Open Enrollment is an annual period when you may make changes to your benefits for the following calendar year. If eligible, you may enroll in or change your coverage for the U‑M health, dental, vision and legal services plans, plus eligible faculty and staff may enroll in a flexible spending account. Faculty and staff many also add eligible dependents to their benefits or discontinue coverage. See who qualifies as your dependent.
- Open Enrollment for 2019 benefits begins Monday, October 22 and ends at 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, November 2, 2018.
- During Open Enrollment, you may make changes to your benefits as often as you wish through Wolverine Access self service. Changes and any new plan rates will go into effect on January 1, 2019 and will remain in effect through December 31, 2019 as long as you remain eligible.
- No action is required to keep your current benefits through 2019, with the exception of Flexible Spending Accounts. IRS regulations do not allow FSA enrollments to cross calendar years. If you are enrolled in an FSA for 2018 and want to participate in 2019, you will need to re-enroll.
A Note for New Faculty and Staff Members
New employees who have a job on record with the university as of October 12, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. will be eligible to participate in Open Enrollment. Faculty and staff with jobs on record after the 5:00 p.m. October 12 cutoff will not participate in Open Enrollment, rather the benefits elections they make as new employees will remain in effect for the remainder of 2018 and through December 31, 2019, as long as they remain eligible. Separate enrollments are required to participate in a Flexible Spending Account for 2018 and 2019.
2019 Health Plan Rates Same as 2018; Dental Plan Option 2 and Option 3 Rates Will Be Lower
The health plan rates for faculty, staff and retirees will remain unchanged for 2019. There will be a slight decrease in monthly rates for Dental Plan Option 2 and Dental Plan Option 3. This is due in part to the self-management of customized benefits plans by the Benefits Administration Office that has historically allowed the university health care cost trend to remain below national benchmarks. View your 2019 benefit plan rates on Wolverine Access beginning August 22, 2018.
No Major Benefits Plan Changes for 2019
There are no major changes to the U-M benefits plans for 2019.
Health Care FSA Limit Increase
For faculty and staff eligible to participate in an FSA, the annual contribution limit for a health care FSA will increase to $2,650 for 2019.
Vision Plan Enhancements
Effective January 1, 2019, members of the Davis Vision Plan will receive:
- Up to $125 on retail frame allowances
- An additional discount of 20 percent on any overage for frames
- An additional discount of 15 percent on any overage for contact lenses
- Access to the Scratch Protection Plan:
- single vision, $20
- multifocal lenses, $40
- Access to the Premium Contact Lens Formulary
- Fully covered medically necessary lenses (In-Network providers).
Learn About Your Benefits Plans and Options
Take the time now to review your benefits plans and options and decide if you to make changes for 2019. Overviews of your U‑M health plan and dental plan options, plus a quick guide to health care flexible spending accounts for eligible faculty and staff are provided below. Detailed plan information is available on the Benefits and Wellness website: Health Plans, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, Legal Services Plan, and Flexible Spending Accounts.
Quick Guide to Your Health Plan Choices
Before choosing a heath plan, consider all the costs involved (including both premiums and out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles, coinsurance, and copays), access to doctors and hospitals, and your anticipated health and financial needs over the next year. Please note that there is no out-of-pocket cost to you for preventive care under any U-M health plan.
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.
Quick Guide to You Dental Plan Options
When you enroll, you will choose one of three dental plan options.
- Option 1 provides the least coverage. For most faculty, staff, and retirees, the university pays the full premium. You pay for any services that are not covered under Option 1.
- Option 2 provides more coverage with a moderate employee contribution.
- Option 3 provides the greatest coverage with the highest employee contribution and the lowest out-of-pocket costs.
View a two-minute video for a quick guide to your three options.
Learn About Flexible Spending Accounts
The University of Michigan offers faculty and staff the opportunity to pay for eligible health care and/or dependent daycare expenses with pre-tax dollars using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) administered by PayFlex. An FSA allows you to have a set amount taken from your pay before taxes, which lowers your income tax. The money is put into an account you use to reimburse yourself for eligible expenses.
Quick Guide to Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts
When you enroll in a Health Care FSA, you can be reimbursed for eligible health care expenses that were incurred for you, your spouse, your children, and any other person who is a qualified dependent under the Internal Revenue Code. The IRS defines eligible health care expenses as expenses incurred for medical care, including amounts paid for the diagnoses, care, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease or illness and for treatments affecting any part or function of the body. This includes dental and vision care co-pays and expenses. See the PayFlex Eligible Expense Items for more information.
View a brief video to learn more about health care FSAs and how they work. Please note that the health care FSA annual contribution limit will increase to $2,650 for 2019.
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts for Day Care Expenses
There is a second type of flexible spending account, Dependent Care FSA, that is used to pay for eligible dependent day care or elder care expenses. As a general rule, eligible dependent care expenses are those associated with the care provided to your eligible dependents while you (and your spouse if you are married) were either at work or looking for work, or so your spouse could attend school full-time.
Eligible dependents include:
- Children age 12 and under whom you will claim as exemptions for federal tax purposes
- A spouse who is physically or mentally unable to care for himself or herself
- A dependent who is physically or mentally unable to care for himself or herself, and for whom you can claim an exemption.
Reminder: Flexible Spending Accounts Require Annual Enrollment to Participate
IRS regulations do not allow Flexible Spending Account enrollments to cross calendar years. If you are enrolled in an FSA for 2018 and want to participate in 2019, you will need to re-enroll.
Regulations allow an extended enrollment period for FSAs. Eligible faculty and staff may enroll in an FSA online during Open Enrollment, or complete and submit a paper 2019 FSA enrollment form (available for download at the end of Open Enrollment, after 5:00 p.m. on November 2) by November 30, 2018. Paper FSA forms will be accepted through December 31, 2018, but funds for reimbursement from PayFlex will not be available until after February 1, 2019.
Benefits Changes Outside of Open Enrollment
Qualified Family Status Change
Outside of the Open Enrollment period, certain life events, such as marriage or the birth or adoption of a child, may allow you to make specific benefits changes related to the event, such as adding a new dependent to your U-M health plan. Be sure to review Life Events for important rules and deadlines you must meet in order to change your benefits due to a qualified family status change.
Benefits You Can Change Any Time
The Retirement Savings Plans, Long-Term Disability, and Life Insurance plans are not part of Open Enrollment, and if you are eligible for these plans, you may enroll or make changes to your participation in these plans at any time of the year. Note: To avoid conflict with Open Enrollment changes, initiating 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA) and 457(b) Deferred Compensation elections through Self Service on Wolverine Access will not be available on Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2, 2018, the last two days of Open Enrollment. These Retirement Savings Plan elections will become available on Saturday, November 3, 2018.
Protect Your Personal Information
U-M uses Duo two-factor authentication for login security to protect you and the university. Two-factor means that when you log in, you provide two proofs of your identity. At U-M, that means your UMICH password plus Duo. Two-factor is required for access to many U-M systems and departmental services.
Duo two-factor authentication is available for you to turn on for Weblogin to add protection to your information in Wolverine Access, U-M Google account, and more.
To better protect your personal information—and university systems and data—use of two-factor is being expanded. Two-factor for Weblogin will be required of Michigan Medicine employees and sponsored affiliates beginning October 10, 2018. Current plans are for the Ann Arbor campus and UM-Dearborn to use Duo at Weblogin by January 23, 2019.
To learn more about Duo two-factor authentication, or to turn on two-factor for Weblogin today, visit U-M Safe Computing. For additional information, view the October 3, 2018 article in the University Record.