The Benefits Office will hold its annual open enrollment period from Monday, Nov. 13 through Wednesday, Nov. 22. Open enrollment is the only time during the year that MIT employees may change their health or dental plan coverage or set up Flexible Spending Account (FSA) contributions.
Personal Enrollment Guides are being sent to all benefits-eligible employees through the interdepartmental mail starting November 9. The guide summarizes current benefit coverage and provides instructions for making benefits elections. Employees will have the choice of enrolling by phone or using Netscape on the Internet. (MIT 401(k) Supplemental Plan information is not included in the guides; changes may be made to that plan at any time during the year by calling 1-877-MIT-SAVE or visiting https://netbenefits.non-profits.com.)
Community members who wish to maintain their present coverage for the next year do not need to take any action, unless they wish to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay out-of-pocket medical, dental or dependent-care expenses with before-tax dollars. FSA contributions will not automatically continue into 2001, but must be re-established each year.
CHANGES TO HEALTH PLANS
MIT Health Plans: Beginning January 1, the outpatient psychotherapy reimbursement will increase. The subscriber will be reimbursed up to $50 per visit, for up to 50 visits per member per calendar year.
The MIT Health Plan is also offering members a new $50 discount on a 10-week "Eat Well! Weight Management Program," which includes exercise, nutrition presentations and discussions on creating a realistic weight-management plan, keeping motivated, creating an exercise plan and understanding eating behavior. The $50 discount is in addition to the $150 Fitness Reward for health club memberships.
These changes apply to both the Traditional and the Flexible MIT Health Plans. For more information, contact the MIT Health Plan in Rm E23-308, firstname.lastname@example.org or x3-1322.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care: After December 31, MIT will no longer offer Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC). Plan members will be enrolled automatically in the Network Blue New England plan as of January 1 unless they elect another plan during open enrollment.
Tufts Health Plan: As of April 1, 2001, the hospitals and physicians in the Partners HealthCare System will no longer accept Tufts Health Plan members. Partners HealthCare System represents several large hospitals, including Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women's Hospital. MIT employees may remain members of Tufts Health Plan and choose different Tufts physicians and hospitals or elect another health plan during open enrollment.
Network Blue New England: Beginning January 1, MIT will offer the Network Blue New England plan through Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Network Blue New England is a health maintenance organization (HMO) offering comprehensive coverage, including $5 office visit co-payments, chiropractic benefits and prescription drug coverage. An important feature of Network Blue New England is that its provider network includes Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine and Vermont, extending HMO membership options to members of our community for whom this has not been available. A summary of plan benefits is available through the Benefits Office or on line at http://web.mit.edu/benefits/www/2001bcbs.htm.
Personal enrollment guides are being sent to early retirees' homes on November 9 and 10. Early retirees (under age 65) will make their open enrollment elections by phone using the MIT Benefits Self-Service System. The system will allow retirees to listen to a review of their benefits and to record benefits changes. Early retirees will not need to do anything if they want to maintain their current level of coverage.
MIT will hold the annual Medicare Supplement Plans open enrollment from November 15 through December 1. Retirees, their spouses and certain disabled individuals who are enrolled in Medicare supplement plans will have an opportunity to change to another supplement plan if they wish. Plan members do not need to do anything during this enrollment period if they want to remain in their current Medicare supplement plan. Open enrollment information will be sent to individuals in the supplement plans before November 15.
This year, as in the past, employees are invited to attend the Benefit Fairs, where representatives from each of the health plans, the dental plan and the life insurance plan will be available to answer questions. In addition, members of the Benefits Office staff will be in attendance to answer any other benefit questions.
Benefit fairs will be held on Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Haystack Observatory Conference Room from 10-11am and at the Bates Linear Accelerator Library from 2-3pm; on Friday, Nov. 3 in the Bush Room (10-105) on the MIT campus from 10am-3pm; and on Tuesday, Nov. 7 in the Lincoln Lab Atrium from 10am-4pm.
Further information about open enrollment, including access to physician listings, is available on the Benefits Office web site. To request printed copies of plan descriptions or physician directories, or if you have questions, e-mail email@example.com or call the Benefits Office at x3-0500.
The Benefits Office on campus is located in Rm E19-215. At Lincoln Lab, the Benefits Office is in Rm A-128 and the phone number is x7055.
Anyone who is disabled and needs special assistance or accommodation to complete enrollment/change elections should notify the Benefits Office staff so arrangements can be made.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 1, 2000.