Multi Ethnic People Holding The Word BenefitsPULLMAN, Wash. – The annual universitywide benefits open enrollment period begins today, Nov. 1, and runs through Nov.30 for employees enrolled on Public Employee Benefits.

During open enrollment, employees can:

  • Change medical and/or dental plans.
  • Waive or add coverage and family members.
  • Change medical premium deductions to pre- or post-tax (IRS Section 125).
  • Enroll/re-enroll in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) benefits.

Most of the changes can be made online or via hard copy. For links to the online portals or forms, see the open-enrollment website, http://hrs.wsu.edu/open-enrollment.

Medical benefit changes

Overall coverage will remain the same under all the medical plans, with a few small changes to the prescription coverages through the Kaiser Permanente of Washington (formerly Group Health). However, the medical plan premiums — the amount employees pay out of their paychecks for coverage — is changing for most plans. To review details about what is changing, see http://hrs.wsu.edu/medical-and-dental.

FSA/DCAP benefit

Those enrolled in a Classic, Value, UMP Plus or SoundChoice plan, or who waived medical coverage,  and wish to participate in a FSA must enroll/re-enroll. This is also the case for those who wish to have a DCAP for 2018. Learn more at the Navia Benefit Solutions PEBB site, http://pebb.naviabenefits.com.

2017 FSA participants may incur medical charges and submit claims under the 2017 grace period, Jan. 1-March 15, provided they do not enroll in a Consumer Directed Health Plan (CDHP) for 2018. Otherwise, the FSA account must be at $0 by Dec. 31 or contributions will not be made to the HSA until April.

The 2018 annual maximum contribution to a FSA is increasing to $2,600.

HSA benefit

A Health Savings Account (HSA) benefit is automatically tied to a CDHP. WSU will continue the employer annual contribution of $700.08 for an individual and $1,400.04 for a family.  The overall contribution limits will increase for individuals from $3,400 to $3,450 and will increase for family coverage from $6,750 to $6,900 in 2018.

Individuals age 55 and older can contribute an additional $1,000 per year. The overall contribution limit includes the employer annual contribution as well as the $125 SmartHealth Wellness Incentive, for those who earned it for 2018.

Informational sessions regarding the CDHP and HSA benefits will be offered on Nov. 2, 8 and 13.  Visit http://hrs.wsu.edu/benefit-fairs-oe-presentations/ for times and locations for the presentations.

WSU offers pre-tax employee contributions to the HSA through payroll deduction. Elections must be made through the HSA Payroll Deduction form, http://hrs.wsu.edu/benefit-fairs-oe-presentations/2018-payroll-deduction-to-hsa-form-10-2017, which must be submitted to HRS Benefit Services. Changes to HSA payroll deduction can be made at any time.

More open enrollment information can be found on the WSU open-enrollment site,  http://hrs.wsu.edu/open-enrollment. Questions can be directed to WSU Human Resource Services at 335-4521 or hrs@wsu.edu.