This issue is dedicated to Open Enrollment and the necessary information you need to make decisions about your 2015 benefits. While this is always an important time of year, I can’t stress enough how important this year will be.

For the first time since 2007, we will be making some significant changes to our medical plan offerings. These changes are necessary to help manage our costs and to prepare for other aspects of the Affordable Care Act over the next few years. In fact, I am confident that we will continue to make changes to adjust to external pressure on our offerings and their related costs.

First, we will be eliminating the EPO as a medical plan choice for 2015 and redesigning our two PPOs. We will still use the same vendors that we’ve had – Cigna and Anthem BCBS. We are also still keeping the copayment concept for office visits and prescription drugs, but you will see that these copayments are increasing slightly.

Second, there are some changes taking place within the dental plan to reflect new realities in dental practice. I’m pleased to let you know that we are increasing the maximum annual benefit from $1,500 to $2,000. In addition, some other changes will impact the frequency of certain services like x-rays and implants.

Because all of our plans are changing, I cannot as I’ve done in the past, provide you with an estimated percentage change in contribution rates. Instead, I can say you will see either a relatively small increase or, in some cases, a decrease in your rates if you choose the plan closest to your current coverage.

So, change is coming and will continue over the next few years. For this year, I am asking everyone to review the new plans and make an election during the Open Enrollment period. All of our plans are changing and if you don’t make an election, you may end up in a plan that simply doesn’t meet your needs.

Again, please take advantage of all the Open Enrollment materials and select the coverage that works best for you.

Bob Arthur
Vice President, Benefits