The annual Open Enrollment period begins today (Monday, October 31) and ends at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22.  This is the time of year to review your health and welfare benefits, decide whether to make any changes, and enroll/re-enroll in a flexible spending account.

Faculty and staff will see only modest increases in medical plan costs for 2012, with 70 percent of employees seeing increases of less than $10 each month.  In some instances, rates will actually go down next year.  UC continues to cover 87 percent of premium costs.  See the complete list of 2012 health care rates on At Your Service (http://atyourservice.ucop.edu/employees/health_welfare/medical/medical-plan-costs-2012.html).
Note:  Rates for union-represented employees are subject to ongoing collective bargaining as appropriate.


Last year, UC introduced the Health Net Blue & Gold HMO, which offers the same benefit features as the Health Net HMO but with a smaller network of doctors and hospitals at a lower monthly premium cost.  Despite efforts of our campus leadership and our colleagues at Office of the President, there has been no change in contracted medical groups in Santa Cruz or Santa Clara counties for the Health Net Blue & Gold plan for 2012, although there were some additions for Alameda and San Mateo counties.  This means that Palo Alto Medical Foundation Santa Cruz and Camino Medical Group will not be a provider option under the lower cost Blue & Gold plan.  Campus leadership will continue to work with UCOP to expand provider group options for the Blue & Gold network for UCSC employees.

UC continues to offer several medical plans from which to choose.  Each plan provides comprehensive coverage, including behavioral health benefits.  But the cost, both in terms of premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, as well as provider choice and flexibility to use out-of-network doctors and hospitals, varies significantly.

Please take time to review your 2012 options and choose the medical plan that best fits your needs.  Open Enrollment booklets were mailed to your home last week.  There are also tools on the Open Enrollment web site (http://www.atyourservice.ucop.edu/open_enrollment) to help you compare plans and find the one that’s right for you and your family.

If you have questions or need assistance with your enrollment decisions, consider attending an Open Enrollment presentation.  Schedules may be found on the UCSC Open Enrollment web site (http://shr.ucsc.edu/announce/open_enrollment_2012.htm).  For individual assistance, please contact the Benefits Office at (831) 459-2013.