All benefit-eligible employees must take part in this year’s active Open Enrollment in order to secure their 2016 medical coverage. Active Open Enrollment for UAB employees will take place from Oct. 30–Nov. 16, 2015, within the UAB for Me benefits portal (  Employees are required to take action by re-evaluating their medical plan options and choosing a plan that best suits their personal needs.  

Four Key Things to Know about This Year’s Open Enrollment

  1. Why action is required
    With an active Open Enrollment, any benefit-eligible employee who does not select a 2016 medical plan option during this year’s Open Enrollment will not have medical coverage for 2016. In past years, an employees’ existing medical plan would roll over into the subsequent year if no action was taken during Open Enrollment. This is why it is critical that all benefit-eligible employees take action and make a medical plan choice that is best for themselves and their families.

  2. Health care plan rate changes
    Medical rates will increase 3 percent for employees on single plans and 5 percent for employee-plus up to two dependents and family plans.

    As part of UAB’s efforts to maintain a variety of choices for UAB employees’ medical plans, the 2016 Viva Access and Blue Cross Blue Shield employer portion of the premium will now be the same. With this change, the 2016 employee portion of the premium for BCBS will decrease.

    Medical plan design for each plan will remain the same for 2016.  There will be no changes in the dental or vision options for 2016.

  3. Tobacco usage surcharge
    In keeping with UAB’s emphasis on creating a culture of health and wellness, employees enrolling in a UAB medical plan will be required to state whether they have used tobacco products in the last six months. A $50 monthly tobacco surcharge will be applied to all declared tobacco users, beginning Jan. 1, 2016. More information on the tobacco surcharge is available here.

  4. Where to find more information
    Open Enrollment information is housed within the UAB for Me benefits portal. A detailed newsletter will be mailed to all benefit-eligible employees’ home addresses by mid-October. The UAB Benefits Fair will take place Thursday, Oct. 29, 7 a.m.–4 p.m. in the UAB Hospital West Pavilion Atrium.

    Employees can contact their HR Consultant or the UAB Benefits office with additional questions.
As part of our continual efforts to ensure that UAB employees receive the best possible benefits, we will be instituting a new paid parental leave benefit no later than July 2016. This represents a great stride in our HR efforts and reflects the strong collaboration between our administration and faculty to make this benefit a reality.

Read the Reporter story here for more information.

Definition of Dependents:

Spouse: Your lawful spouse (includes a common law spouse in the State of Alabama)

Sponsored Adult Dependent: A sponsored adult dependent is not a relative, is at least 19 years of age, shares a primary residence and has lived with you not as a renter, boarder, tenant or employee for at least twelve months prior to the effective date of coverage.

Children/Student/Disabled Dependent: Your child* up to age 26; Your child* of any age who is incapable of self-sustaining employment by reasons of mental or physical handicap, has been deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration, and is chiefly dependent on you for economic support and maintenance.

*A child is defined as your, your spouse’s or your sponsored adult dependent’s natural child, legally adopted child (including child placed for adoption) or a child in your permanent legal custody. Your, your spouse’s or your sponsored adult dependent’s child of a divorce can be covered as long as a qualified court decree requires you, your spouse, or your sponsored adult dependent to be financially responsible for health care.

Dependent Documentation Required for Coverage:

For Spouse: A copy of your marriage certificate AND documentation dated within the last 6 months establishing financial interdependence

For Children/Incapacitated Dependents: A copy of the child’s birth certificate AND If applicable, a copy of a divorce decree granting full or joint custody OR If applicable, a copy of a court-issued Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO) or other court order where you or your spouse are required to provide healthcare.

For incapacitated dependents, additionally provide a copy of your most recently filed federal tax return AND a copy of the Social Security Administration approval for disability benefits

For Sponsored Adult Dependent: A copy of the dependent’s birth certificate AND One form of documentation dated on or before January 1, 2013, establishing a common residence AND One form of documentation dated within the past 6 months establishing a common residence

Note: If the child of a sponsored adult dependent is enrolled in the plan but the sponsored adult dependent is not the child’s birth certificate naming the sponsored adult dependent as the parent or appropriate court order / adoption decree AND a copy of the sponsored adult dependent’s 2012 or 2013 federal tax return claiming the child as a dependent will be required.

Family Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA)

As of August 1, 2013, the maximum time allowed for any family medical leave of absence request (employee or family related) will be 12 work weeks, consistent with the Family Medical Leave Act.

Vacation Days, Accruals and Terminal Pay

Faculty Appointed on a Nine Month Basis
  • Beginning July 1, 2013, three additional days will be added to personal holiday time for a total of six days per year. Personal days will not carry over, consistent with our current policy. 
  • Beginning August 1, 2013, vacation days for nine month faculty will be replaced by paid time off days during certain periods when classes are not in session and other department obligations are satisfied.
  • Beginning August 1, 2013, no new vacation days will accrue to a subsequent year.
  • Nine month faculty working in the summer of 2013 will be allowed to accumulate vacation, then no vacation will be accrued, for any further summer work, after August 1, 2013. 
  • All current faculty with accrued vacation days will be grandfathered and allowed to maintain and use their existing bank of vacation days until such a bank is fully used or terminal vacation (final pay-out) paid (note changes to terminal pay policies): 
  • The maximum terminal vacation days that will be paid will be reduced over time as follows:
    • Through December 31, 2014 there will be no change – 44 days maximum will be paid
    • Effective January 1, 2015 – 33 days maximum will be paid
    • Effective January 1, 2016 – 22 days maximum will be paid
  • Days in excess of maximum vacation can still roll into sick time and receive current TRS value. 
  • No changes are being made to sick leave policy or campus designated holidays.

All Employees (Nine and Twelve Month Faculty and Staff)
  • Maximum accumulation of vacation days remains unchanged (see current policy).
  • The maximum terminal vacation days that will be paid will be reduced over time:
    • Through December 31, 2014 there will be no change – 44 days maximum will be paid
    • Effective January 1, 2015 – 33 days maximum will be paid
    • Effective January 1, 2016 – 22 days maximum will be paid
  • Days in excess of maximum vacation can still roll into sick time and receive current TRS value. 

Employees should direct questions regarding the policy changes to UAB Benefits:

                Phone: 205-934-3458