Premiums for health, dental and vision available for 2021

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Red down arrow and medical devices. White background with stethoscope, syringe and pills. Copy space for text.Eligible employees of UAB, UAB Hospital, and UAB Hospital Management LLC must choose or decline health care coverage during the annual open enrollment Oct. 23-Nov. 9. 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 2021. 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 2021 health care plan option during the enrollment period will not have UAB-provided health care coverage (medical, dental, vision) beginning January 2021.

The transitional tier is gone

The change in the tier structure that was announced in 2017 for employees whose spouses are covered through their UAB benefits becomes final this year. UAB will offer three premium tiers for 2021: 1)Single, 2) Employee + Children and 3) Family.

Health plan rates flat or decreased

During the past decade, UAB has faced the same challenge as many other large employers — to provide a choice of high-quality health care coverage at a cost both the individual and the institution can afford. Chief Human Resources Officer Alesia Jones says the benefits team has worked to ensure there will be no increase in premiums for single and employee plus children tiers again this year.  The family tier is being decreased for all plans in 2021.  Employees who were on the transitional tier and moving to family, will have no increase to their premiums.

“During the past six years, the UAB Benefits office and employee-led Benefits Committee have worked diligently to increase choice, expand coverage and contain costs for their colleagues and the institution,” Jones said. “This is no small feat, and we appreciate their hard work.”

Refer to the chart for rates based on tier selection and selected provider.

plan rates 2021Premium assistance returns

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

Employees must apply with the Benefits office directly each year during Open Enrollment.  Those who qualify will be eligible for a fixed amount each payroll for the 2021 plan year — equivalent to the cost of single employee insurance through Viva Choice.

Vision and dental plans

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 — plus 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.

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

Rates for dental and vision will also remain flat or decrease depending on plan and tier. Refer to the chart for rates based on tier selection and plan options.

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.
  • HR Consultants or HR Benefits Representative are available in individual schools/departments for your convenience.

Employees may contact their HR consultant or the UAB Benefits office, or 934-3458.

All elections will be effective Jan. 1, 2021, and premiums for medical, dental and vision coverage will be reflected in the January 2021 payroll.

More on open enrollment:

PLAN RATESInformation about benefit options is being provided to better enable you to make the best choices for your household.


5 things to know about open enrollment
Consumer-driven health plan offers unique benefits
3 traditional health plan options are available for 2021
Dental coverage from BCBS is available during open enrollment
Vision benefits available from VSP

Next: Ways to contain costs