Opportunity to change insurance coverage begins

Open enrollment, allowing WSU employees to changes medical and dental insurance plans, will go from Oct. 20 to Nov. 30. Eligible family members not previously covered may be enrolled during this time too. Changes take effect Jan. 1, 2004.

A PEBB Perspective newsletter will be mailed to each employee’s home address in the next week. It will include information on changes in coverage, premium rates for 2004 and which plans will be available.

Employees will not receive a 2004 Open Enrollment booklet in the mail. Rather, to make changes in plans, employees are encouraged to go to the Washington State Health Care Authority’s website at http://www.pebb.hca.wa.gov and fill out the online enrollment form, available Oct. 20-Nov. 30.

Changes for 2004 include:
• Employees enrolled in the Premera Blue Cross/Foundation (PBC) plan must choose a new medical plan for 2004 or be automatically defaulted into the Uniform Medical Plan. The state of Washington did not renew the PBC contact, so this plan will no longer be offered as of Jan. 1, 2004.
• An enhanced benefit for all employees is that the lifetime maximum plan payment will increase from $1 million to $2 million.
• Smoker rates have increased slightly, while nonsmokers will enjoy a decrease in their premiums.
• WSU employees residing in King, Pierce or Snohomish counties will have a new plan available this year — the Uniform Medical Plan (UMP) Neighborhood. Participation will be limited to the first 5,000 subscribers enrolled online.

More information on the new medical and life insurance rates can be found at http://www.pebb.hca.wa.gov.

Also, informational benefits fairs will be held throughout the state. For the WSU Pullman and urban campuses, these fairs will run 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the following locations:

Pullman: Nov. 5, 2nd Floor Hallway, French Ad & Lighty.
Vancouver: Oct. 31, Clark College Gaiser Hall Central Concourse.
Spokane: Nov. 6, Spokane Falls Community College, Student Union Building #17.
Tri-Cities: Nov. 3, Columbia Basin College, Student Services Building.
The PEBB Perspective lists the schedule for other fair dates near WSU facilities throughout the state.

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