October 16, 2017

Premiums for health, dental and vision available for 2018

Eligible employees of UAB, UAB Hospital, and UAB Hospital Management LLC must choose or decline health care coverage during the annual open enrollment Oct. 27-Nov. 13. In addition to the consumer-driven health plan Viva Choice, the traditional health plans from Viva Health and Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BCBS) are available for 2018. Employees also may opt to secure dental and vision benefits through separate plans offered.

This is an active enrollment, which mean any benefit-eligible employee who does not select a 2018 healthcare plan option during the enrollment period will not have UAB-provided health care coverage (medical, dental, vision) beginning January 2018.

plan rates for 2018 FINALHealth plan rates

The cost of health care continues to rise, and UAB faces the same health care challenge as many other large employers throughout the nation: to provide coverage at a cost both the individual and the institution can afford. UAB is pleased to announce that for most of our health care plan offerings, there will be no increase to single and family tiers.

No plan design changes have been implemented for 2018; however, a change in the tier structure that was announced this past year is being implemented that will affect employees whose spouses are covered through their UAB benefits.

Other than single and family coverage, UAB plans historically have offered an additional tier — employee plus up to 2 — which could accommodate a spouse, two children, one child, or a spouse and one child for the same premium rate. In the planned restructuring, the employee plus up to 2 tier would become employee plus children, regardless of the number of children covered, and spousal coverage would only be provided under the family tier.  Because of the additional cost to some employees, a fourth, temporary tier has been created — employee plus spouse, or employee plus spouse plus one child — to ease the transition to family tier.

Refer to the chart for rates based on tier selection and selected provider. Maximum out-of-pocket expenses for medical and pharmacy services vary by selection:

  • Viva Choice – $3,500 for single and $7,000 for family coverage
  • Viva UAB – $5,000 for single and $10,000 for family coverage
  • Viva Access – $6,600 for single and $13,200 for family coverage
  • BC/BS – $6,600 for single and $13,200 for family coverage

Information about benefit options are being provided during the next several weeks to better enable you to make the best choices for your household. 

PreviousFive things to know about open enrollment 

BCBS selected to provide dental coverage

UAB to expand vision benefits with premium coverage option
Benefit choices to include consumer-driven health plan
Traditional plan options continue to be available for 2018
Next: Ways to contain health care costs

Premium assistance

Another benefit approved by the committee and UAB administration will provide medical premium assistance — a subsidy — to covered employees whose household income, based on family size, is 1.5 times the federal poverty level or less.Those who qualify would be eligible for a fixed amount each payroll for the 2018 plan year — equivalent to the cost of single employee insurance through Viva Choice, according to UAB Benefits Director Mike Boyd.

Vision plan rates

UAB offers its stand-alone vision benefit through Vision Service Plan, which provides coverage for routine eye exams, lenses and frames, contacts — both in and outside its network — and discounts for LASIK eye surgery (in-network only) and other special discounts to plan members. This year employees also may choose a premier plan option — similar to basic and comprehensive coverage in dental insurance — that includes new replacement frames every year.

Refer to the chart for rates based on tier selection and plan option.


Dental plan rates

UAB offers eligible employees a choice of two stand-alone dental plans — basic or comprehensive coverage — now provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.

Refer to the chart for rates based on tier selection and plan option.

Need help?

All the information employees need to make their selections will be collected in the open enrollment toolkit in the UAB for Me benefits portal. This includes plan details, educational pieces, FAQs, decision-making tools and other resources that can help you make selections. This will replace the packet of printed information that had been mailed to employees’ homes in prior years.

Employees who want assistance sorting through the options have several choices to help them select the one best suited for their household:

  • A plan shopping application is available during the online open enrollment process.
  • Human Resources representatives will answer questions during UAB Benefits Fair 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 27 in the UAB Hospital West Pavilion Atrium.
  • HR Consultants or HR Benefits Representative will be available in individual schools/departments for your convenience. A full schedule of the locations and times will be made available by October 23rd
  • Employees may contact their HR consultant or the UAB Benefits office, benefits@uab.edu or 934-3458.

All elections will be effective Jan. 1, 2018, and new premiums for medical, dental and vision coverage will be reflected in the January 2018 payroll.