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Frequently Asked Questions about Annual Enrollment

1. What is Annual Enrollment?

Annual Enrollment is the time each year when all benefit eligible employee can enroll in benefit coverage or make changes to current benefit elections for the coming year.

2. What are the Annual Enrollment dates this year?

The Annual Enrollment dates are November 1 and 30.

3. Will I receive information at my home?

You will receive an Annual Enrollment Announcement letter.  You will not receive printed Benefit Reference Guides or confirmation forms.   You will be able to access information about UC’s benefits plans online at the Annual Enrollment website.

4. How do I enroll?

You will make your benefit selections online through Employee Self Service (ESS).  You can complete your enrollment from a computer kiosk in the Human Resources department (in University Hall), in any computer lab on campus, or from home with an internet connection. 

5. What is the first step in the enrollment process?

The recommended first step is to review your CURRENT benefit elections by accessing your current CONFIRMATION FORM.  You should also carefully review your covered dependents for each plan. 

Follow these steps (after logging into ESS):

  • Click on BENEFITS and PAYMENT.
  • Scroll to the BOTTOM of the screen and click on Print CONFIRMATION FORM ALL PLANS.  CAREFULLY review current elections and covered dependents.
  • Click on EXIT.

Reviewing your current elections will help you evaluate what changes you want to make for 2014, if any.

6. How do I know if I’ve completed my enrollment?

After you’ve made your selections online, you’ll want to review your elections.  In order to do this, (from ESS) click on the REVIEW ENROLLMENT button.  Once you are satisfied with your elections, click the SAVE and the SUBMIT buttons.  To confirm your elections, access your Confirmation Statement. 

CAREFULLY review your elections.  You cannot make changes during the year unless you experience a qualified status change and notify the Human Resources Department within 31 days of the change.  After you have accessed your Confirmation Statement and you are satisfied with your elections, click the LOG OFF button in the upper right corner of the screen.  You can make changes in your enrollment decisions until November 30.

7. How do I add a dependent?

(NOTE:  You must ADD your dependents to your UC Flex record BEFORE attempting to add them to your health insurance coverage.)

  • Access UC Flex Employee Self Service (ESS).
  • Enter your UC Central Login Service Username (6+2) and Password (also utlized to log into Exchange e-mail and Online Class Grading).  If you have problems logging in contact the Help Desk at 513-556-4357.
  • Click Log on to access the UC Flex Portal.
  • Click the EMPLOYEE SELF SERVICE tab located on the line directly below the University of Cincinnati UC Flex Banner.

TO ADD NEW dependents (spouse, domestic partner, children) to your personal data:

  • Click on PERSONAL INFORMATION (located in the red toolbar).
  • Click FAMILY MEMBER/DEPENDENTS/EMERGENCY CONTACT/BENEFICIARY. Enter applicable information.  When finished click on REVIEW then SAVE at the bottom of the screen.

TO CHANGE your current elections for Medical, Dental, LTD, Group Life or Personal Accident Insurance or to ENROLL in a benefit plan:

  • Click on the radio button that corresponds with the plan you want to change/enroll in.
  • Click the EDIT PLAN (if you are currently enrolled) or ADD PLAN (if you are not currently enrolled) button at the bottom of the screen.  The next screen will show your available options for your selection.
  • Make the desired election by putting your cursor over the box that corresponds with your election and click. 
  • For Medical or Dental Plan enrollment, after making selection, click SELECT DEPENDENTS at the bottom of the screen.
    • If you have selected Employee Only coverage, you will see the message “No dependents allowed for dependent coverage Employee Only in plan”.
    • If you selected a plan with dependents, put a check mark in the box next to the dependents you want to cover under the Plan, if applicable.
  • Click ADD PLAN TO SELECTION box at the bottom of the screen.
  • To REVIEW your elections, click on the REVIEW ENROLLMENT button.
  • If you are satisfied with your elections, click the SAVE button.
  • Your elections are not saved until you click the SAVE button.

8. Where do I go for help?

Step-by-step instructions are available.

  • Click on the link, to access the Help Website. 
  • Click on Employee Self Service in the left window pane.  On the right side of the screen, click on ‘Accessing and Navigating UC Flex Employee Self Service’.  A short version of the work instruction, called a ‘cue card’ appears in the window.  To view the full set of instructions, which includes screen shots, click on the down arrow in the ‘other formats’ field at the top of the screen and select ‘work instruction – HTML’. 

There are also Help buttons located throughout the ESS module. 

If you have questions about your personal/benefits information contact HR at 513-556-6381.  If you have difficulty logging in to ESS, contact the Help Desk at 513.556-HELP (4357).

9. What if I experience technical difficulties while trying to enroll?

The system is designed to handle our enrollment volume.  However, systems may operate slowly during ‘peak times’.  Expect higher volume on the first and last days of enrollment.  Don’t wait until the last day!

10. I am a new employee (hired between November 1 and November 30).  What do I do?

You will need to complete your new hire enrollment FIRST.  After you’ve completed your new hire enrollment, you can complete your  annual benefits enrollment. Contact Human Resources for assistance or 513-556-6381.

11. I have a child who is 24 and is a full time student.  I understand that I can cover him under my UC medical and dental plans.  How do I go about doing this?

Refer to  At this site you will find all the information needed in order to add your eligible adult child to UC’s medical and dental plans.