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Benefit Changes for 2018

October 12th – November 15th

Plan Enhancements/Changes

New Prescription Company, Caremark CVS:   Our new prescription drug vendor, Caremark CVS, will replace Express Scripts effective January 1, 2018.   Employees currently enrolled in prescription drug coverage will automatically be enrolled with Caremark.  No action is required on your part if you currently have prescription coverage. You are not limited to CVS Pharmacy; most pharmacies will accept your CVS Caremark insurance. For a pharmacy locator please visit  the CVS Caremark website.

Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) limit has increased:  The IRS announced last week that the healthcare FSA limit will now be $2650 for 2018 (from $2600 in 2017).  For more information on FSA limits please visit our Flexible Spending webpage.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Continues: ACA allows subsidized medical and prescription benefits for temporary/hourly employees who work a minimum of 30 hours a week, or average of 130 hours a month.  Eligible employees include:  adjunct faculty who teach a minimum of 9 credits (3 course at 3 credits each); Contingent I or Contingent II staff, graduate assistants or resident assistants.  Please refer to the on-line Benefits Summary Guide for more details.

Wellness Program Activities for 2017 continue through 2018:  If you completed your State Wellness Activities for 2017, you will not have to complete new activities for 2018.  Free PCP copays and reduced specialist copays will continue through 2018.

Vision Network for CareFirst:  CareFirst BlueCross/Blue Shield PPO & EPO members will experience an expanded network of vision providers through Davis Vision in 2018.

Rates Changes:  We are pleased that there are no rate changes for United Healthcare, CareFirst, and United Concordia. Prescription rates have decreased by 10% for all coverage levels. There were modest increases for Kaiser (5%) and Delta Dental DHMO (6%).

Open Enrollment Process 

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) will be used for all employees who currently have benefits.   The number for the IVR is 410-669-3893, it is important for you review the IVR Instructions on the Open Enrollment Webpage prior to calling.  Enrolling new dependents will still require the appropriate documentation to be submitted (see Dependent Eligibility Rules below) to Human Resources no later than 12:00 noon on Wednesday, November 15th.

Enrollment Forms for Contractual Employees, Retirees, and Employees not currently on coverage are now available on the HR Open Enrollment Webpage under “Forms”.  Completed forms and supporting documentation should be returned to the HR Department for review and processing no later than 12:00 noon on Wednesday, November 15th.

Open Enrollment Packets will contain a pre-printed benefit summary statement with current coverage information, a Benefits Guide, IVR Instructions, and the rates for the 2018 plan year.

Open enrollment packets for individuals enrolled as of August 26, 2017 will be distributed to employees the week of October 2nd by their department. Direct bill employees (Contingent II, individuals on Approved Leave Without Pay, etc.) as well as retirees will receive open enrollment packets at their home address.

If your enrollment began after August 26, 2017 you will not receive an Open Enrollment Packet.  The Confirmation Summary Statement received after your initial enrollment allows you to review your current coverage levels.  If you wish to make changes to your existing coverage, enroll for coverage in a new plan, add dependents, or cancel coverage, you can contact the IVR.  Please see the IVR Instructions for information you will need during the call.

If you have never been enrolled for coverage but wish to enroll, you must complete an open enrollment form (available on the Open Enrollment web page) and submit it to Human Resources no later than 12:00 noon on Wednesday, November 15, 2017. Dependent Documentation must be attached. A confirmation summary statement will be issued to confirm new coverage.

The HR Department will generate a confirmation summary statement for any changes made once the State Employee Benefits Division (EBD) has accepted your IVR or Enrollment Form changes/selections.  The statement should be checked carefully for accuracy.  If errors exist, contact the HR Department immediately at

There will NOT be a correction period this year.  Therefore, it is important that you review your current benefit plan options and complete and submit the required open enrollment form before the November 15, 2017 deadline date.

Dependent Eligibility Rules 

An employee can cover a dependent up to the end of the month in which he/she turns 26.  Additionally, the State will not require the employee to provide proof of student/disability status up to age 26.  The employee will simply have to review eligibility rules on the dependent affidavit and sign attesting to the child’s eligibility.  Eligibility criteria and FAQ’s regarding the new dependency rules are on the HR web page in the Open Enrollment section.   Employees may also cover dependents enrolled in Minnesota Life Insurance up to the end of the month in which the dependent turns age 26.

Employees adding or deleting a dependent must provide the required supporting documentation to the HR Department no later than 12:00 noon on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.  Examples of the necessary documentation are provided in the full Benefit Summary Guide.  The dependent affidavit form is available on the HR Department’s web page  in the Open Enrollment section.  Verification documents not received by the deadline date will result in the dependent being removed from coverage.