Benefits Open Enrollment will begin on March 18, 2019 and end on March 29, 2019. This is the one time each year that you can make changes to your health, welfare and voluntary benefit elections. If all the information is correct, there is no further action required on your part unless you want to enroll in the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Dependent Care FSA, Child Care Subsidy Plan or the Health Savings Account (HSA) for 2019-2020. Under IRS rules, your FSA and HSA elections from 2018-2019 cannot carry forward into the new plan year.
Below are some key items and resources for you:
Open Enrollment Guide
Faculty and staff have access to an online Benefits Open Enrollment Guide. This guide walks you through all of the key changes, the timeline and how to enroll. The Benefits Open Enrollment Guide can be found under the Benefit Resources section of the Benefits page of the Human Resources website ().
The Pathways document is available on-line and serves as your annual benefit program booklet. Reference this document throughout the year if you have questions regarding any of the Villanova benefit programs. Pathways can be found under the Benefit Resources section of the Benefits page of the Human Resources website ().
Back Up Reimbursement Plan
Supporting our faculty and staff with unexpected child care continues to be an important benefit offering and ties directly back to our core values. Villanova has decided to enhance the current program by increasing the reimbursement from $50 to $75 per day. In addition, the eligible days per year have been increased from 5 to 10 for a maximum amount of $750 annually. Visit the Child Care Assistance section of the Human Resources website for further details ().
Health Care FSA
The annual limit for the Health Care FSA will increase from $2,650 to $2,700 in accordance with IRS law.
The annual limits for the Consumer Driven Health Plan with an HSA will increase from $3,450 to $3,500 (individual) and from $6,900 to $7,000 (family) in accordance with IRS law.
Medical/Prescription Drug Premiums and Plan Design
The cost of health care continues to rise. For the upcoming plan year, medical and prescription drug rates nationally are projected to rise 6.1%. Despite this trend, Villanova’s medical and prescription drug plans have maintained cost levels for the 2019-2020 plan year. For the seven years between 2012 and 2019, Villanova has kept premium increases to an average of 2.0% where the national trend has been a 6.8% increase.
As a community, we need to continue to partner with each other in keeping the cost of healthcare down. We can each do our part by ensuring that we complete our preventative screenings, consider participating in wellness programming offered through NOVAfit! and using high quality services at reasonable costs when available. Keep in mind that there are more healthcare options available now than in the past. These include telemedicine and urgent care options that could be more convenient and less expensive than emergency room visits. Ultimately, the final choice in your health care usage lies with you. To find out more about these options, review Pathways and check with Independence Blue Cross.
Participation in the NOVAfit! program continues to provide faculty and staff with numerous advantages. NOVAfit! offers programming that encourages healthy behaviors as well as financial incentives. By participating, you and your eligible spouse can qualify for premium incentives, additional HSA contributions and VISA gift cards. Visit the Wellness Portal on the NOVAfit! section of the Human Resources website for further details ().
Tools and Resources
Videos and benefit comparison tools are extremely important again this year as you analyze which of the three medical plans will best meet your needs. Please visit the medical section of the Human Resources website for further information ()
It is important that you take the time to fully understand these benefit changes and review all the resources available to you. Should you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Human Resources at 610-519-7900.
I wish you the best for a happy and healthy spring.
Raymond D. Duffy, M.S, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CBP
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources