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Open enrollment period reaches midpoint;
Two weeks remain

Critical Links

The open enrollment process for the state of Idaho’s new health insurance plan has reached the midpoint and appears to relatively problem-free.

ITD employees and their colleagues from other state agencies have two options from which to choose when enrolling in health insurance coverage through the new provider Blue Cross of Idaho. They can opt for a traditional plan that enables access to a full range of health care providers or the Preferred Provider Organization, a network of affiliated providers who have developed a lower cost contract with the state.

Because the state is making a transition to a new insurance provider, all employees must complete the enrollment process – even those who wish to decline coverage. That preference can be made on the enrollment form.

Online enrollment should be made through the state of Idaho’s Office of Group Insurance web site: Online Enrollment. (Note: When using the online enrollment form, you will need to provide the state of Idaho password. Use "200Idaho.") After the online process is completed, Blue Cross of Idaho will send a confirmation number. Make sure to keep it for future reference.

Blue Cross and Group Insurance are working together in insure the information on the online forms is correct. If there are obvious errors that require a resubmitted application, Group Insurance is notifying HR for the new application and the reason for it.

The open enrollment period extends only through May 28. Although employees can enroll in June for July coverage, procrastinating carries some inherent risks: Insurance cards and benefits could be delayed and employees may need to have “make-up” payments deducted from their paychecks for the July premium.

Employees who participate in the state’s health insurance program can take advantage of possible tax savings by enrolling in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program .

Similar to a “cafeteria” plan, FSA enables employees to set aside a portion of their paycheck before taxes are applied (thus lowering their taxable income and tax obligation). The FSA can be accessed as health charges are incurred. (Participating in the FSA program might have long-term implications on Social Security benefits, so consultation with a tax adviser would be prudent.)

Enrollment in the FSA program, re-enrollment or changing an existing account must be done during the open enrollment period. Forms are available in the Human Resource Office or District Business Offices.

The open enrollment period also is the only time employees can change their pre- or post-tax premium withholding election. The Premium Only Plan Election Forms are available from Human Resources or the District Business Offices.

The following enrollment checklist is provided by the Office of Group Insurance, Department of Administration:

1) All employees must complete either a new enrollment form or a declination of benefits form. Enrollment may be done online through May 28.

2) Review the PPO participating provider list:

(For a hard copy of the directory, contact the Human Resource Office, District Business Office or the Office of Group Insurance.)

3) Choose a Health Plan Design:

  • Traditional Plan or,
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan

4) Select an enrollment category that fits your personal situation:

  • Employee Only
  • Employee + Spouse
  • Employee + Child
  • Employee + Children
  • Employee + Spouse + Child
  • Employee + Spouse + Children

5) If you have previously declined dependent dental or vision, you may enroll these dependents in your plan during open enrollment.

6) If you are enrolled in the FSA plan and wish to continue, you must re-enroll for FY05. If you wish to enroll for the first time, you must complete an enrollment application.

7) Some information needed to complete the Enrollment Form:

  • Employee Social Security Number
  • Dependents’ Social Security Numbers
  • Dependents’ other Insurance Information

For more information about the open enrollment process, select the appropriate “critical links” above. A simple comparison of monthly premiums for Traditional and PPO, along with a look at covered benefits is included in the Benefits Focus newsletter. Please refer to it before beginning the enrollment process.

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