Health Plan Open Enrollment Starts for 4,800

New health benefit plans were unanimously approved this week by the Board of Education for classified and non-represented employees to reduce costs while maintaining high quality medical services. Open enrollment for these employees starts Monday, December 22 and ends midnight, Friday, January 16. Any of these employees wanting to add an eligible dependent or change dental or health plans may do so during open enrollment. Important changes in coverage take effect February 1. In addition to 3,400 classified employees, approximately 350 managers, 230 counselors and psychologists, 525 non-represented employees and 335 retirees are eligible to receive the same health benefits, bringing the total number of district employees receiving these benefits to more than 4,800. Affected employees received information packets on open enrollment this week, including examples of health plan changes and answers to frequently asked questions. Eligible employees who have not yet received the information should contact Risk Management at 997-8236 or riskmanagement@lbusd.k12.ca.us. Open enrollment for teachers will begin when the Teachers Association of Long Beach and the school district reach a bargaining agreement. Classified and non-represented employees will see several changes and new options under the agreement OK'd by the California School Employees Association, Chapter 2. CCN EPO will replace Blue Shield HMO and PacifiCare. Employees in either of these plans will automatically be enrolled in CCN EPO unless they specify Blue Shield PPO, CCN PPO or Kaiser during open enrollment. CCN EPO includes a $5 office visit co-pay, unlimited lifetime maximum coverage, and no annual deductible cost. CCN PPO deductible is $150/$300 per year and the lifetime maximum coverage is $2 million. Blue Shield PPO deductible increases to $250/$500 per year. The lifetime maximum coverage is $1 million. Kaiser prescription drug co-payment increases to $5 per prescription. Chiropractic coverage is added. If you are currently enrolled in Blue Shield PPO or Kaiser and wish to remain in your current plan, you do not need to re-enroll. During open enrollment, classified and non-represented employees may enroll online at www.superioradministrators.com until midnight Friday, January 16 or submit enrollment forms to Risk Management by 4:30 p.m. January 16. Site secretaries have the forms. The online enrollment will be up and running December 22. Two informational meetings are scheduled to help employees make their decisions. The first meeting is 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 7 in the Millikan High School Auditorium. The second meeting is 4 to p.m. Thursday, January 8 in the Poly High School Auditorium. Soon after open enrollment, employees will learn how to enroll in a flexible spending account called a 125 Plan. This plan saves employees money by allowing them to withhold pre-tax dollars to cover unreimbursed medical and dependent day care expenses. Employees with questions about the health plan changes should contact Superior Benefits, which is the district's plan administrator, at (888) 439-9090 or Risk Management at either 997-8236 or riskmanagement@lbusd.k12. ca.us. The district and Superior Benefits will respond within two working days.