Employee Benefits
Penn State Intercom......October 31, 2002

Benefits Open Enrollment
period begins on Nov. 1

The annual Employee Benefits Division Open Enrollment period will occur from Nov. 1 to 29. During this time, employees will have the opportunity to enroll themselves and/or eligible dependents in a University sponsored medical plan and/or to change from one plan to another.

Additionally, employees may enroll or change the amount of VADD coverage and make changes to life insurance programs. All employees who wish to participate in a Flexible Benefits Reimbursement Account for 2003 must enroll, even if they participated in 2002 and wish to continue at the same contribution level in 2003.

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. Anyone who does not have a Penn State User ID and password should contact the Center for Academic Computing at http://cac.psu.edu/.

Employees may make benefits changes for 2003 as follows:

* Access the Employee Benefits Division Web page at http://www.ohr.psu.edu/benefits/benefits.htm, or through a link at the University home page at http://www.psu.edu/.

* On the Benefits Web page, click on the link for "Open Enrollment for 2003."

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

* When prompted, individuals should enter their 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 employee declines an e-mail confirmation during the "submit" process, within a few minutes of the submission, an e-mail will be sent confirming the employee's benefit choices for 2003. A paper confirmation statement also will be mailed to the employee's home 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.

Those who do not wish to make any changes and/or do not wish to contribute to either of the Flexible Benefits reimbursement accounts do 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, to be announced soon.

Any employee who cannot access any computer to complete the online enrollment, or has any questions regarding the Web-based system or open enrollment, should contact the Employee Benefits Division at (814) 865-1473 or by e-mail at bene@psu.edu.