There are certain times throughout the year when you may enroll in health and supplemental insurance benefits, or change your coverage.
The It’s Your Choice 2021 health benefits open enrollment period is September 28 - October 23, 2020. This is your opportunity to change health plans, change from family to single coverage, enroll if you had previously deferred coverage, cancel coverage for yourself or an adult dependent child and more. You should review important changes for the 2021 plan year, and confirm your health plan network and service area, as well as plan design options. You should also consider dental coverage and other options to supplement your coverage.
Active state employees: You must enroll each year in Pre-Tax Savings Accounts, such as flexible spending accounts for health care, dependent day care, health savings accounts and parking and transit benefits.
Open enrollment is available to all who are eligible under the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program. This includes employees, retirees, currently insured COBRA continuants, surviving spouses and dependents. Changes in coverage become effective January 1, 2021.
If you are electing health insurance coverage, you must enroll within 30 days of your date of hire (in an eligible position), or first eligible appointment. Coverage will be effective on the first of the month on or following your hire date, or on the date you are eligible for an employer contribution, whichever you choose.
Check with your payroll or benefits office to find out when your employer contribution begins. If you choose to start your coverage before you receive employer contributions, you will pay the full premium.
UW graduate assistants and WRS employees: If this is not your first eligible appointment, you may still be eligible for the initial 30-day enrollment period if you have a 30-day employment break between appointments.
Life Change Event
Did you recently have a change in marital status, add a dependent, have an eligible move to a new county or have another qualifying life change event? You may be able to enroll or change your coverage outside of the open enrollment period. There are various rules related to life change events.
The life change event guide explains what your options are and how long you have to submit an application to enroll or make a change.
When you retire, your health insurance plan (if you are enrolled) will automatically continue in most circumstances. If you terminate employment after 20 years of creditable service but are not eligible for an immediate annuity, you may continue your coverage by filing a Continuation-Conversion Notice (ET-2311) form within 90 days of your termination of employment. This form is available from ETF. If you are enrolled in any optional insurance plans that you wish to continue, you must return a continuation form directly to the insurance vendor.
If you are eligible for Medicare, you and your Medicare-eligible dependents must be enrolled in the hospital (Part A) and medical (Part B) portions of Medicare at the time of your retirement, as soon as you turn age 65 or have another Medicare enrollment opportunity. You will then automatically be enrolled in the prescription drug (Part D), Navitus MedicareRx plan, which is offered by Navitus.
Because all It’s Your Choice plans have coverage options that are coordinated with Medicare, you will remain covered by your health plan even after you enroll in Medicare.
Please contact ETF if you do not receive the required Medicare Eligibility Statement (ET-4307) at least one month before your 65th birthday, or if you have been on Social Security disability for 24 months.