State, UW Hospitals and Clinics, and UW employees (including Craft Workers) may be eligible to receive up to $2,000 from their employers if they opt out (waive coverage) of State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program coverage.

You are not eligible for the opt-out incentive if you:
  • Opted out in 2015
  • Are covered by the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program, as a subscriber or dependent, during the calendar year, even if it's only for a day 
  • Are a Graduate Assistant

For more information, see the Opt-Out Incentive FAQs.

Opt Out and Receive $2,000

During Open Enrollment

You must opt out each year during open enrollment by either:

  1. Opting out electronically.
    • Check to see if your employer offers this option
    • STAR, UW, and UW Hospital and Clinics employees can opt out electronically
  2. Completing a paper Health Insurance Application/Change (ET-2301) form and submitting it to your payroll or benefits office. Be sure to complete sections 1, 12 and 13 of the paper application.

When You are a New Hire

You must submit a Group Health Insurance Application/Change (ET-2301) form within 30 days of your hire date. Be sure to complete sections 1, 4, 12 and 13 of the paper application. In section 4 indicate you are declining health coverage and electing the opt-out incentive.

You cannot opt out electronically as a new hire.

Important Considerations

  1. Impact on Sick Leave Conversion: Unused sick leave can provide a valuable benefit. When you retire, or if you should die while an employee, unused sick leave is converted into credits to pay for health insurance for you or your surviving spouse/dependents -- but only if you participate in the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program. If you choose to opt out, your unused sick leave credits have no value until/unless you re-enroll in the Group Health Insurance Program.
  2. Re-enrolling in health insurance: You may re-enroll during the year if you have a qualifying life event (such as marriage, adding a dependent, loss of other coverage). The $2,000 opt-out incentive payment is prorated by payroll period an you will lose any portion that is payable after you have re-enrolled.
  3. Enrollment in Other Benefit Plans: If you opt out of health insurance, you will not be eligible for the Uniform Dental Benefit because it is only available through the State Group Health Insurance Program. However, during the open enrollment period you may still be able to elect supplemental benefits for dental (including the Preventive Plan), vision, and Accident Plan.
  4. Taxable Income: The opt-out incentive is taxable and will appear on your W-2. It is not considered WRS earnings.
  5. Affordable Care Act (ACA): The ACA requires most Americans to have health insurance or you may have to pay a penalty. If you opt out of the State Group Health Insurance Program and do not have other coverage, you may be subject to a fine when you file your annual taxes.