As part of our continuing efforts to advocate for our employees' healthcare options, University representatives attended today's meeting of the State of Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA). At the meeting, COGFA voted to allow the State's Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to enter into emergency 90-day contracts with health insurance plan vendors, which is intended to provide University employees a greater choice than the three health plan options currently available (HMO Illinois, Blue Advantage HMO, and Quality Care Health Plan). The State is working to negotiate those contracts as quickly as possible with both FY2011 and FY2012 as potential health plan vendors. In fact, negotiations were initiated during the COGFA meeting.
The State's Department of Central Management Services (CMS) will post the updated choice of plan vendors on their website as soon as that information is available. The University will send email to all benefits-eligible employees detailing the available choice of plan vendors, as well as instructions on how to make or change your healthcare plan option in NESSIE.
Please note that the Benefit Choice deadline has NOT been extended. Faculty and Staff must still make Benefit Choice selections by this FRIDAY, JUNE 17.
The deadline remains at June 17 for making Flexible Spending Account (MCAP or DCAP) enrollments as well.
You also have the option to opt-out of state health insurance coverage with proof of other creditable coverage. The documentation of such proof must be provided to the UPB Benefits Services by June 27, 2011.
Acknowledging the uncertainty caused by current events, CMS stated again today that they are committed to holding a special enrollment period at some point after Benefit Choice concludes, which will allow employees a second chance to make their healthcare plan decision. However, per IRS rules, MCAP/DCAP changes will not be permitted during the special enrollment period.
While the University does not have a role in determining what health insurance plans are offered to our employees, we continue to make every effort to communicate the impact of this uncertainty to the responsible State agencies, as well as to our legislators. We strongly empathize with our employees in the challenges presented by the unprecedented events of this Benefit Choice period. You are our most valuable asset, and we appreciate the patience and perseverance shown by our faculty and staff.