Benefits Enrollment Kick Off; Insurance Premiums Unchanged
July 2, 2007
This summer, University of Houston faculty and staff will receive some relief from rising medical costs. For the first time in more than four years, healthcare and dental insurance premiums will remain the same. Premiums of various optional coverage will decline.
The faculty and staff member portion of the HealthSelect insurance plan will be $206.03 for member and spouse, $137.95 for member and children and $343.98 for member and family.The state will continue to pay 100 percent of the health premiums for full-time employees.
“We can attribute the premiums’ rate freeze to a softening in the insurance market and the state having adequate reserves,” said William Kimble, benefits manager. Employees who want to change their insurance plans may do so during open benefits enrollment, which runs July 23 – Aug. 17. Changes, which become effective Sept. 1, can only be made via the Employees Retirement System of Texas Web site at www.ers.state.tx.us.
During the enrollment period, faculty and staff can add or drop dependents, elect or increase life and disability coverage and switch dental plans. They also may enroll in TexFlex — a program that enables employees to use tax-free money for healthcare and daycare expenses.
The state now makes it easier for employees to continue their participation in the program. TexFlex participants will be automatically re-enrolled. Current pledge amounts and Flex Debit card elections will carry over unless faculty and staff make changes during summer benefits enrollment.
Premiums for optional group term life, dependent group term life and voluntary accidental death and dismemberment coverage will decrease. Premiums for short-term and long-term disability insurance will remain unchanged.
The short-term disability benefit amount will increase. The benefit will be based on 66 percent of monthly income — up from the current 60 percent of monthly income of up to $10,000.
To add disability or dependent life insurance or to increase group life insurance, evidence of insurability (EOI) is required. EOI forms will be accepted through Aug. 17. Forms are available at www.ers.state.tx.us/coordinators/forms/documents/EOI.pdf or in the Benefits Office, Room 352 in McElhinney Hall.