Active Annual Benefits Enrollment for 2013 Begins Oct. 29 and Runs Through Nov. 16

Employee benefits enrollment for 2013 begins Monday, Oct. 29, and runs through Friday, Nov. 16. This year, all benefits-eligible employees must enroll in their benefits during the annual enrollment period, even if you don’t plan to make any changes or will waive coverage. Active enrollment is required this year due to significant enhancements in the medical, vision and dental plans. These changes are described in more detail below.

Time-Sensitive Action Required

  • Review Benefits Guide. This week you will receive a benefits guide through intercampus mail. The guide provides instructions for the benefits enrollment process and details all benefits offered by St. Thomas that require enrollment. We urge you to timely and carefully review the benefits guide.
  • Use the New, Online Plan Comparison Tool. This year we are offering an online medical plan comparison tool that you can use to compare your likely costs under each medical plan, based on your and your family’s personal circumstances. You can access the online comparison tool at UST Plan Selector.
  • Attend an Information Session. We have scheduled 11 annual enrollment information sessions to help you learn about the new medical plans and answer questions you may have about them and any of the other benefits offered. The online tool will be demonstrated in these sessions. We also are offering separate information sessions focused solely on the high deductible health plan and health savings accounts (HSAs), to help you learn more about the unique aspects of these plans and accounts. You can sign up to attend these meetings through The Leadership Academy at The meeting schedule is below.

Medical Plan Changes

The medical plan changes are designed to give you more clearly distinguished options to make it easier to choose the plan and coverage level that best meet the needs and risk tolerance of you and your family.

  • The medical plans have been restructured from five plans to three plans, with three distinct benefit and price points. Each of the medical plans and coverage levels has been priced based on its actuarial value – that is, the price of each plan accurately reflects the relative level of risk and benefit associated with the plan.
  • The coverage levels will expand from three levels to four levels. New coverage levels will be Employee Only, Employee + Spouse, Employee + Child(ren), and Family.
  • The university has decreased the percentage of budgeted medical costs to be paid through employee premiums, and increased the percentage to be paid by St. Thomas. Employee premiums will cover 31 percent of budgeted medical costs for 2013 compared to 36 percent for 2012. As a result of these changes, employee premiums will be reduced, in the aggregate, by 12.9 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, despite an overall increase in the medical plan budget for 2013.
  • The medical plans will move from the Accord network to the Aware network. The Aware network includes all providers in the Accord network and includes Mayo and Hazelden as in-network options for all plan participants.
  • Acupuncture therapy will be included in the medical plans.
  • Weight loss surgeries and over the counter drugs will be excluded from coverage, consistent with general market practice.

Dental and Vision Plan Changes

The dental and vision plan changes are designed to simplify plan selection and to improve coverage levels and pricing.

  • The vision plan will be restructured from three plans to one plan. This is a more common plan structure and enables the university to offer the most popular plan, with the highest level of coverage, at lower prices. Previously, the plan options were not clearly distinguished from each other, making it difficult for many employees to select the plan that best met their needs.
  • Dependents will be covered to age 26 for dental and vision benefits, just as they are for medical.

Changes to Contribution Limits

As a result of federal statutory changes:

  • The health care reimbursement account maximum contribution will be reduced to $2,500 per year.
  • The health savings account (HSA) maximum contribution has changed to $3,250 for employee-only coverage and $6,450 for all other coverage levels for employees enrolled in the high deductible health plan (HDHP).

Annual Enrollment Information Sessions

St. Paul Sessions:

  • Monday, Oct. 29, 3-4 p.m., LIB 208
  • Tuesday, Oct. 30, 7:30-8:30 a.m., MCH 100
  • Tuesday, Oct. 30, 7-8 p.m., LIB 208
  • Friday, Nov. 2, 2-3 p.m., LIB 208
  • Friday, Nov. 9, 11 a.m.-noon, MCH 100
  • Friday, Nov. 9, noon-1 p.m., MCH 100

Minneapolis Sessions:

  • Friday, Nov. 2, 7:30-8:30 a.m., TMH 301
  • Monday, Nov. 5, noon-1 p.m., TMH 401
  • Tuesday, Nov. 6, 1-2 p.m., TMH 301
  • Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2-3 p.m., TMH 301

Gainey Session:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 30, 1-2 p.m., Gainey, Main Conference Room

Health Savings Account (HSA) and High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) Information Sessions

  • Monday, Oct. 29, noon-1 p.m., Minneapolis, TMH 401
  • Friday, Nov. 2, noon-1 p.m., St. Paul, LIB 208
  • Monday, Nov. 5, 3-4 p.m., St. Paul, LIB 208
  • Tuesday, Nov. 6, 3-4 p.m., Minneapolis, TMH 301

If you have questions about these plans and annual enrollment, contact the HR-Benefits team:

Deb Sagstetter
Rewards and Recognition Manager
(651) 962-6521

Alaina Ericksen
Benefits Specialist
(651) 962-6519

Amy Petruck
Compensation and Benefits Coordinator
(651) 962-6497