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Open enrollment for benefits began Monday and will remain open through Friday, October 14.

During this period, UT faculty and staff have the opportunity to sign up for or make changes to their health, dental, vision, basic and term life, long-term care, and optional special accident insurance and their flexible spending accounts. Decisions made during this period are effective from January 1 through December 31, 2017.

What’s important for 2017

  • Changes in premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance
  • Combined medical and pharmacy out-of-pocket maximums
  • More health plans (five total) and insurance carriers (three total)
  • Less health coaching
  • New telehealth option for virtual visits
  • New ID cards
  • New vendor for behavioral health, substance abuse and employee assistance program
  • New copay installment plan for 90-day maintenance medications

If you do not make changes, you will keep your current health benefits. This means you will stay in your current options with your current networks. It’s still a good idea to look through the information, because several changes are being introduced. You should also check provider networks to make sure your preferred doctors, hospitals, and medical centers are still in your network. Although changes to health benefits do not have to be made each year, you must re-enroll in your flexible benefits plan annually.

You must make any changes online by 4:30 p.m. CDT (5:30 p.m. local time) on October 14 using the state’s self-service program. Instructions are available on page 4 of the state’s 2017 decision guide—mailed to home addresses in early September—and at gov/ess.shtml. A toll-free help desk is available at 866-376-0104.

If you are uncertain about what plan is right for you, read through the detailed information included in the decision guide—and available at