What Does This Mean for You?
Annual enrollment will soon be here, giving you the opportunity to review your benefit choices and make changes if you desire. If you want to keep your current GIC health plan - and you have checked to see that it does not have any significant changes in providers or benefits and that it’s still offered - you do not need to fill out any paperwork; your coverage will continue automatically. Keep in mind that once you choose a health plan, you cannot change plans until the next spring annual enrollment even if your doctor or hospital leaves the plan. You can only switch plans mid-year in very limited circumstances, such as moving out of the plan’s service area or you retire and become eligible for Medicare (in which case, you must change plans).
Here are some tips for getting the most out of annual enrollment:
- Read your 2013-2014 GIC Benefit Decision Guide: this will give you an overview of benefit, rate, and health plan option changes. Guides are delivered to employees’ worksites and are mailed to retiree and survivor homes; they will also be on the GIC’s website before annual enrollment begins.
- You must live in a health plan’s service area to join: refer to the easy-to-read map in your Guide to find out which GIC health plans are in your area.
- Consider Limited Network Plans, which offer great value and quality coverage: limited network plans have lower monthly premiums than wide network plans – generally 20% less expensive - because there are fewer participating doctors and/or hospitals in these plans. Remember that for most Limited Network Plans, except for emergency care, there are no out-of-network benefits!
- Be sure to check whether your own and your covered spouse’s and children’s doctors participate in the plan;
- Find out if your doctors’ affiliated hospitals are in the plan; and
- Keep in mind that if a doctor or hospital leaves your plan’s network, you will need to pick a new doctor or hospital in the plan in order to have coverage.
- State enrollees, don’t forget to review the other GIC benefit options that you may be eligible for: life insurance, long term disability, the buyout program, dental and vision.
- Mark your calendar for May 8, 2013: all annual enrollment elections are due no later than Wednesday, May 8, 2013.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.