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Open Enrollment Starting This Week: April 6

Don’t miss your annual opportunity to make changes to your healthcare benefits!  Open Enrollment for the 2006-2007 plan year begins Thursday, April 6.  Make your benefit changes online 24 hours a day at www.upenn.edu/u@penn (click on “Open Enrollment” under Announcements). Any changes must be made by Friday, April 21, and will take effect as of July 1, 2006.

Look for personalized information at your home address this week, and take note of some important plan changes affecting medical, prescription, dental, vision, and pre-tax expense account coverage. We also encourage you to attend the Open Enrollment and Health Fairs that will be held on campus this Thursday, April 6 in Houston Hall and next Tuesday, April 11 in BRB II/III from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Faculty and staff at New Bolton Center can attend an Open Enrollment Fair next Wednesday, April 12 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

Free health screenings and information will be available at the Open Enrollment and Health Fairs on April 6 and 11. In addition, wellness and fitness workshops will be offered on April 6 and 7.  You must pre-register for these workshops as well as the cholesterol screening provided at the fair on April 6 (go to www.hr.upenn.edu and click on “Open Enrollment” under Benefits for more information).

In the meantime, keep in mind these important reminders about Open Enrollment:

•   Dependent Children Age 19 and Over—If you don’t certify the student status of your dependent children age 19-23 during Open Enrollment, they won’t be covered as of July 1, 2006.  This certification must be done every year online or by calling the Penn Benefits Center.  Non-disabled children over age 19 may only be covered if they are full-time college students, and only up to the end of the plan year in which they turn age 23.  For information on covering disabled children, contact your health plan directly.

•   Update Your Life Insurance Beneficiary Information—How long has it been since you updated your life insurance beneficiary information?  Have your life circumstances changed?  Maybe you got married, got divorced, had a baby…or maybe you’ve just changed your mind about the way you’d like to distribute your life insurance benefits. Penn is now making it even easier for you to update your life insurance beneficiary information—beginning April 3, instead of filling out a paper form, you can make updates online using our enrollment website (www.upenn.edu/u@penn, click on “Open Enrollment” under Announcements).  It’s easy and convenient, and you’ll be able to view and update your life insurance beneficiary information online anytime you want.

•     Pre-Tax Expense Accounts—If you’re currently enrolled in a Pre-Tax Expense Account (Health Care or Dependent Care), remember that your current annual election amount will automatically roll over for next year unless you make a change during Open Enrollment.

See last week’s Almanac for more detailed information about Open Enrollment, or visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu (click on “Open Enrollment” under Benefits).  You can also call the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236) if you have any questions.

Rising Cost of Healthcare

As the cost of healthcare continues to increase nationwide, Penn continues to look for ways to mitigate the impact on both you and the University.

What Penn Is Doing

What You Can Do

•    Penn continues to pay a significant portion of medical and prescription drug premiums.

•    Review Penn’s plan options and see if a lower-premium plan might be a better choice for you.

•    Penn offers health and wellness programs throughout the year to help keep you fit and healthy.  Special health screenings and fitness presentations are available during this Open Enrollment period.

•    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help limit your out-of-pocket healthcare costs.  Take advantage of Penn’s health and wellness programs, join a fitness club, explore the wellness options offered by your health plan.

•    If you incurred any prescription drug costs through Penn’s plan within the past plan year, you received a personalized iBenefit Report from Caremark in late March.  This report showed you the value of your prescription benefit from Penn and highlighted potential cost-savings opportunities.

•    If you take a brand name prescription drug, you might want to ask your doctor about using a generic equivalent.  A generic contains the same medicine as a brand name, but costs less!

•       If you’re taking a maintenance medication, consider using the mail order program to save money—in addition to the added convenience of home delivery.

•    Because of new federal legislation, Penn is able to extend the deadline for incurring eligible expenses through the Health Care Pre-Tax Expense Account this year (go to www.hr.upenn.edu for details). 

•    Maximize the Health Care Pre-Tax Expense Account to pay for your out-of-pocket healthcare costs on a pre-tax basis. 

Division of Human Resources



  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 28, April 4, 2006


April 4, 2006
Volume 52 Number 28


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