November 7, 2016


SUBJECT:    Annual Benefits Open Enrollment

As a reminder, the annual Benefits Open Enrollment period began on October 27, 2016 and will end at 5:00 p.m. on November 22, 2016. During this period, faculty have the opportunity to review the University of California (UC) benefits options to ensure enrollment in the best coverage for themselves and their families for 2017. You are encouraged to review plan enhancements and modifications that will be effective January 1, 2017.

Highlights include:

*New Disability Insurance Plan Options for 2017

UC is offering new disability options for 2017. During Open Enrollment, all eligible faculty – those covered and those not enrolled – have a special one-time opportunity to add Voluntary Disability Insurance for 2017. This option has not been available since 2005. The choices are:
(1) Voluntary Short-Term Disability – benefits paid up to six months after a 14-day wait period.
(2) Long-Term Disability – benefits paid after six months, up to Social Security retirement age.
Note: This may be the best option for faculty who may be eligible for paid medical leave, or who have a substantial amount of accrued sick leave.
(3) Both Voluntary Short-Term and Voluntary Long-Term Disability Insurance.

The 2017 UC booklet titled Disability Benefits for Faculty is available at

Those who enroll during open enrollment will not be required to provide proof of good health. After open enrollment ends, a statement of health is needed to qualify and coverage may be denied. Current enrollees in the Supplemental Disability Plan who do not make a choice during open enrollment will default to the most comprehensive level of short-term and long-term coverage effective January 1, 2017. Voluntary plans may be cancelled at any time. Additional information and a Disability Factsheet for Faculty are available at Also available as an option, in the right column on the website, is a Premium Estimator tool to assist with calculating your costs for the voluntary disability plans.

*Vendor Changes for UC’s Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) Plans

Following a thorough review, UC selected Anthem to replace Blue Shield as the claims administrator and network provider for UC Care, Health Savings Plan (HSP) and Core. Anthem will also administer behavioral health benefits for these plans, replacing Optum. Prescription drug benefits for PPO plans will be administered through Optum Rx. Changes will be effective January 1, 2017.

*ARAG Legal Plan

The ARAG Legal Plan is open for enrollment. Legal assistance, credit monitoring, and expanded credit monitoring are among the services offered through the plan. There are 14 new plan enhancements for 2017 including personal tax planning services and an administrative hearings package.

*Other Health & Welfare Plans Available

UC will continue to pay the entire premium for Delta Dental PPO, Delta Dental HMO, and Vision Service Plan (VSP). Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) will have less than a $1 rate increase. Prudential will be the new administrator for the AD&D plan.

*Annual Benefits Fair

Faculty and staff are invited to attend the campus Benefits Fair scheduled for Wednesday, November 9, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Price Center, Level 2, Ballroom East. There will be vendor displays and various health plan presentations. The Benefits Fair for Health Sciences/Health System faculty and staff is scheduled for Thursday, November 10, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Hillcrest Library courtyard.

*Special Notice Regarding Domestic Partner Beneficiaries

Open Enrollment is an ideal time to review and update beneficiary information for life insurance, UC Retirement Plan, and voluntary savings plan enrollments. Domestic partners – both same and opposite gender – are required to have on file with UC a completed Declaration of Domestic Partnership (Form UBEN 250) to avoid denial of survivor benefits under the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP). The UBEN 250 form and additional information regarding domestic partner and survivor benefits are available on the Open Enrollment website: The web site offers videos, resources for answers to questions about UC benefits, and other online tools to assist with selection of medical and benefits options.

For questions or assistance with Open Enrollment, please contact the Human Resources Department - Benefits Office at (858) 534-2816, or the person in your department who is responsible for benefits information. Health Sciences/Health System faculty should call (619) 543-3200.

Caprece Speaks-Toler
Compensation Director &
Interim Benefits Director
Campus Human Resources Department