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Oct. 27, 2011 Volume 33, No. 10

Annual health insurance enrollment due Nov. 4


myOptions replaces Catastrophic plan

New changes in faculty and staff benefits are coming for 2012, including an added deductible for in-network services for current Choice plan subscribers and new names and features for each plan. Annual enrollments for each plan end for active employees Nov. 4, 2011, and retirees on Nov. 11, 2011.

Changes in employee health insurance plans will take effect Jan. 1, 2012. After the change, employee medical contributions will have increased on average by 8 percent because of increased usage and rising health care costs. 

Kelley Stuck, associate vice president of total rewards in employee benefits, said there are three main things employees should do by Nov. 4: Thoroughly read through the information packet that was sent to every employee’s home, attend an informational enrollment meeting on campus and make use of the myBenefit Decision Center tools through myHR.

Using the myBenefitDecision Center tools, employees can estimate out-of-pocket costs for each plan. The tools ask questions regarding family doctor and specialist visits, prescriptions, X-rays and more.

The current Catastrophic plan will be eliminated and replaced with the myOptions Health plan. Similar to the Catastrophic plan, under the myOptions Health plan employee paycheck contributions are lower, but the annual deductibles are significantly higher. MyOptions does, however, add the option of a Health Savings Account to help ease deductible expenses for the member.

In a Health Savings Account, those eligible can set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses. Subscribers own the account and funds remain in it from year-to-year if they are not used for medical expenses. In 2012, the University will contribute $250 to the savings account of an employee with individual coverage and $500 to the account of an employee who covers two or more on their plan.

Stuck said only about 300 employees are currently taking part in the Catastrophic plan as it currently exists. She said she expects more employees to take part in the myOptions plan after 2012, but they may take a year to wait and learn more about it before switching over.

A majority of employees are enrolled in the Choice plan, which will be renamed the myChoice Health plan for 2012 and will add a deductible for in-network care; the current plan has none. The deductible will be $250 per person and $750 per family. The plan will still cover diabetic supplies at no charge.

Other health plan changes include the following:

  • A $100 Wellness Incentive to complete a personal health assessment and health screening. The $100 credit will be deposited into a Health Reimbursment Account to help pay for medical expenses. To learn more about the Wellness Incentive, go to
  • A change in the network for mental health services under the myChoice Health plan to MHNET Behavioral Health from United Behavioral Health.

If one chooses the myChoice plan, he or she also has the choice of a Health Reimbursement Account and/or a Health Flexible Account. Under the reimbursement account, the university contributes $100 toward the deductible, co-insurance or co-pays if the subscriber completes the personal health assessment and screening.

A Flexible Spending Account is an employee benefit that allows funds to be deducted from a paycheck on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualifying health care expenses. Contributions to flexible accounts are exempt from federal — and in some cases— income taxes. But any money left in the account at the end of the year is forfeited, so it must be carefully budgeted.

One similarity in the myChoice and myOptions plans, Stuck explained, is that preventive care is covered 100 percent by both.

Preventive care covers certain immunizations, such as flu shots, and screening tests for breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer, lipid panels, routine blood and urine screenings, HIV, bone density and sexually transmitted diseases. It also includes general and immunological labs, including preventive office visits and an annual physical covered 100 percent by both plans for men, women and children. An example of a preventive office visit would be a “well woman exam,” or a yearly gynecological exam.  

A full list of preventive care coverage can be found at

There will be no change in dental, vision, long-term disability or life insurance premiums in 2012.

Stuck said the plan an employee chooses to stick with or move toward ultimately depends on his or her own health needs, and the myBenefit Decision Center can be a great tool in helping to decide. She added since health care costs continue to rise, it’s important for everyone to take care of themselves so they are healthy both for themselves and so health care costs can be maintained for everyone.

“We’re self-funded,” Stuck said, “so it’s to the benefit to everyone for us to maintain our health.”

Annual enrollment for Health and Wellness benefit changes began Oct. 24 and will end Nov. 4. Employees can enroll online through the University of Missouri’s myHR self-service application at

Any employee in the Catastrophic plan this year must actively select a new plan next year or they will automatically default into the myOptions plan. Choice subscribers who do not actively enroll will remain in the myChoice plan.

The following information meetings on the Health and Wellness benefit changes will be held until the end of the enrollment period:

  • Thursday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. in 194 General Services Building
  • Thursday, Oct 27, 1:30 p.m. at the Power Plant
  • Friday, Oct. 28, 8:30 a.m. in Jesse Hall Auditorium