Welcome to the
Open Enrollment Edition of
For Your Benefit Magazine

With the annual Open Enrollment period fast approaching, October 10 – 21, it’s time to consider your 2023 coverage. I encourage you to look inside this edition of For Your Benefit to learn what’s new and what’s changing, so you can make informed decisions for you and your family.

In 2023 there will be no change to our national medical plan administrators with Aetna, Anthem and Cigna continuing to partner with Pearson. The battle, though, to manage costs while maintaining the highest level of care and coverage wages on, creating the need to increase premiums for next year:

  • National medical plans (administered by Anthem, Cigna, and Aetna) – 4.8% increase
  • Kaiser (California) – 3.9% increase

There will be no change in premiums for dental (Delta Dental and Cigna DHMO) and vision (VSP) in 2023. 

Deductible and Plan Name Change. The in-network deductible for the $2,850 plan administered by Aetna, Anthem, Cigna and Kaiser will increase to $3,000 single/$6,000 family (the out-of-network deductible will change to $6,000 single / $12,000 family). There are no changes to the out-of-pocket maximums. This change is required to make the plan compliant with IRS guidelines. The plan will now be called the $3,000 Deductible Plan to coincide with the deductible change.

What’s new?

  • New Digital Physical Therapy Service. I am pleased to announce a new, no cost benefit for treating musculoskeletal issues beginning in November of 2022. With Sword Health, you work on feeling better using sensor technology to deliver real-time feedback in the comfort of your own home or wherever you may be. Say goodbye to delayed appointments, waiting rooms and extended travel time. Read the article about Sword Health for more information and watch your home mail for more information coming soon.

  • New Life Insurance Vendor. Effective January 1, Lincoln Financial, our current disability vendor will be Pearson’s new life insurance partner. Rates and coverage levels are remaining the same. You will need to provide Evidence of Insurability if you want to increase your life insurance amounts for the new year.
  • Expansion of Coverage. Earlier this year it was announced that travel and lodging benefits were available for select services such as organ transplants. I am pleased to announce that, for the national medical plans (Aetna, Anthem, and Cigna), Pearson has expanded travel and lodging benefits to include all covered services.

Important reminders as you plan for your 2023 enrollment:

  • The Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), and Commuter/Parking elections do not transfer from year to year – you must make an election for 2023, even if you want to continue with the same amount per paycheck next year. 
  • If you choose not to participate in Pearson Benefits plans in 2023, you must waive coverage, otherwise you will continue to see deductions in your paycheck for all of next year.

Inside you will also find helpful reminders about how to enroll and getting help while enrolling. As always, you can visit the Pearson Benefits website 24×7 for more specific plan details and coverage information. 

In good health,

Stacey Rodgers
Vice President, Global Benefits

Coming Soon:
Sword Health

Virtual physical care — overcome your pain at home. 

Start your journey to living pain-free with Sword, virtual physical care for back, joint and muscle pain that you can do from the comfort of home, or anywhere. Combining the best in human care with easy-to-use technology, Sword offers a proven and more convenient option than traditional in-person physical therapy. 

Sword will be available to all Aetna, Anthem and Cigna enrollees, age 13 and older as part of your health plan benefits. 

Care on your terms 

Sword matches you with a physical therapist who learns about you over a video call and designs a customized program. You’ll then get a Digital Therapist © tablet and motion sensors to track your exercise progress, give feedback and help correct your form in real-time. Your physical therapist supports you every step of the way and even adjusts the program as your needs change, so you get better, faster. Whether you want to prevent or treat chronic pain or recover from surgery, Sword is for you.

Free Virtual Classes

As a reminder, with a Gympass membership, you get access to:

Reaching Your
Financial Goals

While you are focused on your physical health during Open Enrollment, don’t forget to check in on your financial fitness. Knowing how much to save and how to invest for the future you imagine can sometimes be quite daunting, especially in these challenging economic times. That’s why Pearson offers Empower Retirement Advisory Services in the Pearson 401(k) Plan, which provides personalized financial planning for wherever you are in life – regardless of how much you’ve saved – through all the ups and downs of the financial markets. 

From online tools to licensed advisors you can talk to; you’ve got access to financial planning and retirement advice that’s personalized for your needs and designed to help you reach your goals. You can get financial help two ways*:


Retirement Evaluation

If you are not currently enrolled in professional management, in mid-October a Retirement Evaluation will be sent to you via email, which covers where you are today, and provides some tips to help improve your future planning. Take some time to review your evaluation then use it to get on and stay on track toward your goals

Visit the Empower website at any time to learn more about these advisory tools and helpful information or you can speak with a representative (Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. Eastern time, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Eastern time) at 1-844-465-4455.

Enroll in Professional Management by November 11, 2022, and if you decide to cancel within 90 days of your enrollment, you pay no program fees. Or stay and the fees will be applied from your enrollment date.

*Online Advice and the Professional Management Program are part of the Empower Retirement Advisory Services suite of services offered by Advised Assets Group, LLC, a registered investment adviser. There is no guarantee provided by any party that participation in any of the advisory services will result in a profit. 

Securities, when presented, are offered and/or distributed by Empower Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. EFSI is an affiliate of Empower Retirement, LLC; Empower Funds, Inc.; and registered investment adviser, Empower Advisory Group, LLC. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide investment, legal or tax recommendations or advice.

“EMPOWER INVESTMENTS” and all associated logos, and product names are trademarks of Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America. ©2022 Empower Retirement, LLC. All rights reserved. RO2307540-0822

Did You Know
About These Benefits?

As you complete your elections for Open Enrollment, be sure to check out these other benefit offerings, most of which are offered at no cost to you.

Your emotional well-being is as important as your physical health. Through the Employee Assistance Program, you and family members who live with you, have access to unlimited phone counseling and up to five, free face-to-face or video-based counseling sessions per issue per year at no cost to you. With MDLive Therapy (small copay applies), there’s no travel time and no office visit. Just sign in and choose a therapist that fits your needs and make a secure video appointment.

ConsumerMedical is designed to help all benefit-eligible employees and their household members get current, comprehensive, objective and personalized information (including treatment options) and support about any medical diagnosis or health topic. You do not need to be enrolled in a Pearson medical plan to use this free service.

Health Advocate provides assistance in navigating the complicated world of health care. 

Leaves of Absences: 

Flu season is around the corner. Flu shots and the following vaccines are covered through Caremark participating pharmacies at no cost:

What’s New In 2023?

Coming in November 2022 | Digital Physical Therapy 

Say goodbye to appointment delays, waiting times and traveling to your physical therapy appointment. Beginning in November of 2022, Pearson will offer Sword Health – free, virtual physical therapy designed to help you overcome your back, joint or muscle pain from the comfort of your own home or wherever you are. 

Sword is a virtual physical therapy program to help members prevent and treat acute, chronic and post-surgical pain for the lower back, shoulder, neck, hip, knee, elbow, ankle, and wrist. Studies show that members achieve a 30% improvement over conventional physical therapy and reduce pain levels by 70% in just 8 weeks.

Combining physical care specialists with easy-to-use technology, here’s how it works:

Whether you want to prevent or treat chronic pain or recover from surgery, Sword is for you. 

New Life Insurance Plan Administrator

Lincoln Financial, which is currently Pearson’s disability plan administrator, will now also manage our life insurance coverage beginning in January 2023. There are no changes to rates or coverage amounts. Learn more about the value-added services offered as part of this new partnership.

Please note: Unless you are increasing your supplemental or dependent coverage, no action is required during Open Enrollment. If you are making such changes, you will be asked to provide Evidence of Insurability (EOI) after you complete your enrollment. 

Expanded travel and lodging benefits

Previously, travel and lodging benefits were only available for certain select services such as organ transplants. Beginning in 2023, the National Medical plans (Aetna, Anthem, Cigna and Kaiser) will include travel and lodging benefits for all covered services. Contact your medical plan administrator for more detailed information.

Enrolling for 2023

Do I have to enroll? 

It is always a good idea to review your coverage, whether you intend to make changes or not. If you don’t make any changes, you will be automatically enrolled in your current coverage with the exception of Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Commuter/Parking Accounts and Health Savings Account (HSA) elections.

If you are currently participating in any of the following accounts and want to continue to do so next year, you must make an election for 2023, even if the amount you are contributing will stay the same.

Note: 2022 balances in the HSA and Commuter/Parking accounts will carry over into 2023, but your FSA funds do not.

2023 Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account IRS Contribution Limits
Health Savings Account
  • $3,850 for individual coverage
  • $7,750 for family coverage
*Flexible Spending Accounts

Health Care – $2,850/year

Combination – $2,850/year

Dependent Day Care – $5,000/year

Commuter & Parking

Commuter – $280/month

Parking – $280/month

What if I am currently enrolled in Pearson Benefit plans, but don’t want coverage in 2023?

If you are currently enrolled in Pearson Benefits but do not need coverage in 2023, you must go into the system and “waive” coverage. If you do not take this action, you will see payroll deductions for coverage for all of 2023.

Get Ready to Enroll

Note: If you started working at Pearson as of October 1, 2022, or if you had a life event recently, please see the instructions below before beginning your enrollment.

Open Enrollment | need help?

If you have questions while enrolling, a “Chat Now” button is located in the bottom right corner of each page on the Mercer Marketplace website. When you click this button, you will connect with a benefits counselor for a secure, live chat.

If you have questions about your 2023 benefits or enrolling, you can also call Mercer Marketplace at 1-855-237-6421. Benefit counselors are available to assist you Monday to Friday, 7 am to 10 pm and Saturdays, 10 am to 2 pm (all times are Eastern).

Step 1 – Have Your Information Ready:

Step 2 – Visit Mercer Marketplace

Attention New Hires or those with a recent Life Event – What You Need to Know

Enrollment instructions
You must enroll twice if you want coverage for the remainder of 2022 and for all of 2023.
  • For 2022: complete the steps in 1 and 2 above to complete your 2022 enrollment or in the case of a life event, initiate your life event for 2022.
  • Once you have completed this action for 2022, you will be prompted to complete your enrollment for 2023.

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World Menopause Day

World Menopause Day, held each year on October 18, helps raise awareness about menopause, its symptoms and the support options available for improving health and wellbeing.
Below is an excerpt from the EAP Article, “Preparing for Menopause: A Woman’s Midlife Change” that provides useful information about what to expect during menopause.

During midlife, a woman’s menstrual cycle grows further and further apart. At some point, they stop completely, and she can no longer get pregnant. This is because the ovaries aren’t releasing eggs and making hormones like estrogen anymore. After 12 months without a period, a woman can say she’s gone through menopause.

In the years before menopause, women may experience skipped and unpredictable menstrual cycles. This phase is called the midlife transition, perimenopause, or the change of life. Some women go through the transition faster than others. It lasts between 1 and 10 years.

Midlife Transition

Typically, menopause occurs between ages 45 and 55. This means women can expect less frequent menstrual cycles and other symptoms at some point during their 40s. But it’s different for every woman. There’s no lab test to predict when in life it will start or how easy it will be.

Along with unpredictable cycles, a woman may have other symptoms—both physical and emotional. Hot flashes, poor sleep, and mood changes are common. Some women have vaginal dryness, weight gain, and thinning hair. Bone density may also start to decrease.

“Most people don’t have severe symptoms. Most people have mild or less frequent symptoms,” says Dr. Hadine Joffe, a menopause researcher and psychiatrist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who is supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Waves of Heat

Hot flashes are a common symptom during the midlife transition. Many women have these for several years after menopause. Some experience hot flashes for 10 or more years. A mild hot flash feels like being embarrassed, Joffe says. “There’s a wave of heat sensation that rises to your head and chest, and sometimes you look red, feel hot, and then it’s gone.” A not-so-mild hot flash can make your skin appear very red. Your head, neck, and chest may become hot and sweaty.

“It’s particularly disruptive at night,” Joffe says. “People are waking up, feeling very hot and sweaty, and they have weird, disrupted sleep.” The most effective treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is low-dose hormone therapy. Some women are given estrogen or estrogen with another hormone, progestin. Women take hormone therapy for the shortest time that they need it.

Below are some other ways to outsmart hot flashes.

How to Live with Hot Flashes

  • Wear light clothing.
  • Keep your room cool.
  • Use a fan.
  • Drink cold water.
  • Avoid smoking, caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Take several slow and deep breaths when you feel a hot flash coming on.
  • Ask your doctor about medicines that can help.

Restless Nights

During midlife, women may start having trouble sleeping because of changes in hormone levels. Hot flashes and night sweats can also cause women to wake up.
For women who have a hard time falling asleep, relaxation breathing can help. Slowly breathe in through your nose. With a hand below your ribs, feel your stomach push your hand out. Slowly exhale through your mouth. You can do this for several minutes to relax.

Rollercoaster Moods

During perimenopause, many women become irritable or feel moody. Some may feel sad and anxious and unable to enjoy things as much as they used to.

If a woman has these symptoms day after day for at least two weeks, she may be dealing with a clinical depression. “There is a two- to three-fold risk of depression during perimenopause,” says NIH psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. Peter J. Schmidt.

“If you think you’re at a higher risk of depression, you should proactively touch base with your doctor”, says Schmidt. “Talk about what kind of symptoms you should be looking for and be concerned about as you age.” He advises that you set up a plan for how to look for symptoms of depression. That way, you can enter midlife prepared to act. Schmidt encourages anyone who has a depressed mood to seek help from a primary care doctor or mental health professional.

Midlife Wellbeing

The midlife transition is a phase of life that brings gradual changes. Many women don’t have problems during this transition. You can make midlife your time for optimizing wellbeing by eating well, exercising, and getting quality sleep. The healthier you are at midlife, the more successful you’ll be combating age-related changes and diseases. “We see it almost like a window of opportunity where people want to be entering midlife as healthy as possible,” Joffe says. “It’s really important for people to do the right thing now and protect their health over time.”

To read the full article, “Preparing for Menopause: A Woman’s Midlife Change,” click here to log into the EAP website.

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day, observed on October 10, provides an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health. The burden of mental disorders continues to grow with significant impacts on health and major social, human rights and economic consequences in all countries of the world.

Key Facts

  • There are many different mental disorders with different presentations including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia and developmental disorders such as autism.
  • There are effective strategies for preventing and treating mental disorders. Sadly, many suffer in silence due to the stigma of shame that often accompanies such illnesses.

Your Pearson Benefits Can Help

If you or a loved one is struggling with mental illness, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help (you do not need to be enrolled in a Pearson health plan to access this benefit). Through the EAP, you and family members who live with you, have access to unlimited phone counseling and up to five face-to-face or video-based counseling sessions per issue per year. It’s all completely confidential.

To reach the EAP by phone, call 1.800.593.4138, employer ID: pearson

Crisis Corner

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Text “BRAVE” to 731731 to access free and confidential support 24×7.