Open Enrollment Continues

A variety of options for faculty and staff are offered in health, wellness and other plans for 2019

Open Enrollment, the period when faculty and staff members have an opportunity to review their health plans and make choices regarding their 2019 benefits, continues through Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Open Enrollment booklets were mailed this week to employees’ homes, and the Open Enrollment website, which features a plethora of information, planning tools and lists of resources, is up and running.

“We are satisfied with our efforts overall to keep most plans affordable compared to our peers, and still provide high-value benefits to faculty and staff,” said Dwaine Duckett, UC vice president of human resources.

Medical Plans

Most faculty and staff members will see medical plan premium increases of less than $6 a month across all salary and coverage levels, and dental and vision plans are still offered at no cost for employees.

UC Blue & Gold HMO (formerly Health Net Blue & Gold) will continue to offer medical benefits through Health Net’s network of providers tailored for UC — including many UC Health medical centers.

Managed Health Network (MHN), a Health Net company, will replace Optum Behavioral Health as administrator of UC Blue & Gold HMO’s behavioral health benefits. MHN will continue as the administrator of behavioral health benefits for Health Net Seniority Plus.

In addition, UC Blue & Gold HMO network is expanding to include select CVS Minute Clinic walk-in locations, with visits covered with a $20 copay for routine visits and $0 copay for preventative care.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, all benefits-eligible employees will be able to enroll their domestic partners and their partners’ eligible dependents as long as the relationship meets established criteria. The current requirement for opposite-gendered domestic partners that one or both be age 62 and eligible for Social Security will no longer apply.

Pet Insurance

UC now offers preferred pricing on pet insurance through Nationwide. Two benefit options are available, one that covers for accidents and illness, and another that also includes preventative care and wellness services. Plans are available for dogs, cats, birds, small mammals and exotic animals.

Enrollment not limited to the Open Enrollment period, and coverage is effective upon approval by Nationwide. More information is available from Nationwide at

Legal Plan

ARAG Legal Insurance is open for enrollment, and premiums are not increasing for 2019. Among the plan changes, trust services will be a stand-alone, paid-in-full benefit, separated from general in-office services, which will be reduced from eight to four hours. Also, divorce coverage will be capped at 25 hours to improve access to network attorneys.

Workshops and Presentations

Throughout the Open Enrollment period, presentations and workshops hosted by UCSB’s Office of Human Resources are providing information and assistance to employees.

A comparison of the behavioral health coverage provided by each medical plan, is slated for noon Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Human Resources Leaning Center, SAASB 3101.

A side-by-side comparisons of all UC medical plans will take place at noon Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the UCen's Flying A Room, and at noon Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the Human Resources Learning Center.

Faculty and staff members who have questions about health and welfare benefits or need assistance making changes are invited to drop by a Help Desk with Computer Lab, which will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in the Human Resources Learning Center.

Questions may be directed to


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