Takeaway: A special open enrollment period for state health benefits opens today and closes on Friday, May 14. If you want to stay in your current plan, then there’s nothing for you to do. If you’re considering a new plan that will lower your payroll deductions, then read the message from the union that follows. Below that is a message from the university, which has useful links and information, including a calculator and comparison costs based on plan selection and coverage level (single, married, or family).
Note that there are four info sessions conducted jointly by the Coalition of Rutgers Unions and Rutgers to explain the new health insurance option. They are listed at the end of this email—the first one is TODAY at 2 p.m.
Our union, as part of the Coalition of Rutgers Unions, negotiated lower health care costs for members who choose to switch into the NJ Direct/NJ Direct 2019 plan. Most of us are currently enrolled in the Horizon Direct 15 PPO or the Horizon HMO plans. The new NJ Direct/NJ Direct 2019 is based on the design of the Direct 15 plan, but with some changes in co-pays and deductibles that allow for premium savings.
Another plan option that will bring you savings is the OMNIA tiered network plan. In addition to the savings in your payroll deductions, there is a one-time $1,000 incentive to join the OMNIA plan and commit for at least one year. Note that there is no out-of-network benefit for OMNIA, and any New York and Pennsylvania providers that are in the network are currently Tier 2 providers requiring higher co-pays.
Each plan option has pros and cons based on your own health care needs and other personal factors such as income, state of residency, and use of out-of-network providers. Prescription benefits are tied to the medical benefits, so make sure you look at those costs before making a final decision.
If you are already enrolled in NJ Direct/NJ Direct 2019 or OMNIA, then you will automatically see the new savings in your payroll deductions starting in July—there’s nothing more for you to do.
Dental plans are not a part of this process, so nothing changes with that benefit at this time.
See below for more details from University Human Resources about open enrollment and about the information sessions this week and next, in which the union, the university, the State of New Jersey, and Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield will present in more detail and answer any questions.
Thank you for your support.
Todd and Becky
Todd Wolfson, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Rebecca Givan, Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Message from University Human Resources about the Special Open Enrollment Period Starting Today
Dear Rutgers Colleagues:
This is a reminder that Rutgers University and the Coalition of Rutgers Unions (CRU) have reached a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that provides employees an opportunity to enroll in a health plan under a new premium share structure that may reduce the cost paid by the employee, depending on the option selected. As a result, there will be a Special Open Enrollment from May 3, 2021 through May 14, 2021. All health plan coverage changes will be effective July 1, 2021. In order to support employees in making informed decisions related to health insurance coverage, University Human Resources will be working with the CRU and the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits (NJDPB) to provide information sessions regarding health plan coverage, out-of-pocket expenses, and premium differentials. Please note that employees who do not wish to make any changes to their current health plan coverage need take no further action.
The Special Open Enrollment period for this starts today and runs through May 14, 2021. Changes made during this Special Open Enrollment period will take effect on July 1, 2021. Any changes to an employee’s payroll deductions will be reflected in the July 9, 2021 paycheck.
The following individuals are eligible to change health plans during the Special Open Enrollment: All employees who are currently eligible for the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and who are in a union that is part of the CRU (AAUP-AFT – Full Time Faculty/Graduate Employee Unit, AAUP-AFT – EOF Unit, AAUP-AFT – Post Doc Unit, AAUP-BHSNJ, AFSCME Local 888, AFSCME Local 1761, CWA Local 1031, CWA Local 1040, CIR/SEIU, Doctors Council/SEIU, HPAE-AFT Local 5089, HPAE-AFT Local 5094, IUOE Local 68-68A, NJEA-Rutgers, OPEIU Local 153, URA-AFT Local 1766), IAFF who negotiated outside of the CRU for this rate structure, as well as all eligible non-aligned employees.
As with all choices regarding the health care coverage for you and any dependents, it is important that you review your options carefully, as well as reach out to your current medical providers to make sure that you are making the right choice. Horizon has provided a comparison chart that shows the differences between all plans. The chart can be found on the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits website at https://www.nj.gov/treasury/pensions/documents/hb/oe2021/ha0895.pdf. Please note that when comparing plans, employees should refer to pages 8 and 9 to compare their current coverage with the plans that are being offered through the negotiated rates.
Rutgers University, along with representatives of the CRU, will be hosting virtual information sessions on the following dates. Please use the link provided to register for these sessions.
May 3, 2021 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm:
May 5, 2021 from 10:00am to 12:00pm:
May 11, 2021 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm:
May 13, 2021 from 10:00am to 12:00pm:
Please note that these sessions will provide an overview of the new options to employees, similar to the materials that have been provided on our Special Open Enrollment website, https://uhr.rutgers.edu/benefits/special-open-enrollment-2021.