It's Your Choice 2017
Local Health Plan
Insurance for Employees
How to Choose Your Group Health Insurance Plan
There are various times throughout your employment when you might consider enrolling in or making changes to your health benefits. This may be when you are a new employee, annually during the It’s Your Choice open enrollment period, or when you experience a life event that may allow for a change. Consider the following:
- Is your health plan still available next year? Sometimes health plans merge with others or change their service areas. See important changes and check your service areain the Health Plan Provider Map.
- Have your premiums changed?
- Is your doctor, clinic and hospital still affiliated with your health plan?
- Have benefits changed? Changes are summarized in the important changes.
- How satisfied are participants with their health plans? Review and compare health plan report cards.
- How do health plans compare for wellness and health management programs? Review and compare health plan features.
If you are happy with your current plan, and do not want to decline Uniform Dental Benefits coverage (if it is offered), you do not need to do anything during open enrollment.
Let’s walk through some of the steps you should when deciding on a plan design and a health plan for 2017.
Note: If you have experienced a life event, such as a change in marital status, had a baby or moved to a new county, check out Life Changes and Coverage Changes to see what your options are, and how long you have to enroll or make a change.
For additional information, see the It's Your Choice FAQs.
Step 1 – Choose a Plan Design
First, decide which plan design you would like. The following is a summary of the two primary health insurance plan designs of the Wisconsin Public Employers (WPE) Group Health Insurance Program. For more plan design information, choose the Compare Plans tab in the navigation bar above.
- IYC Local Health Plan:
Most members are enrolled in this plan. This plan allows you to choose from a variety of health plan providers that offer the same uniform benefits package.
Note: While these health plan providers all offer the same uniform benefits package, this does not mean that they will treat all illnesses or injuries in an identical manner. Treatment will vary depending on patient needs, the physicians’ preferred practices, and the health plan provider's managed care policies and procedures.
- IYC Local Access Health Plan:
This plan provides freedom of choice of doctors and hospitals across the country. In exchange for the increased flexibility in medical providers, the member premium cost is more than the IYC Local Health Plan.
Compare medical and pharmacy benefits by plan design type.
Monthly Premium Rates:
See the full monthly premium rates for these plan designs here. You will also need to pick a health plan provider (See Step 2, below).
Made a Decision?
If you chose the IYC Local Health Plan, move on to Step 2 to select a health plan provider.
If you choose either the IYC Local Access Health Plan, you can move to Step 4. This plan is only administered through one health plan provider, WPS.
Step 2 – Choose a Geographic Coverage Area
Check out the Health Plan Coverage Map. This interactive map shows you which health plan providers are available in your area. You do not have to choose a health plan provider in your county, but keep in mind how far you are willing to travel for services.
The map also shows whether the available health plan providers are considered “qualified.” A qualified health plan provider meets certain medical provider access requirements (has the minimum allowable number of clinics, hospitals and providers available in that county). Some health plans may be listed, but have limited availability.
In the event there are no qualified IYC Local Health Plan providers in your county with a Tier 1 monthly premium cost, you can choose the State Maintenance Plan.
Step 3 – Choose a Health Plan Provider
Ok, now you know what health plan providers you have to choose from. Next, you will want to check out the specific health plan features and plan descriptions to learn about their quality ratings and medical provider networks (including specialists and hospitals), as well as other features, which may include:
- referral and prior authorization requirements,
- whether they require you to select a primary care provider (PCP) and other administrative requirements, and
- whether they offer a member web portal, a 24-hour nurse line, and wellness and health management programs.
You will also want to consider the cost of choosing each health plan provider. Note the monthly premium cost for single or family coverage.
Step 4 – Enroll or Make a Change
Now that you have chosen a plan design and health plan provider, you will need to either enroll or make a change to your current enrollment. Make changes or enroll online using myETF Benefits, or complete a paper application and submit to your payroll or benefits office.
If you do not want to change plan design or health plan provider, or decline Uniform Dental Benefit coverage for 2017 (if it is offered), you do not need to do anything and your coverage will continue for the next year.
Step 5 – Stay Up To Date
Sign up for It's Your Choice e-alerts on health and wellness benefits, and related topics of interest.
Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but may be subject to change. Please note revision dates located at the bottom of each page. In the event of conflicting information, federal law, state statute, state health contracts and/or policies and provisions established by the State of Wisconsin Group Insurance Board shall be followed.
This page was last modified on: 11/1/2016 2:08:17 PM