Select Benefits Enrollment Guide
- Intro to Select Benefits—benefits to suit you
- Select Benefits choices
- Changing your coverage
- Medical plan
- Dental plan
- Audio plan
- Vision plan
- Life insurance
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance
- Survivor benefits
- Disability benefits
- Reimbursement accounts
- Who will receive your benefits if you die?
Introduction to Select Benefits—benefits to suit you
This enrollment guide provides the choices available to you under the State of Alaska Select Benefits plan. In addition to enrolling when you are first eligible or during annual Open Enrollment for the subsequent benefit year beginning January 1, benefits may be changed within 30 days of a qualified change in family or employment status.
Select Benefits allows you to choose your benefit plans. Because you may have different needs than your coworkers and friends, you can create a personal benefit program from a range of benefits and levels of coverage. Best of all, you can spend your dollars – and the State’s – for benefits that better meet your needs. Here’s how it works:
- With Select Benefits, the State allocates the money it spends on your health benefits as “Benefit Credits.” If you work part-time, you get Benefit Credits only if you elect health coverage.
- You consider the monthly cost of each option and decide which benefits to purchase.
- After making your choices, if the total (excluding any contributions to the Dependent Care Assistance
- the same as your Benefit Credit amount, there is no effect on your pay.
- more than your Benefit Credit, you pay the difference through pretax payroll deductions. This means deductions are withheld from your pay before federal taxes are applied. The difference is deducted from your paychecks twice per month in equal amounts throughout the benefit year.
The online enrollment system will automatically calculate your Benefit Credits and premiums as you make selections, allowing you to change your choices until you are satisfied with the choices and cost.
Consider Your Choices
Listed below are the Select Benefits for which decisions will be required. Follow the links for more details about these important benefits. You may enroll in or change these benefits when first hired into an eligible position, following a qualified change in family or employment status or during the Open Enrollment.
Your Select Benefits choices
- Supplemental Life Insurance
- Supplemental Accidental Death and Dismemberment Supplemental Survivor Benefits
- Disability Benefits (short-term and long-term)
- Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP)*
*You must elect these benefits each Open Enrollment period; they do not automatically continue from one benefit year to the next. Limitations to these plans may apply; refer to the Select Benefits Information Booklet for greater details about these plans.
Failure to enroll during the Open Enrollment period will result in continued coverage at your current level of coverage, excluding enrollment in the Health Flexible Spending Account or Dependent Care Assistance Plan, effective July 1. Members in the Premium Employee/Standard Family medical option which is being discontinued as of July 1, 2013, will be enrolled in the Standard medical option.
Changing your coverage before Open Enrollment ends
You may change your mind about any benefit choices as long as you re-enroll in your final choices before the enrollment deadline. Reminder—each time you re-enroll, a new enrollment is processed. The previous enrollment will no longer exist. Make sure to re-select each of your elections.
The only time you can change your coverage other than during Open Enrollment is within 30 days of a “qualified status change.” These include:
- gaining or losing a dependent through birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, or death.
- dependent is no longer eligible under the terms of the plan.
- spouse terminating employment, beginning an extended period of layoff or leave without pay, or beginning new employment.
- you or your spouse changing employment status from full-time to part-time or vice versa.
Dental and Vision Plan decisions remain in effect for at least 18 months. Your change in benefits must be consistent with the status change. For example, if you had a baby, you could elect Dependent Care. You also may change life insurance or disability selections due to a qualified status change. However, rules prohibit addition, cancellation, or changes in the Health Flexible Spending Account at any time during the year.
Coordination Between State Employees' Health Plans
Under the authority of 2 AAC 39.920, Select Benefits will only pay 30 percent of covered charges for your dependents if your spouse or children are covered by a State employee health trust and that coverage:
- has been waived,
- pays less than 70 percent of covered expenses, or
- has an individual out-of-pocket maximum, including deductible, of more than $3,500.
This applies to any dependent covered by Select Benefits as the secondary plan under the standard Coordination of Benefits rules and where the trust plan would normally pay first if coverage is not reduced or waived. When your spouse or the parent of any of your children selects coverage under a State employee health trust, they must ensure they are electing a plan that covers at least themselves and any dependents for which they have primary responsibility and that coverage provides full family coverage. Failure to do so will result in less coverage for your dependents in the coming year.
Your medical coverage helps you and your eligible dependents pay for hospital, surgical, and other medical expenses.
You can choose from the three different Select Benefits medical options »
Your dependents, if any, are automatically covered in Select Benefits medical plans, as follows:
- When you choose Standard or Economy medical coverage, you and your eligible dependents are covered under the same option.
- The Premium Employee/Standard Family Plan has been discontinued as of July 1, 2013. If you are currently enrolled in this plan, you must make a new election from the available plans during this open enrollment. If no election is received, members in the Premium Employee/Standard Family plan will be defaulted into the Standard plan.
You will see from the Summary of Medical Benefits and Coverage [PDF] and the Summary of Dental Benefits and Coverage [PDF] that the deductible, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums are different for each option. To determine which plan is right for you, think about how much you can afford out of your own pocket to pay for medical expenses. Also consider the difference in premium cost to you, the total premium for the health options you select less the State’s Benefit Credits. We want to be sure all eligible State employees have medical coverage in the event of serious illness or injury, so you are required to choose a medical option, unless you are a part-time employee for whom coverage is optional.
Prescription drugs are the fastest growing cost in most health plans, including ours. Higher claim costs from prescription drugs, as with any other expense, means higher premium payments to all participants in the plan. There are several ways to save on prescription drug costs including purchasing a generic or lower cost brand name drug, using the mail order pharmacy for maintenance drugs, or both.
The mail order pharmacy is simple to use for maintenance drugs. You need a prescription from your doctor which allows you to receive a 90-day supply at a time for up to one year. The mail order pharmacy form, should be sent with the prescription and your co-payment. The pharmacy will send your prescription by return mail along with information on ordering refills. You will save money on the co-pays, too!
The plans you make now—and the benefits you choose—can make a difference to your family later. Select Benefits lets you customize the amount of life insurance that is right for your situation. The IRS limits the pretax premiums to the cost of group-term life insurance coverage up to $50,000. If you are a member of the General Government, Supervisory or Confidential bargaining unit, your Basic Life policy increased to $10,000 effective July 1, 2013. This leaves a remainder of $40,000 in coverage that can be purchased with a pretax premium prior to exceeding the IRS limit. If you elect coverage combinations from the Life, Survivor or Accidental Death and Dismemberment options which exceed the $50,000 limit, a portion of the premiums you pay for this coverage will be imputed income to you. Only the portion of the premium representing the coverage amount over $50,000 will be taxable.
There are several plans available to you:
Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance
With the Select Benefits Reimbursement Accounts, you can set aside money to pay for certain health or day care expenses on a tax-free basis.
Here’s How They Work
Each benefit year, you decide the amount you want to contribute, up to the limits, on a pretax basis. During the benefit year, you file claims and are reimbursed with tax-free dollars from the account. You benefit from reduced taxes, because you don’t pay taxes on the dollars you contribute to your accounts.
Some Important Rules
The government imposes certain restrictions on Reimbursement Account plans to give you these pre-tax advantages.
- You cannot enroll in, cancel or change your Health Flexible Spending Account (HFSA) amount at any time during the year except during Open Enrollment.
- You must elect these benefits each open enrollment period, they do not automatically continue from one benefit year to the next.
- Amounts are held in separate Health and Dependent Care accounts. Balances cannot be moved back and forth.
- For 2013 only, the plan will have a shortened benefit year of six months from July 1 through December 31, 2013. Therefore, you forfeit any portion of your account balance not used for expenses incurred by December 31, 2013. You must budget contributions carefully.
- Services for eligible expenses must be received while you are covered by the plan—coverage stops during periods of leave without pay and at termination. Under HFSA, coverage also stops when you move to a bargaining unit which does not participate in the Select Benefits /AlaskaCare health plan. In addition, services must be received prior to the end of the benefit year, December 31. Claims for the benefit year must be filed within 90 days of the end of the benefit year.
Health Flexible Spending Account (HFSA)
Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP)
Who will receive your benefits if you die?
There are valuable benefits to be paid to your beneficiaries if you die. Many people complete beneficiary forms when they are first hired, but forget to update them when they marry, divorce, have a child, or experience a death in the family. Often beneficiaries move, but their addresses are not updated. This means your benefits could be paid to someone you would prefer not to pay, or benefit payments could be delayed while attempts to locate your beneficiary are made. If you cannot remember the last time you submitted a beneficiary form or who you designated, fill out a new form to ensure your benefits go to the people you want.
The following is a list of benefits that may be available upon your death:
- Pension Benefits
- Group Life Insurance Plan
- Basic Life and AD&D Insurance
- Select Life Insurance
- Supplemental Annuity Plan
- Supplemental Life Insurance/AD&D
- Supplemental Survivor Benefits
- Alaska Deferred Compensation Plan
- Unpaid Compensation (last paycheck plus leave not taken) and Travel Accident Insurance