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Benefits enrollment opens November 1: Employee contributions remain the same

As annual benefits enrollment opens Nov. 1, in-person events and online information provide details. Of note, employee medical premium contributions will remain the same for the second year in a row.

The University of Cincinnati’s annual benefits enrollment period for 2020 runs Nov. 1-30, and detailed information from the Human Resource site is already online, as is information on UC's intranet, Bearcats Landing.

When it comes to individual and family coverage, the university covers 90 percent of the monthly premiums for those employees (non-AAUP) enrolled in the high-deductible healthcare plan. Importantly, in 2020, those employees’ share of annual and monthly healthcare premiums will remain flat for the second year in a row, as will the premiums for most other benefits eligible employees.

Individuals with employee-only coverage in the high-deductive healthcare plan will continue to contribute a monthly premium toward their health care as low as $47 (those earning under $40,000 annually) to as high as $69 (for those earning more than $200,000 annually). Those with family coverage under the high-deductible healthcare plan will continue to contribute a monthly premium, tiered by salary band as well, but starting at a monthly premium of $154 for those earning less than $40,000 annually.

Premium contributions for those employees (non-AAUP) in the PPO plan will also be unchanged for 2020. Currently the university covers 80 percent of monthly and annual premium for individual coverage in the PPO option and 79 percent for those employees with family coverage in the PPO plan. For instance, employees (non-AAUP) opting for individual PPO coverage contribute $130 per month in premiums (for those earning under $40,000 annually) while those with family coverage (at that salary band) contribute $424.

Premiums for AAUP-eligible employees also remain flat and for those enrolled in the HDHP option.

The consistency and ability to hold the 2020 premium at their 2019 levels comes thanks to efficiencies, cost sharing, and an emphasis on preventative practices. Adult preventative care visits have increased over the past year. So, for instance, colon cancer, mammogram and prostate screening rates have all increased and are above our benchmark peers. The same is true for well baby, child and adolescent visits.

A family waits in a doctor's waiting room.

Such preventative practices – along with the provisions for flu shots (available throughout October and during the upcoming Benefits and Wellness Fair), diabetes prevention programs (a fifth cohort starts in January), tobacco cessation programming and other efforts – help hold down health care costs overall.

Liz Aumann, executive director of benefits, added, “When compared to other higher education institutions and other Midwest employers with more than 500 employees, UC’s benefits overall – including premiums, deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket costs – compare quite favorably.”

Just to give one instance: employees in the $60,000 to $79,999 salary band who pay $53 monthly as a premium in the high-deductible healthcare plan at UC would pay nearly twice that – $96 – on average at other Midwest employers with 500+ workers.

In other annual benefits enrollment news:

  • Dental plan coverage premiums are also holding flat for AAUP and non-AAUP employees.
  • Vision plan will offer enhanced benefits with no change in monthly premiums. Enhancements include increased frame and contact lens allowances and an increased number of providers added as in-network.
  • Non-AAUP employees enrolled in the PPO option will see a gradual increase in annual deductible and out-of-pocket maximums. Preventative care for these employees continues to be covered at 100 percent when an Anthem network provider is utilized.
  • Non-AAUP employees enrolled in the HDHP option will also see a gradual increase in annual deductible and out-of-pocket maximums. Preventative care for these employees continues to be covered at 100 percent when an Anthem network provider is utilized.
  • The PPO plan monthly contribution for AAUP-covered faculty is changing and will be determined as a percentage of monthly academic base pay.
  • Anthem Engage is available to help employees shop for care, compare doctors/dentists and other services based on quality, convenience and price. Engage is available at no cost to employees and dependents covered by UC medical /dental plans.
  • As a result of a competitive bid process with IUC universities, Long Term Disability and Employee Life Insurance rates are decreasing.
  • Employees have the opportunity to enroll in Unum's Critical Illness and Group Accident coverage. The plan provides a wellness benefit and those enrolled may be eligible for a cash benefit in the event of an unforeseen illness or injury. Enrollment is streamlined this year.

For more information:

Go online for more information, attend the Nov. 6 Benefits and Wellness Fair or plan to attend a town hall information session planned for November 2019 on UC’s Uptown, East, Clermont, Blue Ash, Victory Parkway and Reading campuses.

Finally, employees can also use this web form or email benefits@uc.edu with questions.