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2019 Benefits Open Enrollment


Benefits Open Enrollment for 2019

BEGINS: 8 a.m. October 22, 2018 
ENDS: 5 p.m. November 9, 2018

You will be able to complete your enrollment in UAccess beginning at 8 a.m. on October 22, 2018.

Before You Enroll

Ready to Enroll

Information for Retirees

Frequently Asked Questions

You may enroll in, cancel, or change your coverage elections for the medical, dental, vision, supplemental life, short-term disability, and flexible spending account (FSA) plans during Open Enrollment.

No action is required this year unless you want to begin participating, or continue participating, in the Healthcare and/or Dependent Care FSA plans in 2019.

If you do not make any changes, your current benefit elections (except for the Healthcare FSA and/or Dependent Care FSA) will automatically carry over into the 2019 plan year.

Changes will be effective January 1, 2019, for the January 1–December 31, 2019, plan year.

Before You Enroll

  • Review Your Current Benefit Elections
    • Log in to UAccess Employee/Manager Self Service. Select UA Employee Main Homepage > Benefits tile > Benefits Summary.
  • Review the Benefit Choices Available to You               
Benefits Options Summary [PDF] Comprehensive Benefits Guide [PDF]

Compare the Summaries of Benefits & Coverage for the medical plans.

Attend a Benefits Expo and speak with the vendors. Click here for dates and locations.

You will need the following information in order to enroll:

  • Social Security Numbers for new dependents you are adding to your coverage
  • Birth dates for new dependents you are adding to your coverage


Learn What Is Changing in 2019

Employee premiums for the EPO, PPO, and UA Alternative Health Plans are increasing in 2019.

While the University will continue to contribute 88% of the total premium costs for the medical plans offered, employee premiums for the EPO, PPO, and UA Alternative medical plans will rise by 3%.The average cost of this increase is $3 per paycheck. You can view the 2019 premium rates below.

The UA Alternative Medical Plan is only for employees enrolling domestic partners.

The EPO medical plan will have a deductible of $100 for individual coverage and $200 for all other coverage tiers in 2019The Alternative Plan will have a $200 deductible for the Employee + Adult and Family tiers.

This means that you will pay the deductible for non-preventive medical expenses before the plan begins to pay. The deductible does not apply to preventive services or prescriptions, but does apply to all other services.

Some UA Alternative medical plan copays are changing in 2019. 

  • The copay for outpatient mental health, behavioral health, and substance abuse services is decreasing from $40 to $20.
  • The following therapist copays are increasing to $40:
    • chiropractic
    • respiratory therapy
    • speech therapy
    • occupational therapy 
    • cognitive therapy
    • physical therapy
  • The copay for diagnostic blood work and x-rays is increasing to $25.

Changes to the UA Alternative Plan are made to align with the Arizona Department of Administration’s EPO and PPO plans.

The Unum Short-Term Disability Rate is increasing in 2019.

The rate for Unum Short Term Disability will change from $.71 per $100 of salary to $.77 per $100 of salary. To calculate your premium, click here

If you're suddenly unable to earn a paycheck due to illness or an accident, short-term disability insurance through your employer can replace a portion of your income for up to 26 weeks of your disability. To learn about the two short-term disability plans available, The Hartford and Unum, watch this short video.

The maximum amount you can contribute to the Healthcare Flexible Spending Account Plan is increasing in 2019.

The contribution limit for the Healthcare Flexible Spending Account will increase from $2,600 in 2018 to $2,650 in 2019.



Reduce Your Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses

Contribute to a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account to help offset increased copay and deductible costs. You can have money deducted pre-tax from your paycheck and placed in an account you can use throughout the calendar year to pay for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses. Because the money is deducted pre-tax, your taxable income is reduced.

More information on Flexible Spending Accounts and how they work is on the Human Resources website.

Register for Virtual Office Visits

See a doctor in 10 minutes anytime on your phone, tablet, or computer. The copay is the same as an office visit: $20 for the EPO/PPO after deductible or $49 for the Health Savings Account Plan. That’s a considerable savings compared to $75 for an Urgent Care visit or $200 for an Emergency Room visit. You can be treated for cold, flu, allergies, skin issues, depression, anxiety, and more. Prescriptions can also be prescribed. Join for free at Doctor on Demand.

If you are on the Alternative Medical Plan for Employees with Domestic Partners, United Healthcare offers a Designated Virtual Visit Network, designed for diagnosis and treatment of minor medical conditions. You can access a physician using your computer or Smartphone for a real-time consultation. To find out more visit or phone the number on the back of your insurance card. 



2019 Contribution Rates 



There are no changes in employee contributions to dental premiums in 2019.

There are no changes to vision premiums for 2019.

*The UA Alternative plans are only available to employees who are insuring a domestic partner.

Please note: The UA has 26 pay periods per year, but voluntary insurance deductions are taken only twice per month (24 pay periods). Twice a year, there are three pay periods in a month, and the third is a "premium holiday" when deductions are not taken out of your paycheck. 

Short-Term Disability and Supplemental Life Insurance Premium Calculator

Use this calculator to estimate your monthly Short-Term Disability and Supplemental Life Insurance premiums.

2019 Spring Semester premiums for 9-month academic employees: For employees who are paid over nine months, Human Resources pre-collects in the Spring Semester the cost of benefits deductions during the summer months. This chart shows how your benefit deductions will increase in the Spring 2019 semester compared to Fall 2019.

Ready to Enroll 

How to Enroll

Visit UAccess and log in to Employee/Manager Self Service. Select the Benefits Open Enrollment tile on the UA Employee Main Home Page.

Click the icon for step-by-step enrollment instructions.

You may go back to your enrollment as many times as you wish until 5 p.m. on November 9, 2018. You may click "Submit" once to save your changes, but your changes will not process until you click "Submit" twice to confirm your elections. You must click "Submit" twice at the end of the enrollment process for your enrollment to process. 

Please print or save the confirmation statement you receive at the end of the enrollment process and review your paycheck on January 4, 2019, to ensure that your elections are correct.

Need Help?

Enrollment Assistance

For assistance with enrollment, computers and staff are available at the following locations:

Division of Human Resources, University Services Building
888 N. Euclid Ave., Suite 114
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

University of Arizona Health Sciences, Human Resources Office
1501 N. Campbell Ave., Ste. 2364 (Banner UMC Hospital main building)
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.



Email the Division of Human Resources at or call:

Main Campus

UA Health Sciences


Tucson 520-626-5593
Phoenix 602-827-2600


Contact Arizona Department of Administration Benefits Options at 800-304-3687 or

Information for Retirees

Are you an ASRS retiree who is not sure whether your health insurance is with ASRS or ADOA? View this short video from ASRS that shows you how to log into to determine whether you have health insurance through ADOA or ASRS. 

If you are a UA retiree with questions about your ADOA retiree benefits, please view ADOA's retiree Open Enrollment information and contact ADOA directly: 

Retiree Open Enrollment Information

Problems with the technology?
Contact the Y.E.S. Help Desk at 602-542-4700.

Benefits questions?
Contact ADOA Benefit Services at 602-542-5008 or toll-free at 800-304-3687, or email


Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is the period each year when benefits-eligible employees and retirees may update or change their benefit elections for medical, dental, or vision insurance; flexible spending and health savings accounts; short-term disability; and life insurance. This is the one time during the year when you may make changes without experiencing a qualified life event (that is, change in family situation, such as a marriage or the birth of a child).

Can I make changes to my benefits other than during this Open Enrollment period?

Outside of Open Enrollment (10/22/18–11/09/18), you can only make changes to your elections if you experience a qualifying life event such as marriage, divorce, or birth of a child. Changes are not permitted for any other reason during the calendar year.

What changes can I make during Open Enrollment?

You may change your voluntary benefit plan elections, add or remove benefits, remove or add dependents, and increase or decrease supplemental life insurance. You may not change your mandatory retirement plan election (Arizona State Retirement System or Optional Retirement Plan), although you may elect to participate in the Voluntary 403(b) Plan or the 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan to increase your retirement savings. For more information on these voluntary supplemental retirement plans, click here

When will my enrollment elections take effect?

All selections made during Open Enrollment will be effective on January 1, 2019.

My coworkers received Open Enrollment email reminders, but I did not get any. How can I make sure I receive all Open Enrollment communications?

The Division of Human Resources sends all communications to your official UA email address. Please make sure your correct email address is listed in UAccess, so that we will be able to reach you with information on Open Enrollment, and with other news regarding your benefits. We also suggest you verify your mailing address is correct in the system.

I’m happy with my elections from last year and do not plan to add new dependents. Do I need to take action during Open Enrollment?

You only need to take action during this year's Benefits Open Enrollment if you wish to participate in the Healthcare and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account plans for 2019 or if you would like to make changes to your benefits elections. 

I just started employment with the UA, and I completed my benefits enrollment after Open Enrollment started. Do I have to participate in Open Enrollment?

Employees who do not make any changes to their medical, dental, vision, short-term disability and/or supplemental life insurance elections will have those automatically carry over into the 2019 plan year. 

However, if you wish to participate in the Healthcare and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account plans for 2019, or if you would like to make changes to your benefits elections for 2019, please contact the Division of Human Resources at 520-621-3660 or

Information about Benefits Plans & ID Cards

How can I view my current benefits?

To view your benefits, visit UAccess and select Employee/Manager Self Service. Log in with your UA NetID and password. Make sure you are on the UA Employee Main Home Page (you can select this from the drop-down menu at the top of the page). Select the Benefits tile > Benefits Summary to see your current enrollments.

Where can I find information on the benefits plans available to me?

Please visit the Division of Human Resources website for plan documents, provider searches, premium calculators, and more. You may also review the 2019 Benefit Guide.

I am having difficulty deciding which benefit plans to choose. Can you help?

The Division of Human Resources can answer questions, provide additional information, and assist with navigating our website and UAccess. Please email or call 520-621-3660 for assistance. 

Will I receive new ID cards after Open Enrollment?

That depends on your provider. All members enrolled in Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna plans will receive new ID cards. If you are with Aetna or United Healthcare, you will receive a new ID card only if you are a new enrollee or make a change to your plan. ID cards will not be mailed until after January 1, 2019, so you should expect to see them later in the month. If you need an ID prior to one arriving by mail, you can print a temporary ID card by visiting the vendor’s website.

Medical, Dental, & Vision Plans

What are the differences among the EPO, PPO, and HSAO medical plans?

EPO:  In most situations, services are only covered if you visit an in-network provider. In-network deductibles apply, but once your deductible is met, you will pay only copays. Out-of-network services are covered only in emergency situations.

PPO: The premium rates are higher than the EPO or HSAO, but you are able to see both in-network and out-of-network providers. The out-of-network costs are higher. There are also both in-network and out-of-network deductibles that must be met.  

HSAO: This is a high-deductible plan with low premiums but more unpredictable out-of-pocket costs. In-network preventive care services are covered at 100%, but the annual deductible must be met before other services are covered. There are no copays, and you can see providers in- or out-of-network. The HSAO is paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA)—a special type of savings account to which you make tax-free contributions, and the funds can be used for eligible healthcare expenses. You may set up contributions through payroll deduction, and the University also contributes $60 per month for employee-only coverage and $120 a month for family coverage.

How do I know if my provider is in-network?

Click here to access provider searches for the ADOA plans. 

Click here to access provider searchers for the Alternative Health Plans.

What is the difference between the Cigna Dental Care HMO plan and the Delta Dental plan?

The Delta Dental PPO Plan allows you to see any licensed dentist; however, the cost is lower for in-network dentists. The annual maximum benefit for a plan year is $2,000 per person.

The Cigna Dental Care HMO requires you to select a primary in-network dentist. In-network dentists are not available in the following states/locations: Alaska, Michigan, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. This plan does not have an annual maximum benefit for the plan year.

Can I see any vision provider?

In order to take full advantage of your vision insurance, you will want to stay in the Avesis network; however, Avesis does offer reimbursement for qualifying expenses at non-network providers. 

Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts

What are the differences between the Health Savings Account (HSA) and the Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

Both an HSA and an FSA allow employees with health insurance to set aside money for certain healthcare costs referred to as "qualified expenses." These include deductibles, copayments and coinsurance, and monthly prescription costs.

​HSAs are only available to employees enrolled in the HSAO high-deductible health plan with Aetna.

  Health Savings Account (HSA) Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Eligibility Requirements To be eligible, you must have a high-deductible health plan (HSAO). There are no eligibility requirements.
Contribution Limit For 2019, contributions are capped at $3,500 for individuals or $7,000 for families if employee is under age 55. Limits are $1,000 higher over age 55. For 2019, contributions are capped at $2,650.
Changing contribution amounts You can change how much you contribute to the account at any point during the year. You can adjust your contribution amount only during Open Enrollment or with a change in employment or family status.
Rollover Unused balances roll over into the next year. You can roll over only $500 to the next plan year. You forfeit any unused balance above that amount.
Connection to Employer Your HSA can follow you as you change employment. FSA continuation is only through COBRA.
Effect on Taxes Contributions are tax-deductible, and are taken out of your paycheck pretax. Growth and distributions are tax-free. Contributions are pretax, and distributions are untaxed.
UA Contribution The employer contribution is $60.00 for employee only or $120.00 for family each month. There is no employer contribution toward the Healthcare FSA.

How much will I save in taxes each year by participating in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

Use the ASIFlex Tax Savings Calculator to estimate your tax savings from enrolling in an FSA.

What are the 2019 contribution limits for the Healthcare and Dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts?

For 2019, the Healthcare FSA individual maximum is $2,650.

The Dependent Care FSA maximum is $5,000 per family, per plan year; $2,500 if the employee is married but filing separately.

Can I participate in the FSA plans if I am enrolled in the Health Savings Account Option (HSAO)?

If you are enrolled in the Health Savings Account Option for your medical plan, you may enroll in the Limited Healthcare FSA and the Dependent Care FSA. You are not eligible for the regular Healthcare FSA because you have a health savings account. The Limited Healthcare FSA can be used only for dental, vision, and out-of-network preventive-care expenses.

What expenses are eligible for reimbursement using my HSA or Healthcare FSA?

You can use your HSA or FSA to pay for a wide range of IRS-qualified medical expenses for yourself, your spouse, or your tax dependents. Generally, an IRS-qualified medical expense is limited to healthcare services, equipment, or medications as defined under Section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. These include medical (doctor visits, laboratory tests, medical equipment, hospital services), dental (non-cosmetic dental treatments), vision (eye doctor appointments and vision correction materials); and prescription (prescriptions plus any prescribed over-the-counter medications) expenses.

Purchases merely beneficial to general health or for cosmetic reasons are not qualified (such as cosmetic surgery, deodorant, fitness programs, teeth whitening). 

You can find information on qualified medical expenses in IRS Publication 502.

Am I eligible to enroll in the HSA?

To be eligible to contribute to an HSA you cannot be enrolled in Medicare, cannot be covered by any non-HSA-qualified health plan and cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return.

Does the University contribute anything toward my HSA?


Employee only: $60 per month
Family: $120 per month

What are the 2019 employee contribution limits for the HSA?

2019 Annual Maximum Contributions Allowed by IRS (Employee & Employer) Monthly Maximum Employee Contribution (Annual Maximum – Employer Contribution / 12) Employer Contribution
  Under age 55 Age 55 and older Under age 55 Age 55 and older per month
Single $3,500.00 $4,500.00 $231.66 $315.00 $60.00
Family $7,000.00 $8,000.00 $463.33 $546.66 $120.00

What is the Limited Healthcare FSA?

The Limited Health-Care FSA is optional for employees enrolled in the Health Savings Account Option (HSAO). It can be used to pay for qualified dental, vision, and out-of-network preventive care expenses only. Preventive care includes periodic health evaluations (including tests and diagnostic procedures ordered in connection with routine exams), routine prenatal and well-child care, immunizations, tobacco cessation programs, obesity weight-loss programs, certain screening services, and prescriptions that are preventive in nature. Medical expenses other than preventive care are not eligible for reimbursement with the Limited Health Care FSA. Please contact the Arizona Department of Administration at 800-304-3687 for more detail on what services are defined as preventive.

Dependent-Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

What expenses can I pay for using my Dependent Care FSA?

You can use the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account to pay for child-care or adult dependent care expenses that are necessary to allow you or your spouse to work or attend school full-time. You can also use it while you or your spouse look for work. However, you cannot use it if you (or your spouse) are not employed or actively seeking employment and have no earned income for the year. You cannot use the Dependent Care FSA to pay for medical care for your dependents.

Who is a qualifying dependent under the Dependent Care FSA?

Your dependent care expenses must be for the care of one or more qualifying persons. A qualifying person is:

  1. Your dependent child who was under age 13 when the care was provided, whom you have custody of for more than 50% of the year, and whom you can claim as an exemption on your Federal Income Tax return; or
  2. Your dependent (child older than age 13, spouse, parent, or other family member for whom you have custodial responsibility) who is physically or mentally unable to care for himself or herself, shares the same residence with you, and has income less than the federal exemption amount.

How much can I contribute to a Dependent Care FSA in 2019?

$5,000 if the employee is married and filing a joint return or if the employee is a single parent; $2,500 if the employee is married but filing separately.

Can I roll over unused Dependent Care FSA funds?

No. Only the Healthcare FSA has a $500 carryover into the following benefit year.

Retirement and Long-Term Disability Plans

Can I make changes to my retirement plan during Open Enrollment?

No. Your initial election for your mandatory retirement plan (Arizona State Retirement System or Optional Retirement Plan) is irrevocable. You cannot make changes during Open Enrollment. The only circumstance in which you can change elections is if you change position classifications from classified staff to appointed personnel, which allows you to enroll in the Arizona Board of Regents Optional Retirement Plan (ORP).

All University of Arizona employees are eligible to participate in the Voluntary 403(b) Plan and the 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. Both plans are designed to help you save more for retirement beyond the required 401(a) contribution. You may open one of these plans or change your contribution rate at any time by contacting Fidelity Investments or TIAA for the 403(b), or Nationwide for the 457. Both plans now offer traditional pretax and post-tax (Roth) options. 

Can I make changes to my Long Term Disability (LTD) election?

No. The LTD coverage is an automatic component of your retirement plan. It cannot be changed during Open Enrollment.   

Short-Term Disability Plans

What are the key differences between the short-term disability plans offered by Unum and The Hartford?

Monthly cost

  • Unum: $0.77 per $100 of salary
  • The Hartford: $0.39 per $100 of salary

To calculate your premium, click here.

Note that there are important differences between The Hartford and Unum options.

  • Unum Pays 70% of your base weekly earnings up to $2,000 per week; The Hartford pays 66.66% of your base pay up to a maximum of $769.27 per week.
  • Unum benefits are not offset by any other payments, such as sick or vacation leave; The Hartford benefits are offset: You cannot receive full benefits and paid sick and vacation at the same time.
  • Unum benefits begin on the first day for outpatient surgery or if hospitalized for 24 hours; The Hartford has a 30-day waiting period unless the disability is due to an accident.
  • Pregnancy benefits: Unum is 6 weeks for vaginal birth, 8 weeks for C-section; The Hartford pays only from 31st day to 42nd day after birth.
  • Unum includes $5,000 life insurance policy and $30,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment policy.
  • The Hartford pays partial benefits if you return to work less than full time.
  • Unum has a pre-existing condition exclusion for the first 6 months of coverage (pregnancy is not a pre-existing condition). If you do not enroll in The Hartford plan as a new hire, there is a 60-day waiting period for benefits, and there are no pregnancy benefits during the first 12 months following election during Open Enrollment.

For a comprehensive comparison of the two plans, please click here.

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