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Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment FAQ

What is annual benefits open enrollment?

Annual open enrollment is the only opportunity to make changes to your current benefit elections unless there is a qualified status change such as marriage, divorce, death, birth, adoption or loss/gain of coverage from a group plan. Each October, we offer a benefits open enrollment to provide an opportunity for employees to review their benefits and make any needed changes. Changes made during the annual open enrollment are effective Jan. 1 the following year. Some plan changes require an Evidence of Insurability where you have to answer health questions and these changes will not be effective until approved by the carrier.

What types of changes can I make during open enrollment?

You can enroll or make changes to your state health, dental, vision, flexible spending accounts, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, and Aflac products (critical illness, hospital indemnity and accident insurance). The enrollment period for short-erm disability and whole life insurance will be in March 2018. You may add or drop dependents; add or drop plans; as well as modify your level of coverage. Please review the 2018 Health and Insurance Guide located in Lawson/Employee Self-Service/Benefits/Benefits Handbook for an overview of what is offered.

When is open enrollment?

Annual benefits open enrollment is Oct. 2-31. Enrollment for short-term disability and whole life insurance will be in March 2018.    

How do I enroll?

open-1.jpgAnnual open enrollment changes will all be made online by employees themselves in Lawson. We are implementing a new informative and user-friendly employee self-service process for 2018 open enrollment. This will allow you more flexibility to enroll at your own pace, whether at home or at work with 24/7 availability. Our online benefit enrollment portal provides detailed plan information and rates empowering employees to make educated benefit decisions.

Beginning Oct. 2, log into Lawson/Employee Self Service/Open Enrollment. The open enrollment link will be available from Oct. 2-31.

Where do I go to find out what current benefits I have?

You can view your current benefits by logging into Lawson/Employee Self-Service/Benefits/Current Benefits.

Also, if you go online in Lawson during open enrollment to make changes, you will see a summary of your current benefits.

Where can I find information on the benefits that are offered at UMMC?

Information on employee benefits offered at UMMC can be found in the 2018 Health and Other Insurance Benefits Guide located in Lawson/Employee Self Service/Benefits Handbook. You can also find information on the benefits website.

Also, you can participate in one of the benefits overview sessions that are offered during September. Go to HealthStream, and the course name is Open Enrollment Benefits.

Can I meet with someone who can help me make my benefits changes?

We are implementing a new informative and user-friendly employee self-service process for 2018 open enrollment. This will allow you more flexibility to enroll at your own pace, whether at home or at work with 24/7 availability. Our online benefit enrollment portal provides detailed plan information and rates empowering employees to make educated benefit decisions. In addition, there are benefits overview sessions​ available during September. You can register to participate in one of these sessions in HealthStream. The course name is Open Enrollment Benefits Session.

How will I know what I enrolled in or made changes to during open enrollment?

You will be able to view and print a summary of your elections when you complete your enrollment in Lawson. You also will receive an email notification of the changes you made.

When will my enrollments/changes become effective?

Any enrollments/changes you made during open enrollment will be effective Jan. 1, 2018 (excluding long-term disability, state life, and supplemental lLife which will be effective the first of the month following carrier approval).

When will the deductions initiate?

Except for state health insurance, deductions will start Jan. 1, 2018, unless an Evidence of Insurability (EOI) is required, in which case deductions would start the month the application is approved. Examples of EOI required are state life insurance and supplemental life. State health insurance premiums are due a month in advance, so any premium changes made for 2018 will be reflected in your December paychecks. If you currently do not have health insurance or you are changing your plan from base to select or vice versa, you will see catch-up deductions listed as PrHealth on your paycheck.

What happens to my flexible spending accounts?

All flexible spending accounts will end Dec. 31, 2017. You must re-enroll in flexible spending for the next calendar year during open enrollment each year.

I am out on leave during open enrollment. How do I make my open enrollment changes?

You are not eligible to participate in open enrollment while on leave. If annual open enrollment is over when you return from leave, you have 31 days from the date you return from leave to make changes and you will need to contact the Benefits Team by sending an email to

Once I have completed my enrollment/changes, can I go back and make adjustments?

You can change your elections as many times as you need during the enrollment period of Oct. 2-31. Your latest changes will be noted in your election summary when enrolling online. Print off your latest changes for your records.

If I am not making any changes to my benefits, do I still need to participate?

It is important that you take the opportunity to review your benefits during annual open enrollment to ensure your benefits are accurate and meet your needs. If you have a flexible spending account, such as a Medical reimbursement account and/or a dependent care account and you want to continue it for next year, you must re-enroll. If you do not make any changes to your current benefits, they will continue into 2018, except for flexible spending accounts. Flexible spending accounts do not roll over into 2018.

How do I log into Lawson remotely?

You can go to UMC.EDU and scroll to the bottom left of the page until you see “General." Below General, you can click on My UMMC. You will be able to log into CITRIX using the same log-in credentials to log into Lawson. You can then follow the prompts to log into Lawson.

I am unable to access Lawson from home. What do I do?

Contact the Help Desk at (601) 984-1145.

I did not take any action. What happens to my benefits now?

The benefit elections you currently have will continue into 2018 with the exception of your flexible spending account(s) which will terminate Dec. 31.

Will there be any changes in insurance carriers for 2018?

No, current carriers will remain the same for 2018.

Are there any new benefit plans available for 2018?

No, there are no new benefit plans available.

Are there any plan changes for 2018?

Health insurance plan:

  • The copayment for non-preferred and specialty drugs will increase from the current $70 to $100 for a 30-day supply.
  • Registered dietitians currently have a 4 visit per calendar year limit under the $25 office visit copay. Beginning in 2018, the visit limit has been removed.
  • Nutritional counseling services provided by a network registered dietitian will be available online. $10 copay for the Select Plan, not subject to the annual deductible; and $10 copay for the Base Plan, subject to the annual deductible.
  • The plan will provide 100% coverage for a generic statin (Lovastatin) to comply with the ACA-mandated coverage.

Will there be any increases in insurance premiums in 2018?

Dental premiums are slightly increasing by 6% effective Jan. 1, 2018, and except for employee-only coverage, medical premiums are increasing by 5% effective July 1, 2018. Also, changes in your supplemental life premiums due to age band and salary changes, State Life salary changes, take place Jan. 1 each year.

Click here for the 2018 medical rates for Jan. 1-May, 31, 2018, and rates effective July 1, 2018. On the same page, you will find dental rates effective Jan. 1, 2018.

*Remember that medical premiums are due a month in advance, so adjustments will be made in June paychecks for July premiums.

If I have a qualifying event during open enrollment, how do I handle those changes?

Contact our local UMMC HR-Benefits Department to make changes due to a qualifying event by emailing us at​. You will be required to complete the appropriate form(s) and submit specific documentation as proof of the qualifying event. You have 31 days from the date of the qualifying event to make the change.

Can I purchase over-the-counter drugs with the medical reimbursement plan?

No, over-the-counter drugs are not eligible for reimbursement. Refer to the Plan Document on the UMMC Benefits page​ for more information on items/services that are not eligible for reimbursement or Southern Administrators Benefits Consultants (SABC) website.

Is school tuition an eligible expense for dependent care reimbursement?

No, school tuition is not an eligible expense. Dependent care reimbursement is designed for childcare, daycare and/or afterschool care. To be reimbursed for childcare expenses, you must use an eligible provider. An eligible provider is an individual (in your home or their home) or a childcare facility that has a tax ID # and/or claims the income on taxes.

Can I cover my spouse who also works for UMMC or another Mississippi state agency?

If your spouse is benefits eligible and works at UMMC or at another Mississippi state Agency, he/she must be covered separately through the employer on the state health plan. You can cover them on the other plans.

I’m still covered on my parents’ health plan. Can I stay on my parents’ plan?

Yes, under the Affordable Care Act, dependent children can be covered on a parents’ health plan until age 26. Once you lose that coverage, it is a qualifying event for you to join our health plan. You have 31 days from the loss of coverage to be added to the UMMC health plan coverage.

Are there differences in benefits between the Base Plan and Select Plan?

Other than what you pay out of pocket in terms of annual deductible, copays, and premiums, there are no differences. See the 2018 Health and Other Insurance Benefits Guide in Lawson/Employee Self-Service/Benefits/Benefit Handbook for more information or the Plan Document at

Will I get new BCBS health insurance and prescription cards?

If you made changes to your health insurance coverage, then you will receive new cards from BCBS for your health insurance and Prime Therapeutic for your prescriptions the beginning of the year.

How do I find a BCBS network provider?

You can find a medical network provider by going to the DFA website at, click on the link AHS State Network (in state) to find a provider in MS and click on the link Blue Card Program (out of state) to find a provider out of the state of Mississippi.

Also, you can find a provider using the myBlue mobile app on your mobile device which is available on the APP Store or Google Play. Register at and answer "yes" to state employee question.

What is the difference between the Dental Network Plan and Dental Choice Plan?

The difference is that the Network Plan directs you to an AlwaysCare network provider. The Choice Plan gives you the freedom to go to any provider regardless of whether he/she is in the network. AlwaysCare has contracted rates with network providers so non-network may charge more for services/procedures. This means the calendar year maximum might be exhausted faster on the Choice Plan than the Network Plan. In a nutshell, you get more for your money with the Network Plan as long as you go to a network provider.

Will I get new dental and vision cards for 2018?

If you made changes to your dental insurance coverage and/or your vision insurance coverage, then you will receive new cards from AlwaysCare the beginning of the year.

How can I find out if my dental/vision provider is in the AlwaysCare network?

You can find dental providers that are on the AlwaysCare network by going to their website at

Are there waiting periods on the dental plans?

No, there are not any waiting periods for any services that the plan provides once your coverage is effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Does the dental plan cover orthodontics?

Yes, the Network Plan and Choice Plan cover orthodontics for children and adults. There is a lifetime maximum benefit of $1,000 on the orthodontic benefit. The orthodontic benefit will coordinate benefits with any other dental plan you have received an orthodontic benefit from.

If I am not enrolled in any UMMC benefits, can I elect Flexible Spending (FSA)?

Yes, you can still participant in this plan regardless of your other benefit elections. The funds can be used for expenses for you and/or your dependents, so long as those expenses are not being reimbursed by another plan.

What are the bi-weekiy insurance premiums for 2018?

Click here for more information.