Open Enrollment 2018Voluntary Supplemental Benefits FAQs

Stay Tuned! Open Enrollment 2018 Info Coming Soon.

  1. Are there any changes to the Voluntary Supplemental Benefits (VSB) this year?
  2. Are there any new coverages being offered?
  3. Are my Voluntary Supplemental Benefit premiums pre-tax?
  4. Do I need to re-enroll if I had coverage last year?
  5. If I was approved for $200,000 or $300,000 in Life Insurance during this last year, will I need to reapply with MetLife?
  6. Statement of Health - What is it? And more...

Are there changes to the Voluntary Supplemental Benefits (VSB) this year?

We have continued to upgrade the Voluntary Supplemental Benefits (VSB) Plan to help meet the needs of you and your family. In 2016 we raised the life insurance levels to more meaningful amounts and for 2017 we have continued improving the plan. We are excited to announce the new VSB vendor for the next benefit year is MetLife. After a rigorous and competitive bidding process, MetLife was awarded the VSB contract for the next three years. MetLife is a global provider of employee benefits and brings 150 years of experience to our plan. We are excited to partner with them in serving you and your employees.

As part of our review of our VSB plan over the past two years we have concluded some benefit offerings were not perceived as valuable to the majority of employees. Two plans in particular, the Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP) and the Survivor Benefits option have been discontinued for the 2017 benefit year. The Dependent Care Assistance Plan was created prior to the Child and Dependent Care Credit offered by the Internal Revenue Service. For some employees, the IRS tax credit is more beneficial and it appears most employees are using this option as opposed to the Dependent Care Assistance Plan. The Survivor Benefit option, which provides $10,000 in a lump sum and $38,000 over a scheduled set of payments, does not provide enough in a lump sum for survivors to pay for funeral and other associated costs. Lump sum options are selected by employees in far greater numbers than Survivor Benefits. For these reasons, in addition to low enrollment, these plans have been discontinued.

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Are there any new coverages being offered? - Critical Illness

Yes. The State of Alaska is pleased to offer you an opportunity to enroll in the new Critical Illness Supplemental Insurance plan that can pay a lump sum upon certain diagnoses. Diagnoses include cancer, heart attack, major organ transplant, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s disease, and other illnesses.

Read more about how these benefits may complement your existing medical coverage.

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Are my Voluntary Supplemental Benefit premiums pre-tax?

Yes and no. Premiums for coverage other than life insurance are taken on a pre-tax basis. For the life insurance products, premiums up to $50,000 in total pre-tax or employer paid life insurance, including State-provided Basic Life Insurance are not taxed. Premiums attributable to pre-tax or employer paid life insurance amounts over $50,000 are taxable, will show as imputed income on your pay, and will be taxed. Imputed income is the addition of the value of non-cash compensation to an employee's taxable wages in order to properly withhold income taxes from the wages. Premiums for the Critical Illness plan and Select Life are post-tax and will not result in imputed income.

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Do I need to re-enroll if I had a VSB coverage last year?

Depending on the coverage you had last year, you may be required to re-enroll due to changes in coverage or the requirements of the particular program. The guidelines are:

Type Of Coverage Action Required
Short-Term Disability If elected in 2016, coverage will rollover to 2017.
Long-Term Disability If elected in 2016, coverage will rollover to 2017.
Life Insurance If elected in 2016, coverage will rollover to 2017.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment If elected in 2016, coverage will rollover to 2017.
Critical Illness New Plan. Required enrollment for coverage in 2017.

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If I was approved for $200,000 or $300,000 in Life Insurance during this last year, will I need to reapply with MetLife?

No. If you were approved by UNUM (the prior carrier) for life insurance at $200,000 or $300,000 level your approval will carry over to MetLife.

However, if you apply for either $200,000 or $300,000 of coverage for the first time during Open Enrollment, you will be required to provide a Statement of Health (SOH) to MetLife.

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What is a Statement of Health (SOH)?

Proof of good health, evidenced by an SOH, is part of an application process to elect higher volumes of life insurance. During this process, you will answer basic questions in which you provide information on the condition of your health. This means employees must fulfill standards set by the insurance that do not pose significant risk to the insurer.

  1. Why are SOHs used?
  2. Who is required to provide a SOH?
  3. If I have questions about the SOH process, who do I contact?
  4. If I select life insurance at $10,000, $50,000, or $100,000 will I need to complete an SOH?
  5. If I select the $200,000 or $300,000 option will I need to submit an SOH every year?
  6. What level am I covered at until I am approved?
  7. What happens if I am not approved for the $200,000 or $300,000 option?
  8. How do I obtain and submit the SOH form?

Why are Statements of Health used?

Statements of health are used to protect an employer's group insurance program from adverse risks and to reduce the likelihood of disproportional claims risk. This helps control the cost of the group insurance program and allows the employer to continue offering the coverage.

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Who is required to provide a Statement of Health (SOH)?

Active employees electing life insurance levels at $200,000 or $300,000 will be required to provide an SOH:

  • when electing coverage during open enrollment;
  • when increasing coverage due to qualifying life events; or
  • when electing coverage at initial hire.

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If I have questions about evidence of insurability process, who do I contact?

For questions regarding the SOH process or what may result in a denial of coverage, please contact the insurer, MetLife, directly at 1-800-638-6420.

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If I select life insurance at $10,000, $50,000, or $100,000 will I need to complete an SOH?

No. Elections of life insurance at these levels do not require proof of good health.

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If I select the $200,000 or $300,000 option will I need to submit an SOH every year?

As long as you don’t change your level of coverage, you will not be required to submit a new SOH form every year. If you elect to increase or decrease your coverage to either $200,000 or $300,000 after a qualified status change or at a subsequent open enrollment, you will have to provide SOH again. If you decrease coverage below $200,000 in the future, no SOH is required.

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What level am I covered at until I am approved?

If you elect $200,000 or $300,000 in life insurance you are covered at $100,000 until you are approved. For example, if you apply for $300,000, and you pass away before you are approved for $300,000 your beneficiaries will receive $100,000.

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What happens if I am not approved for the $200,000 or $300,000 option?

If you are not approved for $200,000 or $300,000 your coverage will automatically default to $100,000.

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How do I obtain and submit the SOH form?

  • Shortly after Open Enrollment ends, you will receive correspondence from MetLife regarding the SOH, how to complete it, and how to submit it to MetLife. Please do not send your SOH to the Division of Retirement and Benefits or to your employer as it will contain private and personal health information.
  • Upon receipt of your SOH, MetLife will review it and respond either with a request for additional information or an approval or denial within 30-60 days.

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