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Open Enrollment Updates for Flexible Spending Accounts and Blue Cross Insurance plan

Nov 22, 2013

In response to developing situations that may have an impact on your benefits please review the following carefully. Information about your other University benefits can be found in the on-line 2014 Essentials Guide.

Flexible Spending Account Rule Changes

In response to recent changes in rules governing health care savings accounts, the University is modifying the plan to allow all participants an automatic roll over of up to $500 of their unspent Health Care Spending Account contributions from 2013 for use in 2014. This will help those that may not have had all the expenditures they had originally planned in 2013 to be able to use them to offset expenditures in 2014 instead of losing them. Here are some Highlights:

  • It is still a use it or lose it plan, but with an automatic rollover feature allowing up to $500 of the unused amounts available to you in the next plan year.
  • The Maximum Health Care Spending Account Limit is still $2500. Rollover amounts are added to your annual election.    

Anthem Blue Cross Participants- Sutter Medical Group negotiations

Employees who have Anthem insurance and are a part of the Sutter Medical Group should be made award an update on the contract negotiations.  As of today, Anthem and Sutter Health have not reached an agreement.  The University has decided that if an agreement has not been reached by the close of Open Enrollment December 2, 2013, Open Enrollment will be extended to December 9, 2013.

These negotiations are a part of their scheduled contract renewal process.  Aetna, Cigna, Health Net, United Healthcare are also in contract negotiations with Sutter for 2014.  We hope that the contract negotiations with Anthem will be resolved soon.

Unless Anthem and Sutter Health Systems are able to come to terms, the agreement will expire on December 31, 2013 and Sutter Health System will no longer be part of the Anthem Blue Cross HMO networks beginning January 1, 2014.  If they are unable to reach an agreement and you and/or your dependents are in the Sutter Healthcare System, you will be moved to another medical group. Efforts will be made to try to keep you with your same Primary Care Provider (PCP) or you can change to a provider of your choice by calling Anthem's customer service at 1.800.HMO.2219.

Pacific is keeping a close watch on the situation. For now we encourage you to explore all options and become better informed of your benefit choices. We will let you know on December 2 if Open Enrollment will be extended for an additional week and will provide you with an update of the information we have received about the status of the negotiations.