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ABE Survey

We want to hear from you! Please take a brief survey about the Annual Benefits Enrollment period. The survey will take about 10 minutes and will be available through Wednesday, November 25th, 2015. Thank you for your feedback.

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View all benefit fairs.

The Annual Benefits Enrollment period is now over.

The information provided on this website is only for your reference. If you have additional questions please contact your benefits office.

October 5 - October 30th, 2015 at 4:30pm

Welcome to the 2016 Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) website.  During the ABE period, October 5 – 30, 2015, you should review benefit plan changes and determine your benefits needs for 2016.  The ABE period is the only time when you are able to make changes to your benefits unless you have an eligible family or employment change during the year. Enrollments and changes made during ABE take effect on January 1, 2016. If you have additional questions, please contact your benefits office.

View the Annual Benefits Enrollment calendar for information on the UW Benefits Fairs.

How to Get Started on the Annual Benefit Enrollment Website

I am satisfied with my current benefits, do I need to take action?

Yes, many benefit items are changing for 2016.  See the Summary of Changes tab below, to understand how your coverage will be different next year.  Please review the Annual Benefit Enrollment Checklist for additional Information.

Where do I Start?

Review the 2016 Summary of Changes, Other Considerations, and Resources for Getting Started tabs below for a quick overview of the changes and your benefit enrollment/change options for 2016.

  1. If you are enrolled in State Group Health Insurance, be sure to confirm your current health plan service area and provider network is available for 2016.  
  2. Decide if you want Uniform Dental as part of your Health Insurance for 2016.  If so, confirm that your Uniform Dental Provider is an In-Network provider with Delta Dental of Wisconsin
  3. You Must Enroll in the Flexible Spending Account with TASC each year.
  4. Review additional information on your benefit enrollment/change options on the side and top menus of this website. View the Employee Checklist to help you decide if you need to take action during the ABE period.
  5. When ready,  use the How to Enroll page on the top menu for instructions on how to enroll or make changes at your institution depending on if you use eBenefits or paper applications.
  6. If you are currently enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance as an employee and are considering taking advantage of the new $2,000 Opt-Out incentive for 2016, please review the information found under the Opt-Out tab.

Changes You Can Make

What can I do during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period?
PlanOpen EnrollmentChange PlanAdd/ Remove Dependents*Cancel CoveragePremium Change
State Group HealthYesAny Health PlanYesYesYes
*See Uniform Dental Benefit section for details on changes for 2016
Dental WisconsinYesPPO to and from SelectYesYesNo
VSP VisionYesN/AYesYesNo
Individual & Family Life InsuranceAnnual Increase PeriodIncrease current coverageNoNoPremium based on age/coverage elected
Flexible Spending Accounts

To participate in an FSA, you must enroll every year.

(University Staff Temporary Employees (formerly LTEs), Fellows, Scholars, Graduate Interns/ Trainees, or Post-Doctoral Fellows/ Trainees are not eligible to participate in Medical and Dependent Care FSA's.)

EPIC Benefits+


Decrease CoverageRemove DependentsYesNo

* See the Dependent Eligibility Chart to see who you can cover on your plans.

2016 Summary of Changes

Whether you are satisfied with your current benefit enrollments or looking to make changes to your current coverage, you should know what is changing for 2016. Read this section and see how the changes may affect you.

State Group Health Insurance Benefits

  • Minimal change to State Group Health Insurance monthly premium amounts for 2016.
  • Plan coverage and provider service areas have changed in many counties for 2016.  Utilize the Department of Employee Trust Funds Health Plan by County tool to review the plans offering service in your area.
  • Health Plan Design Names are Changing for 2016 to It's Your Choice:
    • Coinsurance Uniform Benefit Plan is now Health Plan
    • Uniform Benefit High Deductible Health Plan is now High Deductible Health Plan
    • Standard Plan is now Access Health Plan
    • Standard High Deductible Health Plan is now Access High Deductible Health Plan
  • Increased cost sharing through deductibles, copayments, coinsurance for health and pharmacy.
  • Pharmacy benefit coinsurance for medication formulary level 2, 3 and some level 4 prescriptions.
  • Uniform Dental Benefits has been added as an optional enrollment with your State Group Health plan election.  The Uniform Dental Benefit will be offered by Delta Dental of Wisconsin instead of through health plans and will be an optional election for all State Group Health Insurance plans in 2016.
  • Habilitation services are now covered. These services help you learn or improve skills and functioning for daily living.
  • Advance care planning and/or a palliative care consultation should be offered to participants facing a serious illness and survival of less than 12 months so they are fully informed of care options. Advance care planning is a new covered benefit for any participant who is diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Health Insurance Opt-Out Incentive: University employees enrolled in State Group Health insurance in 2015 can opt out of 2016 State Group Health Insurance and receive a $2,000 incentive. The opt-out incentive is $2,000 regardless of whether you have single or family coverage. Craftworkers and those covered by the Grad/Short-term AS health plan are not eligible for the incentive.
  • Coverage effective date change for new employees and mid-year enrollments.
  • Dependents only covered once: Dependents can only be covered once within the program (including state or local).
  • Move to a new county: Mid-year option to switch to any health plan if a participant moves to a new county.  Not restricted to health plans available in the new county.

Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts

  • Review the 2016 Benefit Limits for Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts
  • For 2016, the vendor, TASC, has moved to a new platform and mobile application. The 2015 TASC website and your login credentials will not be valid for 2016. The new TASC website, for 2016, is: http://partners.tasconline.com/ETFEmployee.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts – Healthcare & Dependent Day Care FSA
    • Must re-enroll every year.  Healthcare FSA is not available if you are enrolling in a HDHP for 2016.
    • 2015 FSA funds up to $500 will rollover to plan year 2016
  • Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account (LPFSA)
    • Must re-enroll every year.  Available if enrolling in a HDHP for 2016. May be used for dental, vision and post-deductible expenses.
  • Health Savings Account(HSA)
    • Increased the Health Savings Account employer contribution in 2016 for eligible High Deductible Health Plan participants.
    • Required to enroll in HSA if enrolling in HDHP for 2016.

Disability - Income Continuation Insurance

Removal of waiting period for enrollment: Removal of the six month Wisconsin Retirement System waiting period for Income Continuation Insurance coverage to become effective. This is effective January 1, 2016 for all employees with a hire date of July 1, 2015 or after.  Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees will continue to receive the employer contribution towards the Income Continuation Insurance after 12 months of Wisconsin Retirement System service.

Wisconsin Retirement System participants who are enrolled in the Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) disability insurance program will see an approximate 20%  increase to the premium for this plan in 2016.

State Group Life Insurance

Removal of waiting period for enrollment: Removal of the six month Wisconsin Retirement System waiting period for State Group Life insurance coverage to become effective. This is effective January 1, 2016 for all employees with a hire date of July 1, 2015 or after.


The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee contribution amounts  will decrease from 6.8% to 6.6% in 2016 for the majority of employees.

Other Considerations

There is no opportunity to enroll in the following plans during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period:
Enroll, change, or cancel coverage at any time during the year for:
  • Long Term Care Insurance

    • Transamerica is a newly approved long-term-care insurance option in addition to United of Omaha.
Rehired Annuitants
  • Rehired Annuitants have limited enrollment opportunities through the UW System.
    • You may participate in the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) Program - Health Care FSA or Dependent Day Care FSA programs. You must re-enroll in the FSA plan every year.
    • If you are eligible for, and enroll in, the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and Health Savings Account (HSA) for 2016, you are not eligible for the Health Care FSA. You may, however, enroll in the Limited Purpose FSA program that can be used only for eligible vision or dental services and post-deductible medical expenses.
  • As an annuitant, you should review the It’s Your Choice: Decision Guide for information about your health insurance in 2016 and enroll through ETF.
  • The Department of Employee Trust Funds acts as your employer and should be your primary contact. Any changes you wish to make to your health insurance for 2016 are made through ETF.

FAQ: Why are there so many changes to the health plan benefits for 2016?

Source: Department of Employee Trust Funds

FAQ: Why are there so many changes to the health plan benefits for 2016?

Many of the changes for 2016 aimed to achieve cost savings that meet the requirements of the Governor’s 2015-2017 Biennial Budget. In order to meet this savings, the Group Insurance Board approved changes to health plan deductibles, copays and prescription drug coverage. Some changes to 2016 benefits are long-term savings solutions. Federal provisions impose an additional tax on health plans with benefits over a certain value beginning in 2018; this additional tax would affect the amount you pay for health insurance. Some changes (i.e. separating the Uniform Dental Benefit from the health plans) were necessary to avoid this tax.  

Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but may be subject to change. In the event of conflicting information, federal law, state statute, plan contracts and/or policies shall be followed.