5 Tips to Help You Prepare for Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is your annual opportunity to change your Health Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, and Legal Services Plan enrollments, plus eligible faculty and staff can enroll in a Flexible Spending Account. Open Enrollment for 2019 benefits begins on Monday, October 22 and ends at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 2, 2018, with changes taking effect on January 1. Here are five tips to help you start thinking about your benefits now.

1. Learn More About Your Health Plan Options

To help you better understand your U-M health plan choices, view a two-minute video: A Quick Guide to Your U-M Health Plan Options. Note: This video is intended for faculty, staff and retirees who are eligible for the university's health plans. If you are a benefit-eligible graduate student, including Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), Graduate Student Staff Assistant (GSSA), Graduate Student Research Assistant(GSRA), benefit-eligible fellowship holder, or medical school student, please visit GradCare to learn about your university health plan option.

Visit Health Plans to learn more about your health plan choices. You can view your 2019 rates through Wolverine Access.

2. Think About Next Year

Think about what 2019 may bring:

  • Do you have a young child who will go to the dentist for the first time in 2019? You will need to add your dependent to your Dental Plan coverage during Open Enrollment.
  • Do you plan to retire in 2019? Be sure to add any eligible dependents that you wish to cover as a U-M Retiree to your benefits during Open Enrollment. Dependents enrolled on your benefits at the time you retire may continue coverage as long as they remain eligible. Retirees cannot add new dependents to their benefits.
  • Do you need legal assistance with setting up a living trust? Do you want to sign up for identity protection, credit monitoring and identity management services? Do you plan to buy or sell a house in 2019? Consider enrolling in the Hyatt Legal Services Plan for help with these and other covered legal services. Please keep in mind that if you are enrolled in the Optional Life Insurance Plan, MetLife provides simple will preparation services through Hyatt attorneys to Optional Life members for free. For legal help with more complex matters, you will need to enroll in the Legal Services Plan and pay a low monthly cost.

3. Take Care of the People You Love

While you are thinking about your benefits, now is a good time to think about your beneficiary designations for your U-M life insurance and retirement savings plan accounts. It is important to update your beneficiaries when your life changes, for example if you get married, if you add a child to your family through birth or adoption, or if you get divorced or otherwise end a relationship with a named beneficiary. If you can't remember your designations, or if you have never named a beneficiary, take the time now to update your beneficiary designations. You need to make separate designations through MetLife for your life insurance, and through TIAA and Fidelity for your retirement savings accounts. Visit Your Beneficiary for instructions.

4. Think About Benefits Excluded From Open Enrollment

Life insurance, Long-Term Disability, and retirement savings plans are not part of the annual Open Enrollment, so you don't need to wait until October if you want to make any changes. If eligible, you may enroll or make changes in these plans at any time of the year. Visit the University HR website to learn about your options and view enrollment instructions:

5. Use a Checklist

To help you get ready for Open Enrollment, download a checklist or create your own and be prepared for October 22. Visit Open Enrollment for additional information.