Seal of the Office of the State Comptroller

COMPTROLLER'S MEMORANDUM NO. 98-11

March 27, 1998

TO THE HEADS OF ALL STATE AGENCIES

ATTENTION: Personnel and Payroll Officers
SUBJECT: 1998 Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period
  1. INTRODUCTION

    The 1998 health insurance open enrollment for state employees will be conducted from May 1 to May 29, 1998; coverage selected during the open enrollment period will take effect July 1, 1998.

    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 allowed for changes caused by or related to a change in family or work status which affects the health plan. The employee is responsible for filing the appropriate change forms within 30 days of the event which necessitates a change in enrollment or plan.

    In that connection, the purpose of this memorandum is to provide an overview of the open enrollment process; payroll-related matters will be addressed in subsequent communications from the Comptroller's Office.

  2. DISCUSSION
    1. Open Enrollment Fairs

      Open enrollment fairs will be arranged through the Health Care Analysis Unit of the Comptroller's Retirement and Benefit Services Division; all fairs will be presented during the open enrollment period. If you are interested in having representatives from Blue Cross, M.D. Health Plan, Kaiser Permanente, and CIGNA Dental visit your agency during the open enrollment, please immediately contact Ron Hwalek at (860) 702-3537.

      Fairs will be scheduled so as to reach as many employees as possible. A statewide schedule of enrollment fairs will be sent to all agencies for posting and communication to all employees when it becomes available. Employees may attend a fair held at any agency or location, subject to the employing agency's operating needs.

      No appearance by insurer representatives are to be unilaterally arranged by agencies. This policy must be followed in order to guarantee the systematic, efficient, and unimpeded planning of the state-sponsored enrollment fairs.

    2. Health Care Planner

      The Health Care Planner which provides a comparison of the benefits among the plans will be mailed to all employees on or about April 25. 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 insurer will be allowed to do general mailings of marketing material to all employees. Phone numbers will be listed by each insurer for those employees seeking further information on a particular plan. Also, the insurers will distribute copies of additional plan information and subscriber agreements to each agency for examination by individual employees.

    3. Open Enrollment Applications

      The "Health Insurance Enrollment Application" (CO-1048A) and "Choice of Health Insurance After Retirement" (CO-744) are not changed for this year. They are available through the state's forms management program, Vanguard Direct, 1-(800) 369-0570. Enrollment applications will not be included with the Planner or with any marketing material sent to employees, nor will insurers have applications available at the enrollment fairs. 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.

    4. Premiums

      Additional memoranda pertaining to changes in employee health insurance premiums and monthly rates for COBRA continuation coverage will be sent to agencies when available.

  3. CONCLUSION

    To reiterate, enrollment fairs may be scheduled by immediately contacting Ron Hwalek at (860) 702-3537. The Comptroller's Retirement and Benefit Services Division, Health Care Analysis Unit, is available to respond to agency inquiries pertaining to the content of this memorandum at (860) 702-3535.

 

Very truly yours,

NANCY WYMAN
STATE COMPTROLLER

NW/WPM/SW

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