STATE OF CONNECTICUT
THE STATE COMPTROLLER
55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106-1775
COMPTROLLER'S MEMORANDUM NO. 2003-18
May 20, 2003
TO THE HEADS OF ALL STATE AGENCIES
|ATTENTION:||Personnel and Payroll Officers, Chief Administrative and Fiscal Officers, Business Managers|
|SUBJECT:||2003 Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period|
The 2003 health insurance open enrollment for state employees will be conducted from May 27 through June 13, 2003; coverage selected during the open enrollment period will be effective July 1, 2003.
The annual open enrollment period is the only time employees may change health plans, or add or delete dependents. Such changes are not allowed at other times; exceptions are permitted only for changes necessitated by or related to a revision in family or work status. The employee is responsible for filing the appropriate change forms within 30 days of the event that necessitates a change in enrollment or plan.
Employees may not change plans outside the open enrollment period solely on the basis that their healthcare provider(s) is no longer in a carrier's network.
In that connection, the purpose of this memorandum is to provide an overview of the open enrollment process.
A. Open Enrollment Fairs
Due to the timing of the open enrollment period, the relatively static nature of the plan, and the fact that considerable resources are being dedicated to the Early Retirement Incentive Program at the present time, the Retirement & Benefit Services Division of the Comptroller's Office will not be conducting any " Open Enrollment Fairs". Along these lines, all carriers have been instructed to refrain from accepting agency invitations for on-site appearances. Instead, Health Care Planners are being sent to the home addresses of all employees, and arrangements have been made with each carrier for comprehensive mailings, which will be complemented by telephone and Internet access.
B. Health Care Planner
The aforementioned Planner, which provides a comparison of the benefits across the plans, will be mailed to all employees during the open enrollment period. The Planner will contain information regarding applicable employee premium shares, and offer certain general guidelines to assist employees in making their choices. No marketing literature will be included with the Planner, but each carrier will be allowed to mail marketing material to all employees. Telephone numbers will be listed for each carrier for those employees seeking further information on a particular plan. In addition, the carriers will distribute plan information to each agency for examination by individual employees.
C. Open Enrollment Applications
There are no changes to Form CO-1048-A, "Health Insurance-Enrollment Application" and Form CO-744, "Choice of Health Insurance After Retirement". Continue to use the 2001 revision of these forms, which are available from Vanguard Direct. Enrollment applications will not be included with the Planner or with any marketing material sent to employees. Employees electing or changing coverage may do so only through their personnel or payroll office, which will be the repository of all enrollment applications. This procedure is intended to insure that vendor marketing efforts and enrollment processing are maintained as entirely distinct functions.
To facilitate timely processing of changes, agencies should send enrollment forms and carrier change forms to the carriers as soon as practicable; they should not wait until the monthly processing deadline for July 2003 which is June 27, 2003.
Payroll related matters, including employee and retiree health insurance premiums, copayments, and monthly rates for COBRA continuation coverage, will be transmitted to agencies through subsequent Comptroller's Memoranda. Additionally, the Retirement & Benefit Services Division will issue to each agency more detailed information regarding the structure of the state employee health benefit plan for fiscal year 2003-2004, along with an advance copy of the Planner. Agencies with questions concerning the open enrollment process may contact the Division's Health Care Analysis Unit at (860) 702-3535. However, kindly refrain from referring employees directly to that Unit.
Very truly yours,
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