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Open Enrollment 2011 is Underway

Posted Oct. 18, 2010

The Open Enrollment period for eligible faculty and staff to select medical, insurance and other benefits-related options for 2011 started yesterday (Oct. 17) and will run through Monday, Nov. 8.

news briefs open enrollment
Open Enrollment is here.

In an effort to reduce costs and improve access, the enrollment booklet detailing the benefit selections is available online. The enrollment process will also be done electronically through a secure website. Faculty and staff may access the booklet, links to the enrollment process and other resources through the Open Enrollment website. Employees also received a postcard mailed to their home address with the website information.

While there are no changes to the benefits coverage offered for next year, the premium charged to the university by our health care providers (Medical Mutual and Anthem) continues to rise. Kent State will absorb a portion of the increase, but employees may see an increase in contributions as well, depending on the medical plan and the health care provider chosen. A contribution chart at the back of the Open Enrollment booklet provides the new rates for 2011.

As you and your family review the benefits information for next year, please note the following information. More details can be found in the Open Enrollment book:

  • The new health care reform legislation includes changes to continued health care coverage for dependent adults. Under the federal legislation, medical coverage must be made available to dependents, ages 21-26, who do not have another source of employer-sponsored health insurance; this is regardless of the child's marital status, residency or enrollment in school. Under the state legislation, adult dependents between the ages of 26-28 who meet the state eligibility requirements may also be covered under the employee's medical plan. An additional premium will be assessed for dependents in the 26-28 age group.
  • The health care reform law will also impact flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Beginning in January 2011 over-the-counter medicines will only be eligible for reimbursement under the health care FSA if the reimbursement request is accompanied by a doctor's prescription.
  • The Benefits staff is asking all employees to review and make any necessary changes to beneficiary information for any insurance plans you may have through the university. In some instances employees have not reviewed this information for several years, and it may no longer be current.
  • Improvements have been made to the enrollment process, which will make it easier to navigate the online process and make your selections. There is also a video that summarizes the benefit options.
  • If you wish to participate in a Flexible Spending Account for 2011, you must complete the Open Enrollment process and select your contribution. Your 2010 FSA elections do not carry forward to the new year. For all other employees who wish to keep their current benefit selections for next year, you do not need to complete the Open Enrollment process; your default benefits for 2011 will be your current elected coverage.

Members of the Benefits staff will be holding several informational sessions, and a video of the sessions will be available on the Open Enrollment website later this week. The staff will also host a series of computer labs for employees who may need assistance completing the enrollment process. You can view the schedule here.

Employees with questions about Open Enrollment can contact the Benefits hotline at 330-672-MyHR (6947) or send an e-mail to