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Discover What’s New and Important for Plan Year 2016–2017

We’re introducing some benefit changes for 2016–2017 to help curb trending health care costs and assist you in in long term health planning. We are still offering options like Hospital Indemnity Insurance, Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Dental and Vision, Income Protection, and Work/Life programs. Don’t forget that if you wish to participate in the FSA, you need to re-enroll each year!

Remember, you can help manage your costs by enrolling in the medical option with the right level of coverage for you and your family, covering only the eligible dependents you need to, and actively participating in disease management programs offered by your medical carrier to help you manage certain chronic conditions.

NEW United Essential POS Medical Option*

The NEW United Essential POS medical option gives you more control and flexibility in your health care decisions. The plan has a high deductible in exchange for lower monthly payroll deductions, and allows you to open your own personal Health Savings Account, per IRS regulations. Learn more about this option.

Note: If you enroll in the United Essential POS, you cannot participate in the FSA (and vice versa).

*The United Essential POS medical option is not available to associates who live in Massachusetts.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you are considering the NEW United Essential POS medical option, you’ll also want to learn more about saving tax-free money in a personal Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for current or future medical, dental, or vision care. This special tax savings vehicle allows you to contribute up to $3,350 for individual coverage or $6,750 for all other coverage levels (these limits are set by the IRS each year.)

Contributions to an HSA are not withheld from payroll, but are made through your own contribution to the personal account you set up. This can be done through United, or through your own personal bank. And, your unused money rolls over each year so you can pay for health care expenses today or in the future. There is no “use-it-or-lose-it” rule like with the FSA.

Contact your personal bank for options in applying for an HSA or be on the lookout for more details from United.

Changes in current United Medical and Prescription Drug Benefits
  • We are streamlining and combining the annual deductible to include both medical and prescription drugs costs:
    • The United Core POS option’s individual annual deductible will increase from $1,500 medical and $50 prescription drugs to $1,750 overall. The family annual deductible will increase from $3,000 medical and $100 prescription drugs to $3,500 overall.
    • The United Basic POS option’s individual annual deductible will increase from $750 medical and $50 prescription drugs to $1,000 overall.
    • The United High POS option’s individual annual deductible will change from $500 medical and $50 prescription to drugs to $550 overall.
    • The United Out of Area Indemnity option’s individual annual deductible will increase from $500 medical and $50 prescription drugs to $1,000 single overall.
  • ACA Preventive Drugs are covered 100% (no deductible) under all United options.
  • Deductible is waived for Expanded Preventive Drug List under the NEW United Essential POS (generic and formulary brand) and under all United options (non-formulary prescription drugs only).
  • The out-of-pocket maximum will be combined to capture copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for both medical and prescription drugs services. United Core POS, United Basic POS, United High POS, and United Out of Area Indemnity medical options will decrease from a $5,000 individual medical and $1,600 individual prescription drug maximum to a combined $6,550 individual maximum.
  • Under the United Core POS, United Basic POS, and United High POS medical options, office visit copays will increase from $50 to $60 for a specialist visit and from $60 to $70 for an urgent care visit.
  • Specialty prescription drugs will continue to be covered at 70%, but after the annual deductible, with a $250 copay maximum. Limited to one 30-supply each order; available only via mail order.

Be sure to compare medical choices, premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs so that you can make the best decision for 2016–2017. Visit Your Benefits Resources for comparison charts and details.

Learn more about WellNet and managing your medications.

Pricing Changes

You may see rate changes in your plans. Compare your actual costs at Your Benefits Resources.

Important Reminders
  • Be on the lookout for your Form 1095 in the mail in early February. You may have already received it! The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that you file a NEW tax form called a 1095. This form will confirm what medical coverage, if any, you had during the 2015 tax year. Make sure you have this new form when you file your income taxes for 2015. You may receive multiple forms, depending on whether you had different plans or different employers in 2015. Other plans may not generate the form until March 31, so keep this in mind before you file your taxes.

    Learn more about your Form 1095 and FAQs

  • Watch for new ID cards at your home address by April 1. This includes:
    • All participants, new and current, under United and WellNet/CVS.
    • FSA participants with debit cards older than 3 years (check the expiration date on your current FSA debit card).
    • New participants in any medical, dental, or vision option, or if you added or removed dependents from coverage.
  • No recertification required for tobacco user status—Your tobacco user status will remain as currently elected and re-certification is not necessary unless your tobacco user status has changed since April 1, 2015.
  • Make your 2016 Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) election—You can set aside between $250 and $2,550 a year into your Health Care FSA—depending on what you think you might spend between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.

    As a reminder, if all of your FSA money is not used by the end of the Plan Year (March 31), you can carry over up to $500 to pay for eligible expenses incurred in the next Plan Year. Any amount over $500 must be forfeited under IRS regulations.

    Note: For those considering the NEW United Essential POS, you can consider setting up a personal HSA rather than an FSA. The FSA cannot be elected if you open and contribute to a personal Health Savings Account! You must use all the funds in your FSA before you can participate in a Health Savings Account. The IRS allows only one account.

  • Model your options using the online tools. Compare option pricing and coverage and estimate expenses for potential funding through the FSA, Hospital Indemnity Insurance, or a personal HSA with help from the following:
    • The Medical Plan Comparison Chart—Allows you to compare (and print) all features and costs of up to three medical options side by side.
    • Medical Expense Estimator—Helps you think through and calculate what your medical costs may be in the year ahead.
    • Find a Doctor Tool—Links to the various medical carriers, so you can quickly and easily find doctors who participate in each option’s network.
    • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Cost Estimator—Helps you estimate the potential contribution and the tax savings of a Health Care FSA.
  • Don’t forget about Health Care Reform.
    • We encourage you to compare your coverage options through Interstate Hotels & Resorts, through your spouse/domestic partner plans (if applicable), and through the federal or state marketplaces. Find the best choice for you.
    • Learn more about health care reform and you.

Get a head start for a chance to win!

Take Early Bird action February 8 through February 14, 2016 to be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card! To qualify, log in to Your Benefits Resources and click Enroll. Then, under Step 1—Discover What’s New!, click the Benefit Guide PDF to review what’s new and changing before you make your benefit elections.

Explore your benefits

Take a closer look at your 2016–2017 Benefit Guide (Lea su Guía de inscriptción de 2016–2017) to learn more about your overall benefits and how you can make the most of them.