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Open Enrollment Begins Oct. 25

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October 19, 2004

Open Enrollment for the 2005 benefit programs begins Monday (Oct. 25) and continues through Nov. 19.

Open Enrollment is the one time each year when the University announces benefit plan changes and monthly premium contribution rates for the next calendar year. It is the time when benefits-eligible faculty and staff may make changes to plan selections.

It also is the period to enroll in the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) for Health Care and Dependent Care, whether for new or continued participation in the next calendar year.

To change benefit selections, or to re-enroll in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Plan, forms must be received by the Benefits Division or by the Chicago campus Human Resources office by 5 p.m. Nov. 19.

The ability for benefits eligible employees to view benefit plan selections online will be available for the first time during Open Enrollment as one of a number of self-service initiatives. Individuals will receive instructions by e-mail when the feature is available.

Major benefit plan changes for 2005 include the offer of an optional new vision plan; the automatic enrollment of eligible but not participating employees in the Long-Term Disability Plan; a new claims administrator for the Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Plans; the availability of a new Blue Cross-Blue Shield PPO Dental Plan; an increase in mail order prescription drug co-payments and maximum out–of-pocket payment; new premium rates for the Health, Dental and Long-Term Disability Plans; the choice of TIAA-CREF’s nine mutual funds; an increase in the maximum monthly and annual amounts an individual may contribute to the FSA Health Care Account; and decreased premiums and a new plan sponsor for the Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plan.

Staff and faculty members are invited to learn more about their benefits at the following open enrollment events that are scheduled for both campuses this fall.

• NUSAC sponsored Question and Answer Sessions, noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, Norris University Center, Northwestern Room, Evanston; and noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1, Lowden Hall, School of Law, Chicago.

• Question and Answer Session, noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, Norris University Center, Michigan Room, Evanston; and noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, Abbott Hall, Room 850, Chicago.

• Northwestern University Benefits Overview, noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, Norris University Center, Northwestern Room, Evanston; and noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, Abbott Hall, Room 850, Chicago.

• Question and Answer Session, noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, Norris University Center, Michigan Room, Evanston; and noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, Abbott Hall, Room 850, Chicago.

Employees may obtain further information on these and other changes for 2005 through the Open Enrollment Web site at www.northwestern.edu/hr/benefits/news/05openenrollment.html as well as the 2005 Benefits Open Enrollment booklet that was sent to all benefits-eligible faculty and staff.

Enrollment forms may also be downloaded from the Benefits Division’s Open Enrollment Web site, shown above.

Topics: University News