2014 Benefits OPEN ENROLLMENT News

Open enrollment is closed. Changes take effect January 1.

7304372004_355fed302a_cSome benefits can be changed at any time (retirement, life insurance), and many benefits can be changed when you have a qualifying “life event” status change (like having a baby, or getting married). Outside of those situations, open enrollment is the only time you can make changes to many of your major benefit programs, like medical and dental plans, flexible spending accounts, and the Hyatt Legal plan. This year’s open enrollment runs from Monday, November 4 to Friday, November 15 at 5pm.

Assistance is available from the new HR Service Center. See bottom of this page for more on the Center, which can be contacted by email or phone at (213) 821-8100.

This year’s transactions are paper-based

Due to the implementation of USC’s new benefits, payroll and performance management system (Workday) which is replacing eTrac, this year’s open enrollment transactions must be completed on PAPER. This is a temporary change for this year only, as eTrac transactions shut down October 20, and Workday will not go live until December 19.

First things first – it’s a good idea, every year, to check your personal information – to make sure that your dependents and beneficiaries are listed correctly, for example, and that your levels of benefit coverage align properly (for instance, if your only child has passed age 26, you no longer need to pay for “employee + child” level benefits). You might take this opportunity to verify your home address, emergency contact, and other personal information, as well. If you need to make corrections, you’ll have to make them on your open enrollment forms (see form sections, below), and personal information corrections with your HR payroll/analyst (HDC), prior to Workday launching December 19.

NOTE - If you don’t want to make any changes to your benefits, you don’t have to fill out the paper forms. Be aware, however, that your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) does not automatically continue – if you want an FSA for 2014, you will need to complete the appropriate form.

(Forms no longer available as open enrollment has closed)

Any other changes also paper-based until Workday goes live

From October 20 through December 18, paper forms will also be required for any new hires or status changes (births, marriages, divorces). Workday is scheduled to go live December 19. Regular status change forms are posted below.

Benefits Enrollment Status Change Form

Hospital Union Benefit Enrollment Status Change Form

Retirement Plans Salary Reduction Agreement

Hospital Retirement Plan Salary Reduction Agreement

Important information you’ll want to review

Medical plans:

Dental and vision plans:

Retirement plans:

Other helpful links:

Benefits Fairs will be held at UPC at VKC Plaza on Wednesday, November 6 from 9:30am-2pm; and at HSC at the Quad on Thursday, November 7 from 10am-3pm.

What’s new for 2014

Premium holiday for non-union employees

Due to the change from eTrac to Workday, non-union employees will no longer pay for medical, dental or vision benefits a month in advance. Effective January 1, 2014, the premiums collected via paychecks will pay for the month in which they are collected, instead of the next month.

So, to get that schedule on track, non-union employees will enjoy a “premium holiday” in December paychecks – no benefit premiums (for medical, dental and vision) will be deducted.

To clarify:

  • November paycheck deductions pay for December medical/dental/vision benefits (old system)
  • No medical/dental/vision deductions in December (already paid in November)
  • January paycheck deductions pay for January benefits (new system)

Enjoy your December “premium holiday” (Happy Holidays!)

Plan C (USC Alternative Coverage) eliminated

Plan C, also known as USC Alternative Coverage, which was only available to faculty and staff who could demonstrate they had primary insurance elsewhere or through a spouse/registered domestic partner, will be eliminated effective January 1, 2014.

Separate communication with further details is being sent to all current Plan C participants.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires USC to ensure that all health coverage plans in which its employees are enrolled meet federal requirements, but the university has no way to ensure that plans not sponsored by USC are meeting those requirements. Because of this and other considerations, and because of the administrative complexity of the ACA for a plan like Plan C, the Employee Benefits Advisory Committee voted to recommend elimination during its September 2013 meeting.

All of USC’s medical plans meet ACA requirements. For more information, read the ACA October 1 Notice-Final that was sent to all employees. Please note that although that notice indicates employees must work 30 hours or more per week to be eligible for medical benefits, at USC our eligibility rules are more generous, and there is no change to our previous requirement that employees must work at least half time to obtain medical benefits.

USC Network Medical Plan updates

Trojan Family Navigator Program – Keck Medicine of USC now offers staff and faculty a dedicated phone line for scheduling appointments – (323) 442-8102. This line can be used to schedule appointments at any Keck Medicine site (except for USC Verdugo Hills Hospital – see below). All locations (except the hospitals) are open 8am-5pm:

Engemann Student Health Center
1031 W 34th St, Suite 430
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Downtown L.A.
830 S Flower St (new address effective December 1, 2013)
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Healthcare Consultation Center II
1520 San Pablo St
Los Angeles, CA 90033

La Canada
1751 Foothill Blvd, Suite 3
La Canada, CA 91011

625 S Fair Oaks Ave, Suite 400
Pasadena, CA 91105

Keck Hospital of USC
1500 San Pablo Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033

USC Verdugo Hills Hospital
1812 Verdugo Blvd
Glendale, CA 91208
(818) 790-7100

More Tier 1 coverage added

Care at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital is now covered under Tier 1 of the USC Network Medical Plan. Effective January 1, 2014, Tier 1 coverage will also apply to physicians who have an Anthem Blue Cross Prudent Buyer contract and who admit to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. The addition of this hospital to the USC family means that employees now have a Tier 1 option for both emergency room and childbirth services.

Vision Service Plan (VSP) copay increase for all non-union employees

Eye exam copay will increase from $10 to $15; frames/lenses copay from $15 to $25. However, the monthly cost for employees to purchase VSP will not increase.

Vision Service Plan (VSP) rate increase for union employees

The monthly cost to purchase VSP will increase. However, your copays remain the same: $10 for an eye exam and $15 for frames/lenses.

HR Service Center

In September USC opened its new HR Service Center – a one-stop shop in Human Resources where faculty and staff can get help from an experienced HR professional. That help might involve introducing the employee to another HR team expert, or even to another department – but it is THE place to start with all HR-related questions. The team can be contacted by email at uschr@usc.edu or by phone at (213) 821-8100.