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Posted October 18, 2012

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Open/Switch Enrollment Allows Employees to Adjust Benefits

Employees have a week to add dental, vision and life insurance; to sign up for tax breaks; and to switch their health insurance.

For more information on Open/Switch Enrollment:

Download this document.

Not happy with your health insurance? Want to add dental or vision care? Have questions about flexible spending accounts and the pre-tax insurance premium plan? Then stop by the Employee Benefits Open/Switch Enrollment event from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, through Tuesday, Oct. 30, in the Arroyo Chico Conference Room of City Centre.

What is Open Enrollment?

Open enrollment allows employees to add benefits they don't already have. During this year's open enrollment, employees can sign up for dental and vision care if they don't already have it. Once enrolled in a dental and/or vision care plan, employees can't switch plans or drop benefits for two years.

New Dental Plan Provider

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, Delta Dental Plan of New Mexico will replace United Concordia Dental Plan as the APS dental health provider. Employees who currently are enrolled under United Concordia will automatically be switched to Delta at the same level of coverage unless they indicate during this period that they want to make a change.  

What is Switch Enrollment?

Employees have the option of changing their medical plan, switching from Lovelace to Presbyterian or vice versa. They also can switch from a high-option to a low-option plan.

APS employee health insurance costs will increase by 2 to 9 percent in January 2013. Employees covered by Presbyterian will see a 2 percent rate increase. Employees covered by Lovelace will see an increase of between 8 and 9 percent depending on their plan. Those covered by Lovelace will see a higher increase because their premium will be raised to match Presbyterian. Currently, those covered by Lovelace pay as much as $15 less a month.

In addition to the rate increase, co-payments for some services also will rise. Those services include:

  • Urgent care visits – from $40 to $50
  • Specialist visits – from $35 to $40
  • Outpatient surgery – from $100 to $250
  • Emergency room visits – from $120 to $150
  • Advanced radiology – from $60 to $100
  • Brand drugs minimum/maximum co-pay increase of $5
  • Specialty drug co-pay increase of from $90 to $100 (out-of-pocket maximum increased from $750 to $1,000).

Life Insurance

During this period, employees who haven't enrolled for additional life and long-term disability coverage when they were first hired or first eligible may apply for coverage.

Pre-Tax Insurance Premium Plan

During this period, employees can enroll in the Pre-Tax Insurance Premium Plan that allows them to deduct medical, dental and vision premiums from their paycheck before taxes are calculated and deducted.

Flexible Spending Accounts

During this period, employees can also enroll into a flexible spending account. Flexible spending accounts are employer-sponsored plans that let employees deduct money from their paycheck and put it into a special account that's exempt from taxes.


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