Open Enrollment for 2021
The first day of Open Enrollment this year is a Sunday, and like most departments on campus, the ISC is closed on weekends.
Do You *Need* to Make Open Enrollment Changes?
Open Enrollment (November 1-30) is an optional, once-a-year opportunity for PEBB benefits-eligible employees to enroll in or make changes to their health plan elections in Workday. In most cases, you don’t need to do anything. There are only a few instances in which an employee is required to make changes during this time.
You DON’T need to make changes during Open Enrollment if:
- You are happy with your current elections and don’t want to make any changes or add/remove dependents
- You do not wish to enroll in, or continue to enroll in, a Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) or the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)
- You either are not married or do not cover your spouse/partner for benefits.
You DO need to make changes during Open Enrollment if:
- You want to make changes to your health plans (this includes adding dependents to or removing dependents from your medical and/or dental plans)
- You want to enroll in, or continue to enroll in, a Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) or the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)
- You cover your spouse/partner for benefits AND you’ve received notice that you need to attest/re-attest (respond) that you do or do not owe a $50 monthly Spousal Surcharge Premium
- For help determining whether or not you need to re-attest, see our Attesting to the Spouse/Partner Premium Surcharge During Open Enrollment page.
Check out our Open Enrollment 101 (PDF) guide if you are still wondering what, if anything, you need to do during Open Enrollment.
Prepare in Advance…
To help ensure a smooth Open Enrollment experience, please take a few moments prior to November 1 to:
1. Verify Your Home Address in Workday
Did you know? Your medical plan options are determined by your home address. The country and/or zip code in which you live influence whether you can be covered by Kaiser/Group Health versus UMP Plus – Puget Sound High Value Network, or another plan altogether. So, before making your Open Enrollment changes, take a moment to log into Workday and double-check that everything looks okay. Refer to the Home/Mailing Address section of the Managing Your Personal and Work Information in Workday page for step-by-step guidance.
2. Prepare Your Dependent Verification Documents
If you’ll be adding any dependents – including a child, spouse or State Registered Domestic Partner (SRDP) – to your medical coverage, state law requires that you attach “valid dependent verification documentation” in Workday. Take a moment to check out the list of what qualifies as valid dependent verification, scan the documents you plan to use, then save them to a secure computer before beginning to make your Open Enrollment selections.
- When newly adding a spouse: In addition to adding required dependent verification, you will also need to enter your date of marriage in Workday.
- If you’ll be changing your medical plan, you will need to enroll/re-enroll any dependents on the new plan, but you will not need to attach verification documentation for any dependent enrolled on your current medical plan.
Understanding what qualifies as valid dependent verification can be confusing. Please don’t hesitate to contact the ISC for help in figuring out which document(s) you’ll need to attach to successfully enroll your dependents in your health coverage.
3. Learn About Benefit Changes and Your Options for 2021
- Explore the Virtual Benefits Fair: Learn about your benefit options for 2021 and register for webinars hosted by insurance plan providers throughout October and November.
- Visit the Health Care Authority’s (HCA’s) Open Enrollment Webpage: Find 2021 premiums, summaries of benefits and coverage, online webinars, and other resources for comparing medical and dental plans.
- Compare Plan Options and Providers: You can also reach out directly to insurance providers ahead of time if you still have questions about whether another plan is right for you or your family.
Special Enrollment Opportunity for Optional Life Insurance
During November 2020 only, benefits-eligible employees can take advantage of a simplified enrollment process for enrolling in or increasing their optional life insurance coverage.
Normally, you must provide evidence of insurability – which includes authorizing health practitioner to release your medical records to the plan provider – if enrolling in optional life insurance after your original 31-day enrollment window. Instead, this year only, eligible employees can sign up by answering just five health questions.
Enrolling for Optional life insurance is not part of Open Enrollment, and is managed entirely by MetLife – there is no action required in Workday. Sign into MetLife’s MyBenefits at any point during November 2020 to take advantage of this enrollment opportunity.
How to Make Changes During Open Enrollment
During Open Enrollment you can make changes to your health benefits following these four steps:
Step 1: Log Into Workday Beginning November 1
If you know you want or need to make changes, during the month of November, log into Workday, go to your Inbox, then select Open Enrollment Change to begin.
Important: You must make any desired Open Enrollment changes within the “Open Enrollment Change” action item in your Workday Inbox (after opening the action item, scroll down to find the table that contains your choices).
Do NOT try making your initial Open Enrollment changes using the Benefits worklet. Doing so would make changes to your benefits for the current year (i.e. November and December 2020), will likely generate errors, and will not make the Open Enrollment changes you want.
Step 2: Follow Along With the Open Enrollment Guide
Making your Open Enrollment selections can admittedly be tricky – we are required by the state to use specific language that can often be confusing (sometimes, yes, you have to “elect” in order to “waive”). We highly recommend following the step-by-step how-to instructions in the Open Enrollment User Guide (link coming November 1!) while making your selections in Workday.
Step 3: Check Your Work Before Submitting
Before selecting Submit in Workday, double-check that you’ve avoided the common mistakes listed below in order to avoid delays and errors. Mistakes must be corrected and/or missing documentation must be submitted before November 30 to successfully submit your enrollment.
- Ensure you’ve accurately completed the Tobacco Use Attestation: Be sure you’ve attested for yourself and all of your dependents over the age of 13 to avoid being billed the $25 per month surcharge.
- Attach valid dependent verification documents: On the last page of Open Enrollment in Workday, you must attach (upload) valid documentation verifying your dependent’s relationship to you; otherwise we cannot process your dependent’s enrollment.
- Review what qualifies as valid dependent verification documentation.
- Attest to the spousal or state-registered domestic partner coverage: When newly adding your spouse or state-registered domestic partner (SRDP) to your coverage, you’ll need to declare whether they have other, affordable medical coverage available.
- Include your date of marriage: When newly adding a spouse to your coverage, you must include your marriage date within the comments box provided in Workday. This does not apply to SRDPs.
Step 4: Submit Your Open Enrollment Changes by November 30
To finalize your Open Enrollment changes in Workday, make sure to check I Agree and then select Submit.
We recommend that you save your Open Enrollment submission code and print your confirmation screen; you’ll need it just in case you have future questions or issues about your enrollment. After submitting your choices, you will also receive an email from Workday letting you know that your elections were received. Final confirmation statements will be emailed in early December.
Workday will process your most recently submitted election as of 11:59 pm on November 30. Please remember that November 30 is a hard deadline; there are no exceptions or grace periods for Open Enrollment. Your enrollment must be completed in a timely manner to ensure your coverage is what you want and expect.
Your next opportunity to make health plan changes will be during Open Enrollment in November 2021, or within 60 days of a qualifying Life Event.