Auburn University Health Insurance Plans:
2018 Changes, Enrollment Information at a Glance

 

Open Enrollment for 2018 benefits begins on Nov. 1, 2017, and continues until Nov. 30, 2017, at 4:45 p.m. During this time, you may enroll in, cancel, or make changes to your benefits elections. IRS regulations do not allow for Plan enrollment beyond Nov. 30, 2017, unless there is a qualifying event (i.e. marriage, divorce, birth of a child, etc.) during the year.

If you are currently enrolled in health, dental, vision, and cancer insurance, and you do not want to make any changes to your coverages, there is nothing you need to do to continue them. No action on your part will be deemed to represent your wish for your elections to carry over into 2018. However, if you are currently enrolled in the Flexible Spending Account, you must re-enroll or your FSA contributions, which include the medical and dependent care (child/elder care) accounts, will end as of Dec. 31, 2017.

Additional information regarding the University's health insurance plan is included below. Additional enrollment information is included at the bottom of this page.

 

Premium Changes for 2018

Auburn University offers a self-insured group health insurance plan with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama (BCBSAL) acting as the administrator for processing medical claims, and American Behavioral providing mental health and substance abuse coverage. Through the plan, eligible Auburn University employees and their eligible dependents receive quality medical and pharmaceutical coverage.

Each year, many health plans, including the plan offered by Auburn University, incur increased costs. In 2018, expenditures (medical, pharmaceutical, and mental health) are projected to top $58 million, which is an increase of $6 million from 2017:

Year Medical Pharmacy Mental Health Total
2017 $37 million $14.2 million $1 million $52.2 million
2018 $41.6 million $15.4 million $1.1 million $58.1 million
Difference $4.6 million $1.2 million $100,000 $5.9 million

As a self-insured group health plan, the University assumes the financial risk for providing health care benefits. Premiums that are paid by the employee along with employer contributions from Auburn University generate the funding for our health insurance plan. Although BCBSAL is our third-party administrator which processes medical claims and provides customer support, our health care plan claims are paid directly by Auburn University.

This year, Human Resources, along with the University's Chief Pharmacy Officer and the Insurance & Benefits Committee, worked closely to identify ways to cover the projected $5.9 million increase in cost for 2018, while maintaining the highest quality health insurance plan possible. The University will cover approximately 70 percent of the increase, and health insurance premiums and plan design changes will be used to address the remainder. It is important to note that the percentage increase will vary by the type of coverage - Self, Employee Plus Spouse, Employee Plus Children, or Family. In 2018, the ratio used to determine the increases will be modified to more closely reflect the number of individuals covered, and the amount of claims costs associated with the plan types selected by the employee. Due to the increased costs within our plan for covering spouses or sponsored adult dependents (SADs), which is 26 percent higher than employee costs, the increases will be higher for the plan types that include spouses/SADs.

Please review the 2018 Employee Benefits-at-a-Glance to review the new premium rates. Remember, these deductions are made on a pre-tax basis, thus lowering the amount of your income that is taxed.

 

Healthy Tigers can save you up to $600 in 2018

IMPORTANT CHANGE! In 2018, you can receive a Healthy Tigers annual discount of up to $600 if you and your spouse/sponsored adult dependent (SAD) both participate in the Healthy Tigers screening program and complete all program requirements ($300 for the employee and $300 for the spouse/SAD). Participation and compliance in the Healthy Tigers Program will lessen the impact of the premium rate increase for you and your covered dependents!

As of now, there is no set deadline for qualifying for the Healthy Tigers program. An individual who is screened during any given month will qualify for the discount for the remainder of that calendar year (after allowing up to 60 days for processing) and for the following calendar year. Test results must be conducted and any required follow-up must be completed (if results are abnormal) to qualify for the benefit.

Information about this benefit is posted at www.auburn.edu/healthytigers. Appointments are coordinated by the Auburn University Pharmaceutical Care Center (AUPCC) located in 2155 Walker Building, Harrison School of Pharmacy and may be scheduled online through the Healthy Tigers website. Those who do not have internet access may call the AUPCC at 334-844-4099.

Special note for employees with a spouse who also works for Auburn:
During Open Enrollment, if the health insurance subscriber for your family changes (with the other being covered as a dependent), please contact the Healthy Tigers program at wellness@auburn.edu to ensure your Healthy Tigers discount is applied correctly.

 

Other Plan Changes for 2018

Effective January 1, 2018, Auburn University has elected to offer an autism benefit for eligible children age 18 and under who have a diagnosis of autism and who meet certain clinical criteria. The annual maximum coverage allowed in 2018 for this benefit will vary based on the child's age:
  • Ages 0-9: $20,000 maximum coverage amount allowed for 2018
  • Ages 10-13: $15,000 maximum coverage amount allowed for 2018
  • Ages 14-18: $10,000 maximum coverage amount allowed for 2018

Several co-pays will increase in 2018:
  • Physician Co-Pays for Emergency Room: From $30 to $50 (per occurrence)
  • Emergency Room Facility Fee: From $150 to $200 (per occurrence, including accidental injury visits. If the patient is admitted for inpatient services through the Emergency Room, the patient will only be charged the hospital admission co-pay of $200)
  • Outpatient Services (i.e. surgeries): From $100 to $200 (per occurrence)
  • Hospital Admission: From $100 to $200 (per occurrence)

CVS/Target has chosen to remain a non-preferred pharmacy in 2018. While AU health insurance plan participants can still utilize CVS/Target, it is important to note that patient medication co-pays (out-of-pocket costs) will increase by an additional $5 in 2018 for each medication tier at all CVS/Target pharmacies. This co-pay increase at CVS/Target pharmacies is due to increased costs to Auburn University when these pharmacies are utilized:
  • Tier 1: No co-pay at AU Employee Pharmacy, $10 at In-Network pharmacies, and $25 at CVS/Target pharmacies
  • Tier 2: $10 co-pay at AU Employee Pharmacy, $20 at In-Network pharmacies, and $35 at CVS/Target pharmacies
  • Tier 3: $50 at AU Employee Pharmacy, $50 at In-Network pharmacies, and $65 at CVS/Target pharmacies
  • Tier 4: $80 co-pay at AU Employee Pharmacy, $80 at In-Network pharmacies, and $95 at CVS/Target pharmacies
  • Tier 5: $120 co-pay at AU Employee Pharmacy, $120 at In-Network pharmacies, and $135 at CVS/Target pharmacies

The individual out-of-pocket maximum will be increased by $200 to $7,350, and the family out-of-pocket maximum will be increased by $400 to $14,700. In-network co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance for medical, mental health/substance abuse treatment and prescription drugs all apply to the out-of-pocket maximum.

The Calendar Year Deductible (CYD) will increase in 2018, from $150 to $250 per person, with a three family member maximum. The CYD does not apply to preventive services, in-network physician office visit co-pays, in-network prescription drug co-pays, non-covered services, balance-billed charges, and pre-certification penalties.

Co-insurance for ancillary services will increase, from 20 percent to 30 percent. Ancillary services are defined as healthcare services provided to support the work of a primary physician. A few examples include emergency transportation, therapeutic services such as speech, physical, and occupational therapies (ST/PT/OT) and chiropractic care, and custodial services such as home health care and hospice care. (Note: the number of ST/PT/OT services per person will remain capped at 30 combined visits per year.)

By the end of this year, you will receive new health insurance cards from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama. Each card will include the new three-character alpha prefix, QAU, in the first three positions of the member's ID card. However, the nine numbers following the prefix will remain the same. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, you will need to use the new cards as the current cards become invalid on that date. You may order additional cards at www.bcbsal.org. Please note that dental cards will not change.

 

Tobacco-Free Discount

If you are enrolled in the health insurance plan, you can receive a $20 per month tobacco-free discount by certifying that you (and your spouse/sponsored adult dependent, if applicable) are not tobacco users. (Health insurance premiums shown in the Benefits-at-a-Glance already reflect the tobacco discount.)

You must certify your tobacco use status to Human Resources to qualify for the discount, though you do not have to recertify every year. As an alternative, you and your spouse/sponsored adult dependent may complete the Pack It Up Program that is available through the AUPCC to qualify for the discount. For more information call 844-4099.

 

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

The amount that can be deferred into an FSA Medical Spending Account for 2018 is $2,600 (the Dependent Care Spending Account limit will remain at $5,000). Remember that Auburn University offers a Carryover Provision, allowing you to carry over up to $500 of unused Medical Spending Account funds into the next plan year. Additional information about this continuing plan feature is included in this packet. You can enroll by completing and submitting the enrollment form, which is also included in the mailed Open Enrollment material, or you may enroll online via Self Service Banner (SSB). Instructions for online enrollment via Self Service Banner (SSB) follow.

 

From the AU home page:
  1. Click on "AU Access"; Sign on with your user name and password.
  2. Select the "Employee Services" tab.
  3. Click on "Self Service Banner."
  4. From Employee Tab click on "Flexible Spending Account Plan Open Enrollment".
  5. Complete the online enrollment process (Please double-check to ensure you are entering the annual amount, and not the per paycheck amount, that you are electing).
  6. Click on "Submit."
As an added benefit, Wage Works, our Flexible Spending Account provider, offers an online FSA store which is exclusively stocked with FSA-eligible products. The FSA Store accepts all FSA and major credit cards, offers 24/7 customer service, one-to-two-day turnaround for all orders, and free shipping on orders $50+. For more information, visit www.wageworks.com/FSAExtras.

 

Additional Information

  • Health insurance co-pays at in-network preferred providers will remain the same in 2018. Office visits at primary care physicians, urgent care, mental health, and substance abuse practitioners are $30; and specialist office visits are $35.
  • There will be no premium increases for the dental, vision, cancer, and life insurance plans for 2018. For more information on dental insurance, which is administered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama, and vision insurance, which is provided by Superior Vision, visit http://www.auburn.edu/payroll. For additional information on cancer, supplemental life, and disability insurances, contact Johnson+Sterling at 887-5533.
  • Human Resources will host the Employee Benefits Fair on November 16, 2017, from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Recreation and Wellness Center. Additional information about the fair will be distributed soon.
  • An Employee Benefits Fair will also be held on the AUM campus on November 14, 2017, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Taylor Center, Rooms 222 and 223.
  • Auburn University Human Resources is available weekdays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. and can be reached at 844-4145 or email at benefit@auburn.edu. Additional information is also available at www.auburn.edu/benefits.

 

Enrollment Questions and Answers

How do I learn additional information about cancer insurance?
Representatives from Colonial Life will be available to discuss cancer insurance on the following dates and times:
  • Thursday, Nov. 2: East Glenn Administrative Complex - HR Assessment Room (1550 E. Glenn Ave.), 9 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 3: East Glenn Administrative Complex - HR Assessment Room, 9 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 8: East Glenn Administrative Complex - HR Assessment Room, 9 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 9: East Glenn Administrative Complex - HR Conference Room, 9 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 14: AUM Benefits Fair, Taylor Center, 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 15: East Glenn Administrative Complex - HR Assessment Room, 9 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 16: Auburn University Benefits Fair, Recreation and Wellness Center, 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 29: East Glenn Administrative Complex - HR Assessment Room, 9 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 30: East Glenn Administrative Complex - HR Conference Room, 9 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 30: AUM Library Tower Conference Room, 9th Floor, 9 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.
For additional information call 887-5533 or 1-800-451-6861 or email AUbenefits@johnsonsterling.com

If I want to enroll in a new plan or change my coverage, what do I need to do?
New enrollment requires completion of an application and a salary reduction agreement which can be found below or by contacting Human Resources. Documentation substantiating eligibility will be required when adding dependents to insurance plans. Completed forms along with supporting documentation must be returned to Human Resources or to AUM Human Resources no later than 4:45 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2017. No applications will be accepted after this deadline. Human Resources is located in the Auburn University Administrative Complex at 1550 East Glenn Avenue, and AUM Human Resources is located at Taylor Center, Room 304. The forms can also be placed in the drop box at the front of Auburn University Administrative Complex, or at the third floor of Ingram Hall, with Payment and Procurement Services, no later than 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017.

Open Enrollment forms are available online:

What if I miss the November 30, 2017 enrollment deadline?
All premiums for health, dental, vision and cancer insurance and contributions to the FSA plans are payroll deducted on a pre-tax basis under a S125 Cafeteria Benefit Plan. As a result, the Internal Revenue Service requires a predetermined enrollment period, and we cannot allow any enrollments or election changes past this stated time and date. If you miss the enrollment deadline, you will not be able to make any changes to your elections until Open Enrollment in November 2018 unless you have a qualifying change in family status and notify us within 45 days of that event.

How do I get more information about my benefits and any related changes?
Human Resources will host the Employee Benefits Fair on November 16, 2017, from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Recreation and Wellness Center. Additional information about the fair will be distributed soon. An Employee Benefits Fair will also be held on the AUM campus on November 14, 2017, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Taylor Center, Rooms 222 and 223.

Whom should I contact if I have additional questions?
Auburn University Human Resources is available weekdays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. and can be reached at 844-4145 or email at benefit@auburn.edu. Additional information is also available at www.auburn.edu/benefits.

Auburn University is committed to providing a comprehensive and affordable benefits package that meets the needs of you and your family.