Benefits Enrollment Begins This Month

July 14, 2008

While Americans are paying record high gas prices, some costs are holding steady, at least for University of Houston faculty and staff. For the second consecutive year, premiums for healthcare insurance and the state of Texas’ dental maintenance plan will remain the same.

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. For the dental HMO plan, rates will be $7.22 for member only, $13 for member and spouse, $15.66 for member and children, and $19.27 for member and family.

Rates for the optional benefits of basic and optional term life, accidental death and dismemberment, and the short- and long-term disability income plans will remain unchanged. Faculty and staff enrolled in the dental indemnity plan, however, will see a 5-percent rate increase. The member-only rate will jump from $21.03 to $22.08, member and spouse from $39.74 to $41.73, member and children from $47.52 to $49.90, and member and family from $66.23 to $69.55.


The department of human resources will host its second annual benefits fair 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., July 29 at University Center’s Houston Room. In 2007, more than 700 faculty and staff members attended the inaugural fair.

More than 50 vendors, including Fidelity Investments Co., ING, MetLife Inc., Lincoln National, and Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthSelect, have been invited to attend. Other vendors scheduled to participate are Aetna DMO, Fort Dearborn Life Insurance Co., Teachers Retirement System of Texas, Costco, Sprint and The University of Texas Employees Assistance Program, which provides financial advice, legal assistance and family and personal counseling to benefits-eligible faculty and staff and their household members.

Additionally, officials from various UH offices and departments, such as the Recreation and Wellness Center and the Child Care Center, are scheduled to participate in the fair. Human resources staff also will be on hand to answer your questions.

Attendees will receive 2008 benefits fair T-shirts (while supplies last). Refreshments will also be served. For more information, call 713-743-5764.

Employees who want to modify their insurance plans may do so during summer benefits enrollment, which runs July 28 – Aug. 22. Changes, which become effective Sept. 1, can only be made via the Employees Retirement System of Texas Web site at

They also may enroll in TexFlex — a program that enables employees to use tax-free money for healthcare and daycare expenses. To add disability or dependent life insurance or to increase group life insurance, evidence of insurability (EOI) is required. EOI forms are available online at
or in the Benefits Office, Room 352 in McElhinney Hall. 

Francine Parker