Penn State Intercom......October 25, 2001

Benefits Open Enrollment
period set to begin on Nov. 1

The annual Employee Benefits Division Open Enrollment period will occur from Nov. 1 to 30. During this time, employees will have the opportunity to enroll themselves and/or eligible dependents in a University-sponsored medical plan or to change from one plan to another.

Additionally, employees may enroll or change the amount of Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage and make changes to life insurance programs. All employees who wish to participate in a Flexible Benefits Reimbursement Account for 2002 must enroll, even if they participated this year and wish to continue at the same contribution level in 2002.

The Web-based open enrollment system will be available throughout the open enrollment period. This program improves the efficiency, accuracy and timeliness of the traditional paper-based system. Faculty and staff may make and submit their benefit choices from anywhere in the world during the open enrollment period and, if desired, electronic confirmation of the choices made will be returned within minutes by e-mail.

The only requirements to use this system are an Internet-connected computer and a Penn State User ID. Most faculty and staff have user IDs and use them to send and retrieve e-mail through the University. Any employee who does not have a Penn State User ID and password should contact the Center for Academic Computing at

To make benefits changes for 2002:

* Access the Employee Benefits Division Web page at, or through a link from the University home page at

* On the Benefits Web page, click on the link for "Open Enrollment for 2002."

* To review current benefits, click on the "REVIEW" option in the frame on the left.

* When prompted, enter the user's Penn State Access Account ID and password.

* To change medical plans or, if enrolled in an HMO, to change prescription drug plans, click on the Medical Plan selection in the frame on the left. Medical plan options are determined by the employee's county of residence.

* After completing each section, the user must click on the "Save to Application" button found at the bottom of each page. This will save the changes that have been indicated on the page.

* Flexible Benefits Accounts for Health Care Reimbursement and Dependent Care Reimbursement expire at the end of each year. Therefore, new elections must be made annually, even if the amount contributed per pay is the same. To complete this election, click on the "Flex Accounts" option in the frame on the left.

* After all changes have been made, go to the "SUBMIT" page to send them electronically to the Employee Benefits Division.

* Unless the user declines an e-mail confirmation during the "SUBMIT" process, within a few minutes of the submission, an e-mail will be sent confirming the benefit choices made for 2002. Paper confirmation statements also will be mailed to employees' homes in early December. If there are changes to be made, employees should indicate those changes on the paper confirmation statement and return it to the Employee Benefits Division.

If an employee does not wish to make any changes or does not wish to contribute to either of the Flexible Benefits reimbursement accounts, he or she does not need to do anything.

During the open enrollment period, staff members from the Employee Benefits Division will be available to assist employees with any questions regarding the Web-based enrollment process as well as answer any benefits related questions. Additionally, personal computer stations will be available in the Employee Benefits Division office, as well as at each University Park Benefits Open House. However, if an employee cannot access any computer to complete the online enrollment, he or she should contact the Employee Benefits Division at (814) 865-1473 or by e-mail at

Questions regarding the Web-based enrollment system or the open enrollment period should be directed to the Employee Benefits Division at (814) 865-1473 or by e-mail to