Premiums for health, dental and vision available for 2019

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Eligible employees of UAB, UAB Hospital, and UAB Hospital Management LLC must choose or decline health care coverage during the annual open enrollment Oct. 26-Nov. 12. 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 2019. Employees also may opt to secure dental and vision benefits through separate plans offered.

This is an active enrollment, which means any benefit-eligible employee who does not select a 2019 health care plan option during the enrollment period will not have UAB-provided health care coverage (medical, dental, vision) beginning January 2019.

plan rates chartHealth 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 2019; however, a change in the tier structure that was announced in 2017 is being continued that may affect employees whose spouses are covered through their UAB benefits.

Other than single and family coverage, UAB plans historically 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 became 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 covering a spouse, a fourth, transitional tier was created — employee plus spouse, or employee plus spouse plus one child — to ease the transition to family tier.  The transitional tier will continue to be available in 2019.

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. 
6 things to know about open enrollment 
Consumer-driven health plan gaining traction
Traditional health plan options available
Dental coverage from BCBS is available
Vision coverage from VSP available

Next: Ways to contain costs

Premium assistance

To ease the cost of medical premiums for qualified employees, UAB offers a premium-assistance program for eligible employees. This year the subsidy increases to include covered employees whose household income, based on family size, is two (2) times the federal poverty level or less.

Those who qualify would be eligible for a fixed amount each payroll for the 2019 plan year — equivalent to the cost of single employee insurance through Viva Choice, according to UAB Executive Director Benefits and Wellness 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. Employees also may choose basic coverage or a premier plan option 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 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.

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. Nov. 1 in the UAB Hospital West Pavilion Atrium.
  • HR Consultants or HR Benefits Representative are available in individual schools/departments for your convenience.
  • Benefits representatives will also be available at the Staff Convociation Picnic 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 23 at UAB Campus Green and at the Occupational Health and Safety Flu Shot Clinic 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Hill Student Center Room 220.
  • Employees may contact their HR consultant or the UAB Benefits office, or 934-3458.

All elections will be effective Jan. 1, 2019, and new premiums for medical, dental and vision coverage will be reflected in the January 2019 payroll.