Open Enrollment for the UUA Health Plan
Open Enrollment for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Heath Plan for all eligible staff takes place during the month of November. Eligible staff may join the plan effective January 1, even if they have not taken advantage of past enrollment opportunities.
Through December 1, 2017, eligible employees of UUA congregations and UUA-related employers may enroll in the UUA Health Plan and/or make changes to their existing health insurance coverage. For currently participating employees of Subscribing Employers or for Subscribing Individuals, there is nothing to do to continue coverage for 2018. The coverage for current participants will be carried over and billed at the 2018 rates. All Plan Participants are free to change plans (from High Deductible to Standard PPO, or to switch out of the Standard PPO to any of our High deductible plans) by notifying the UUA Health Plan office at healthinsurance [at] uua [dot] org.
2018 Highlights: UUA Health Plan
Bottom line, there are no rate increases!
For 2018, we are reducing our overall rates in all of our PPO plans, so that no member will get an increase, and many members will see a small decrease.
Outpatient Mental Health/Substance Abuse office visits will have the same benefit in-network and out-of-network. This means that in the Standard PPO, the benefit will be a $20 co-pay per visit whether you use in-network or out-of-network therapists.
Physical Therapy / Occupational Therapy will be increased to 30 visits per year from the current 20.
Our Medicare Supplement rates will be reduced by 50%.
Eligibility: For our congregations and related organizations, Open Enrollment is an opportunity for all eligible staff to join the plan effective January 1, 2018, even if they have not taken advantage of past enrollment opportunities. Eligible individuals are employees (those receiving a W2, and not independent contractors) scheduled to work 750 hours or more per year.
Plan Background: The UUA Health Plan is a self-insured ERISA/Church plan, owned and managed by the UUA through the UUA Employee Benefits Trust. We contract with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to provide enrollment and claims services, and access to the extensive network of Blue Cross Blue Shield providers in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
Summaries of Benefits and Coverage: This is a requirement under the Affordable Care Act, first introduced in 2013. We have created a revised SBC for each of the four PPO plans we offer. The descriptions are designed to help employees understand their plan choices for 2018. Currently, 80% of all subscribers are in the Standard PPO plan. The SBC’s are posted on the UUA Health Plan website. A paper copy is available to anyone who requests it by emailing healthinsurance [at] uua [dot] org.
Two-Page Summaries: These are the same summaries found on the UUA website and included in the PPO coverage booklets. They are designed to be a helpful reference whenever a member needs to see their benefits at a glance. Because these two-page summaries are not restricted by the rules governing a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), they are more readable than the SBCs.
What's New For 2018?
What's New For 2018?
We have heard from many of you describing the difficulty of finding in-network mental health/substance abuse practitioners. Beginning 1/1/2018, all of our plans will have the same outpatient MH/SA benefit both in- and out-of-network. The biggest impact will be for those in the Standard PPO, where the benefit for outpatient visits will be 100% after a $20 co-pay, regardless of the network status of the clinician.
We will upgrade the Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy benefit to 30 visits per year instead of 20, to make it easier for those members who need extensive PT/OT to design a plan with their therapist.
After testing a telemedicine benefit for the first time in 2017, we will be upgrading the telemedicine service to Teledoc, which will improve accessibility to telemedicine services and improve member experience. A Teledoc Welcome Kit will be mailed to Health Plan subscribers separately.
STABILITY – THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON TO JOIN US IN 2018
Health insurance has been on everyone’s mind this year, from repeated efforts in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, to unsustainable premium increases on the ACA Exchanges, to attacks on women’s access to affordable birth control. Recently announced action to defund ACA cost-sharing subsidies will further destabilize individual insurance markets, perhaps fatally.
We also know that health insurance is a big piece of your overall compensation budget. For 2018 we are hoping to relieve some of the pressure on your organization’s finances by holding the line on the rates in all of our plans. Your long term loyalty and the support of health plan members has helped the Plan reach a point where our financial results and our surplus will let us keep a cap on rates for the coming year.
The UUA Health Plan wants to be the stable option for congregations and other UUA-affiliated employers in 2018, no matter what happens in the overall health insurance market.
We remain committed to offering health insurance plans firmly rooted in UU values, at the lowest prices consistent with our obligation to maintain the financial health of the plans.
THINGS YOU NEED TO DO NOW - Congregations:
- Review all of the plans, from the “Gold” level Standard PPO, to the “Silver” level high-deductible plans that we have offered from Plan inception, to the “Bronze” level high-deductible plan that we first offered in 2014. In conversation with your staff, decide how you want to provide health insurance next year.
- Take a careful look at how you fund health insurance for your staff and how that translates into affordability for your employees. UUA Fair Compensation guidelines continue to recommend that congregations contribute 80% of the cost of individual coverage and 50% of the incremental cost of family coverage. Consider how your congregation will structure contributions and whether it would make sense to base contributions on a “Silver” plan. At the same time, consider what effect that could have on your existing staff and what effect it might have on recruiting future staff.
- If your congregation participates in the UUA Health Plan, review your personnel files, and make sure you have a record of a health plan election or rejection for every eligible employee (everyone projected to work at least 750 hours.)
- Tell your employees to carefully review the 2018 UUA Health Plans, and decide whether to keep their current plan, change plans, or enroll for the first time. If they think that their family income may qualify them for a subsidized plan through the Affordable Care Act (either state-sponsored or the Federal Exchange on www.healthcare.gov), they should follow-up on the Exchange website.
THINGS YOU NEED TO DO NOW - Employees
- Review all of the plans, from the “Gold” level Standard PPO, to the “Silver” level high-deductible plans that we have offered from Plan inception, to the “Bronze” level high-deductible plan that we first offered in 2014.
- Remember that you also have the option to add dependents who were not previously covered.
- If you decide to change plans, notify www.healthinsurance [at] uua [dot] org (healthinsurance [at] uua [dot] org) by December 1. To enroll for the first time, use the online application below:
- Enrollment Application
- Dependent Enrollment Application
- Rate Calculator