The university’s 2012 benefits annual enrollment began Friday, Nov. 4, and runs through Friday, Nov. 18. This is the one time during the year when employees can make changes to their benefits without a “qualifying event” or a change in status. Elections made during this period are effective Jan. 1, 2012. 

By now, you should have received your 2012 Benefits Guide. It includes useful information regarding your benefits options. If you have not received your copy, please email the HR-Benefits Office

St. Thomas self-funds our health insurance program. This means that the university pays all costs incurred under our health care plans that are not covered by plan participants’ premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Employee premiums cover approximately one-third of all costs, while the university pays approximately two-thirds of all costs. Our benefit plans are priced to cover their costs; we do not price our benefit plans to make a profit.

For 2012, we anticipate stable costs for dental and vision care, and employee premiums will not increase for these benefits. We expect our medical plan costs to rise by 8.3 percent in 2012 and have increased health plan premiums by 8.3 pecent to reflect this. The university’s contributions also will be increased by 8.3 percent, and the university will absorb any additional increases in costs that are unanticipated.

The rise in health care costs is not unique to St. Thomas. Like other organizations, we are seeking ways to reduce such increases while continuing to offer high-quality health care resources that enable you and your family to develop and maintain excellent health.

As in 2011, we are offering five different plan options for 2012. Before choosing your plan, consider how you typically use health care services, including your expected health care needs for the coming year and your historical utilization and costs. Consider the total cost of premiums you will pay under each plan combined with your likely out-of-pocket costs under each plan, as well as the maximum cost you may pay under each plan if you have unexpected health issues. By comparing the likely and worst-case scenarios under each plan, you can choose the plan that best fits your personal circumstances.

Educational sessions will be held on the St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses throughout the enrollment period to give you a chance to learn more and receive answers to your questions. Sign up through The Leadership Academy at www.stthomas.edu/hr/leadership.

Annual Enrollment Benefits Information Sessions

Tuesday, Nov. 8Noon-1 p.m.Minneapolis, TMH 301
Wednesday, Nov. 9Noon-1 p.m.St. Paul, LIB 208
Monday, Nov. 141:30-2:30 p.m.St. Paul, LIB 208
Wednesday, Nov. 161:30-2:30 p.m.Minneapolis, TMH 301
Thursday, Nov. 17Noon-1 p.m.St. Paul, MHC 155

Health Savings Account (HSA) Information Sessions

Monday, Nov. 7 Noon-1 p.m.   Minneapolis, TMH 30
Thursday, Nov. 10Noon-1 p.m.   St. Paul, LIB 208

You must complete the online enrollment process for 2012 if you are:

  • electing, changing, or dropping medical, dental and/or vision coverage; 
  • adding or dropping dependents from your coverage;
  • continuing, adding or dropping a Health Care Reimbursement Account and/or Dependent Care Reimbursement Account election; or
  • electing a Health Savings Account (HSA) for the first time (in addition, you will be required to complete an enrollment form, which we will mail to you after you complete your 2012 annual enrollment).

You must complete the manual enrollment process for 2012 optional benefits if you are:

Benefits Highlights for 2012

New Health Savings Account (HSA) rates for 2012

Limits for 2012 are a maximum of $3,100 for employees with employee-only coverage, and $6,250 for employees with employee+1 or employee + family coverage. Catch-up contributions are available for employees 55 and over (capped at $1,000 in 2012).

Implant services added to dental plan

Implant services have been added to the Prosthetic Services offered through our 2012 dental plan.  Implant services will be covered at 50 percent for in- and out-of-network providers.

Grace period added to health care and dependent care reimbursement accounts

Employees enrolled in the Health Care and/or Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts will have an additional 2½ months grace period, through March 15, 2013, to incur expenses for the 2012 plan year. All claims must be submitted for reimbursement no later than May 15, 2013. Any contributions not reimbursed for eligible expenses will be forfeited.

Prescription drug name change

Effective Jan. 1, 2012, prescription drugs previously referred to in our medical plan as formulary and non-formulary will now be referred to as preferred and non-preferred.

Fitness centers

All medical-benefits eligible employees have a great incentive to purchase a membership at the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex (AARC) on the St. Paul campus of UST. Each month that the facilities are used 12 days or more, you will get a rebate for that entire month’s membership fee (currently $30 per month). McCarthy Gym is free and open to all UST employees. A valid UST ID is required for each visit to either facility, and a visit to either UST facility will count toward the 12 necessary for the membership-fee rebate for qualifying employees. A card can be swiped only once per day at either facility to count toward the rebate.

Through Blue Cross Blue Shield, eligible employees who are covered on one of the UST medical plans, and one other covered eligible dependent, can each receive a $20 discount at participating fitness centers for working out at least 12 times per month. The full list of participating centers is available on the Employee Wellness Program website below.

For more fitness center information visit the HR website.

For instructions on completing the Annual Enrollment process, please refer to your Benefits Guide, visit the HR News Corner on the Human Resources home page, or contact Jennifer Easton, HR-Benefits Office, (651) 962-6497. You also can visit us in Aquinas Hall, Room 213.