Pitt Employee Health Benefits Open Enrollment Starts April 21

Issue Date: 
April 19, 2010

Pitt faculty and staff members who wish to make changes to their health, vision, or dental benefits can do so during the annual Open Enrollment period, which this year runs from April 21 through May 12. This is the only period that the Internal Revenue Service permits benefits changes to be made. Otherwise, changes are permitted only if there is a qualified life event such as birth of a child, marriage, divorce, or loss of a spouse’s coverage.

Pitt employees who do not wish to change their current benefits selections do not need to take any action. Benefits selections will remain the same for the new plan year if an employee does not make any changes. However, if changes are desired, employees must complete them via an online enrollment form by May 12. A confirmation statement will be mailed to employees at the end of the Open Enrollment period.

This week, the University expects to mail information packets with details of Pitt’s benefits plans, including vision and dental plan options and long-term care and life insurance choices. Employees who do not receive their packets should call the Benefits Department at 412-624-8160.

The Benefits Department will conduct an Open Enrollment Fair on each campus during the Open Enrollment period. The fairs provide an opportunity to meet directly with representatives from each of the insurance carriers. The schedule follows.

Oakland: April 26-27, noon-3 p.m., William Pitt Union Lower Lounge; April 29, noon-3 p.m., Scaife Hall, Room 1105 A, B, C

Greensburg: May 4, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Rooms 101 and 118 Village Hall

Johnstown: May 3, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Student Union, Cambria Room

Bradford: May 5, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Frame-Westerberg Commons, Mukaiyama University Room

Titusville: May 6, 10:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m., Haskell Memorial Library

For fiscal year 2011 (July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011) the Pitt health insurance premiums faculty and staff pay will be slightly higher—by about 2.5 percent, an increase far lower than the projected 7 to 8 percent national average increase, according to Benefits Department Director John Kozar. The percentage increase will vary by tier level. For example, for the popular Panther Gold HMO Plan, increases in contributions from faculty and staff will range from $2 per month for single coverage to $5 monthly for family coverage.

Other significant changes, according to Kozar, include the following.

• Pharmacy Costs: copayment for brand name (second tier) drugs will increase by $2 and nonformulary (third tier) drugs will increase by $4 for each prescription. (Copayments for generic prescriptions will remain at the same level that has been in place since 2003.)

• Inpatient hospital copayments will change from $100 for an inpatient stay (maximum of four copayments per plan year) to $250 (maximum of two copayments per plan year).

• The copayment for behavioral health visits will decline to $15 per visit from $20.

The University’s health insurance costs for active faculty and staff will reach $100 million dollars during fiscal year 2011. As in the past, the University will fund 80 percent of the cost of the program, including the FY2011 increase. Faculty and staff are responsible for 20 percent of the premium.