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Annual Benefits Enrollment Ends This Week

Open Enrollment Plan Year 2015 is quickly coming to an end this Saturday and with it, the opportunity to make changes to insurance plans and flexible spending accounts.

During these last few days, UHD employees can still make changes to their health, dental, life, disability, accidental death & dismemberment coverage without the need for a qualifying event. Any changes made during open enrollment take effect September 1, 2014.

In addition to adjusting insurance plans during open enrollment, this is also the time to open or modify a TexFlex Flexible Spending Account.

TexFlex Flexible Spending Accounts

Whether braces are in your future or your toddler starts day care this fall, Flexible spending accounts are a smart way to pay for those expenses tax free. It is easy to contribute money from your paycheck. All you have to do is sign up during open enrollment.

UHD employees can contribute as much as $2,500 a year to a TexFlex Health Care Account to pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance, copayments, non-covered dental expenses, glasses, contacts, and much more.

A TexFlex Day Care Account can be used for daycare expenses for children under age 13, before-and after-school care, summer day camp and adult day care for qualifying individuals. The yearly maximum contribution to a TexFlex Day Care Account is $5,000.

Updates to Plan Year 2015 TexFlex accounts include:

  • The ability to carry over $500 in a health care account to the next plan year.
  • No annual administrative fee of $12 on any TexFlex account thanks to an administrative fee holiday.
  • More flexibility. Now account holders can decrease contributions to their accounts with certain qualifying events, such as divorce.
  • No more grace period for health care accounts. The grace period still applies to Plan Year 2014 TexFlex Health Care Accounts.

It is important to remember that current TexFlex account holders are automatically re-enrolled at the same contribution amount as the previous plan year unless they make changes during open enrollment.

For more information about TexFlex Flexible Spending Accounts go to www.texas.payflex.com.

Retirement Changes

This year, the Texas Legislature made significant changes to some of UHD's retirement benefits. These changes become effective August 31, 2014 and include the following provisions:

  • Mandatory member retirement contributions are changing from 6.4% to 6.7% starting on September 1, 2014. The state contribution of 6.8% stays the same. (For future increases, click here.)
  • Employees with less than 5 years of Group Benefits Program (GBP) service must now have at least 10 years of service before they qualify for a partial retirement health benefit contribution. (Click here to see changes.)
  • UHD employees (those with less than 5 years of GBP service on August 31, 2014) only qualify for 100% retirement health benefit coverage once they complete 20 years of service.
  • The retirement age is 62 for all non-vested employees. Vested members are grandfathered into the previous requirements.
  • If a non-vested member retires before age 62, there will be a 5% reduction per year prior to age 62.

To make changes for both flexible spending accounts and insurance coverage during open enrollment, go to www.ers.state.tx.us and sign in to your account, contact ERS at 866-399-6908 or call Erica Morales, ESO Director of Benefits and Compensation, at moralese@uhd.edu or ext. 8443.

This story is the second of a two-part series on Plan Year 2015 Annual Benefits Enrollment. Last week we reviewed group health, dental and optional insurance changes. Click here to read last week's story and learn about the changes.