroll in an FSA for 2020. If you are participating currently in an FSA and wish to do so again in 2020, you must reenroll. The annual limit on medical FSA accounts for 2020 will increase to $2,700; 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 and/or dependent care expenses and how to sign up for 2020.
Benefit Rates for 2020
Your 2020 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 8, 2018, and October 4, 2019;
- you completed your medical plan’s online health risk assessment between October 8, 2018, and October 4, 2019;
- you and/or your spouse use tobacco in 2019; and
- you attest to your and your spouse’s 2019 tobacco-use status during the fall 2019 Open Enrollment.
Base rates for the 2020 plan year, which do not include Wellness Initiatives credit(s) or the tobacco-use surcharge, are available in the 2020 Employee Benefit Summary. Rate charts for 2020 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.
Benefits Plan Change
In mid-2019, a change to dental and vision plans extended the length of coverage for dependents. Dependents now remain eligible for MCPS-provided dental and vision insurance coverage until the end of the month in which they reach age 24. Previously, dependents remained eligible for coverage in these plans until September 30 following their 23rd birthday.
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 2020 Employee Benefit Summary. 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 and changes to your benefits.