Open Enrollment begins Friday: Materials now available to make health care plan decisions

Visit Stanford University Benefits to find out what's changing in health care plans in 2013 and to download summaries of benefits and coverage for Kaiser Permanente HMO, and the Blue Shield EPO, PPO and High-Deductible PPO plans.

Information about Stanford's 2013 health care plans – including employee contributions – is now available on the Stanford University Benefits website.

Click on the photo of a woman looking out at a golden ocean to visit the Open Enrollment web page, the starting point for exploring the benefits provided by each health plan offered by the university for active employees and retirees.

Open Enrollment, which begins Friday, Oct. 26, represents a once-a-year opportunity to change medical plans, add or drop eligible dependents from coverage, and to re-elect a Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account.

The deadline to enroll in a health care plan, or to change or update plans, is Nov. 15.

This week, representatives from Sanford Benefits, BeWell@Stanford and the Health Improvement Program (HIP), as well as representatives from Fidelity Investments, TIAA-CREF, Vanguard, Kaiser, Blue Shield and Health Equity, will be available to answer questions at four benefits fairs on campus.

The Benefits website provides a Q&A to help employees determine if they need to enroll. Employees who answer "yes" to any of the following questions should visit MyBenefits, a Stanford online tool that enables employees and retirees to view and make changes to their benefits elections online.

  • Does someone in your family need glasses this year? Consider enrolling in the Vision Service Plan (VSP).
  • Does someone in your family need braces or dental implants this year? Choose the Delta Dental PPO plan for coverage for orthodontia and implants.
  • Do you want to change the amount of your life insurance? Employees may now purchase up to $1.5 million in supplemental life insurance.
  • Do you want to change whom you cover?
  • Have you been awarded a Child Care Subsidy Grant? You must accept the grant during Open Enrollment, which automatically enrolls you for a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA). If you wish to add monies up to the $5,000 limit, you can do so using the DCFSA section of the enrollment tool.
  • Do you want to have a DCFSA in 2013? You must enroll each year.
  • Do you want to have a Health Care Flexible Spending Account in 2013? You must enroll each year.

For those who would like to ask questions in person, the Benefits Office has scheduled campus meetings, vendor open houses and WebEx meetings, which can be found on the Benefits Calendar.

The first open enrollment meeting will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26, in the Clark Center Auditorium, at 318 Campus Drive.

Representatives from Kaiser and Blue Shield will hold open houses from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in Cypress Lounge at Tresidder Union, and from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at SLAC's Building 3 Training Room.

WebEx meetings will be held on Oct. 31, and Nov. 2, 7 and 14.