October 21, 2014

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Annual benefits enrollment is right around the corner, but now is the time to learn about your options so you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Enrollment this year will be from Thursday, October 30, through Friday, November 14.

A newsletter highlighting your benefit options and some changes for 2015 will be mailed to your home later this week. The newsletter also will provide information on tools that can help make the enrollment process simple and successful.

“Now is the time to learn more about your benefits and make your best choices for 2015,” said Jim Cuva, assistant director of Human Resources. “We have some great tools and resources available this year to help our employees have a successful enrollment.”

What’s new?

Here’s a quick preview of some of the main changes to next year’s benefits package:

Medical and Prescription Drug Coverage

  • Additional Plan Option: Texas Children’s is excited to introduce the Consumer Plus Plan (CPP), a consumer-directed health plan that includes a health reimbursement account (HRA) funded by Texas Children’s.
  • Increased EPO Expenses: An annual deductible will be introduced for both individual and family coverage under the EPO, and your coinsurance for services will now be 10 percent.
  • Prescription Drug Coinsurance: Coinsurance will now apply to brand-name prescription drugs purchased under the EPO and PPO plans. All three plans will have a copay for generic drugs.
  • Premium Changes: Although some employees with children will see a slight reduction in cost, most employee premiums will increase for the EPO and PPO plans. This increase reflects higher trends in medical and prescription drug costs.

Dental Plans

  • Reduced Dental Premiums: Dental rates will decrease by 5 percent in 2015, regardless of the plan or coverage tier you select.
  • Discounted Orthodontia: Discounted orthodontia will now be available onsite from Dr. John Wirthlin, including traditional braces and Invisalign for adults. These services will be available to all employees, regardless of whether they enroll in dental plan coverage.

Eligible Dependents

  • Domestic partners and their children will be eligible for coverage under our benefits plans.
  • This coverage includes both same-sex and opposite-sex partners, whether under legally married or common-law relationships.

Education and Information

  • Texas Children’s will be rolling out a new benefits website soon. Check your newsletter for details.
  • All benefits information will be posted on the new website. No benefits guides will be mailed to employees’ homes.
  • On the website, you’ll have access to Decision Direct, an interactive tool that can help you decide which plan works best for you and your family.

There will be several opportunities during the upcoming weeks to ask questions about the 2015 benefits package and to enroll in whatever plan you choose. Representatives from benefits vendors and Human Resources will be on hand during this year’s Benefits and Wellness Fair from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, October 30, on The Auxiliary Bridge. Human Resources representatives also will be visiting various departments throughout the organization and will have information and enrollment booths set up in high-traffic areas throughout the enrollment period.

Remember, if you want to change plans or coverage levels, or if you want to participate in the Flexible Spending Account, you’ll need to elect your benefits during annual enrollment, which is October 30 through November 14. If you don’t actively enroll during that time, your current medical, dental and other benefits will automatically carry over next year. Flexible Spending Account participation does not carry over from one year to the next, so you will need to reenroll.