What is Annual Benefits Enrollment?

The Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period is an annual opportunity for eligible employees to enroll in or make changes to most benefit plans for the upcoming calendar year. This is the only time you are eligible to make changes unless you have a qualifying life event, such as a family or employment change.

Changes made during ABE will be effective January 1, 2022

Benefits changes for 2022 can be accessed on this web page. Information about 2021 benefits may be found on the UW System Employee Benefits Website.

Attend the Virtual Benefit Fair Sessions to learn more about your benefits directly from the benefits contacts. Or, view the Annual Benefits Enrollment 2022 Highlights video.

Updated: 07/21/2022

ALEX is able to help!


ALEX is an online decision-support tool that acts as an informative, personalized benefits counselor. ALEX will help you learn more about the benefits that UW System offers and make the benefit plan decisions that may be best for you and your family. Use ALEX to help you make informed decisions for 2022.

Note: The 2021 version of ALEX will also continue to be available throughout ABE.

Chrome or Firefox are the preferred browsers for ALEX.

Benefits Changes for 2022

We are pleased to share that there will be minimal benefits plan changes for the 2022 plan year. Review this page thoroughly to understand the changes. This will allow you to make informed decisions for you and your family.

Employee Premiums effective January 1, 2022:

  • State Group Health Insurance premiums will increase slightly.
  • Uniform Dental premiums for employee only coverage will decrease.
  • Preventive and Supplemental Dental Insurance premiums will increase.

State Group Health Insurance

The health plan designs (health plan vs high deductible health plan) and most health plan components will remain the same (for example, deductibles, copayments, coinsurance). There will be some carrier changes and covered services enhancements.

For 2022, the following changes will be made:

  • Health Insurance Plan Carriers
    • The following health insurance plan carrier will no longer be offered:
      • Quartz Community (will split into Quartz Central and Quartz West)
    • The following new health insurance plan carriers will be offered:
      • Aspirus*
      • Quartz Central (for specific counties previously covered by Quartz Community)**
      • Quartz West (for specific counties previously covered by Quartz Community)***
    • State Maintenance Plan will be offered for Florence County
  • Covered Services
    • Add coverage for orthognathic surgery (corrective jaw surgery).
    • Expand access to coverage for continuous glucose monitors to the pharmacy benefit.
    • Remove timeframe requirement for extractions and dental repairs due to accidents.
    • Reduce the age to 45 for colonoscopy screenings to begin.
  • Employee Premiums (see chart below)
    • Slight increase to employee premiums for all plans effective January 1, 2022.

*Aspirus: Covered counties include Clark, Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Portage, Price, Shawano, Taylor, Vilas, Waushara, Wood

**Quartz Central: Covered counties include Adams, Columbia, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Lafayette, Marquette, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Walworth, Waukesha, Waushara, Wood

***Quartz West: Covered counties include Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Eau Claire, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Pepin, Trempealeau, Vernon 

To determine which counties are covered by each insurance carrier, review the Health Plan Search or Health Plan Decision Guide available in the Resources section below.

Employees enrolled with Quartz-UW Health are not affected by the Quartz-Community change.

State Group Health Insurance – 2022 monthly Premiums (active employees)

Health Plan
(WRS benefit package)
High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)
(WRS benefit package)
Health Plan
(non-WRS Graduate Assistant / Short-Term Academic Staff benefit package)
Single Family Single Family Single Family
Health Plan & HDHP (excludes Access Plans) $96.00 $237.00 $34.00 $83.00 $48.00 $118.50
Access Health Plan & Access HDHP $257.00 $639.00 $195.00 $485.00 $128.50 $319.50
Access Health Plan & Access HDHP
(if required to work outside of WI)
$151.00 $380.00 $89.00 $226.00 $75.50 $190.00

All employee premiums in the above chart are without Uniform Dental. Review the chart in the dental section below for the employee dental premiums for 2022.

Effective January 1, 2022 crafts workers will be eligible for the employer share towards health insurance coverage.

Note: The health plan and HDHP do not provide out-of-network coverage except for emergencies and urgent care situations.

All employees (and covered spouses and dependents) enrolled in State Group Health Insurance must select a Primary Care Provider (PCP).

If you are not changing your health plan carrier for 2022:

  • And you do not currently have a designated PCP, you should contact your health plan carrier to designate a PCP, or request assistance with selecting a PCP.
  • And you currently have a designated PCP, you do not need to contact your health plan carrier, unless you want to change your designated PCP.

If you are changing your health plan carrier for 2022:

  • And would like to designate a PCP, contact your new health plan carrier after you receive your health insurance ID cards (generally in December).
  • And you do not designate a PCP, your new health plan carrier will contact you directly to designate a PCP, or auto-assign a PCP and provide information on how to update your PCP if you prefer a PCP other than the one that was auto-assigned.

Health Insurance Opt-Out Incentive

If you do not need health insurance coverage through the UW System, you may be eligible for the Health Opt-Out Incentive. The Opt-Out Incentive is taxable and the $2,000 is paid evenly over 24 pay periods (the first two of each month). Enrollment is required each year to receive the Opt-Out Incentive. See the How to Enroll section below for enrollment information. Or review the Health Insurance Opt-Out Incentive web page for additional information.

Pharmacy Benefits

Employee premiums for pharmacy benefits are included in the State Group Health Insurance premiums. Find in-network pharmacies and formulary lists on the Navitus website, or call Navitus at (866) 333-2757 with questions.

Well-being Resources

The $150 Well Wisconsin incentive is available to you and your spouse in 2022 if you enroll in State Group Health Insurance. To earn the incentive, complete a health assessment questionnaire, health check, and one of the WebMD well-being activities.

  • Deadline for the 2021 Incentive: October 8, 2021
  • Deadline for the 2022 Incentive: October 14, 2022

Review the Well-Being Resources web page for information on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), flu vaccine clinics, well-being webinars and mental health resources.

Uniform, Preventive & Supplemental Dental Insurance

Uniform and Preventive Dental Insurance plans provide the same coverage for diagnostic, preventive, basic and orthodontic services. Additionally, premiums will increase slightly for all plans. Review the following to determine which plan (Uniform Dental or Preventive Dental) you are eligible for:

  • If you enroll in State Group Health, you are eligible for the Uniform Dental Insurance plan.
  • If you waive State Group Health OR elect the Health Opt-Out Incentive, you are eligible for the Preventive Dental Insurance plan.

Reminder: You may enroll in either the Uniform or the Preventive plan and one Supplemental Dental Insurance plan (Select or Select Plus plan).

For 2022, the following changes will be made:

  • Covered Services
    • Add coverage for composite/resin fillings for the back teeth (Uniform and Preventive Dental plans)
  • Employee Premiums (see chart below)
    • Uniform Dental: Slight decrease to employee only premium effective January 1, 2022. Premiums for employee + spouse, employee + child(ren), and family coverage will not change from 2021.
    • Preventive and Supplemental Plans: Increase to employee premiums for all coverage levels effective January 1, 2022.

For additional information, review the plan comparison and/or premium chart provided below.

Dental Insurance Comparison

Uniform Dental Insurance and

Preventive Dental Insurance

Supplemental Dental –

PPO Select

Supplemental Dental –

PPO Plus Premier Select Plus

Provider Network Delta Dental PPO & Delta Dental Premier Delta Dental PPO Delta Dental PPO & Delta Dental Premier
Benefit Maximum $1,000 / person $1,000 / person $2,500 / person
Deductible None $100 / person $25 / person
Preventive 100% No coverage No coverage
Basic Services 100%: fillings, periodontal maintenance 80%: anesthesia, emergency pain relief No coverage
(except anesthesia at 50%)
No coverage
(except anesthesia at 80%)
Major Services No coverage 50% 60% or 80% (varies by service)

(lifetime maximum)

50% up to $1,500
(to age 19)
No coverage 50% up to $1,500
(in addition to Uniform or Preventive Dental)
(includes adult ortho)


Dental Insurance – 2022 monthly Premiums (active employees)

Uniform Dental Preventive Dental Supplemental Dental –

PPO Select

Supplemental Dental –

PPO Plus Premier Select Plus

Employee $3.00 $34.72 $9.76 $20.98
Employee + Spouse $9.00 $86.80 $19.52 $41.96
Employee + Child(ren) $9.00 $86.80 $13.16 $38.96
Family $9.00 $86.80 $23.40 $64.28


Vision Insurance

There are no changes to the Vision Insurance or employee premiums for 2022. This plan provides coverage for an annual eye exam and materials (contacts/glasses). Review the Resources section below for additional information.

Individual & Family Life Insurance

There are no changes to the Individual & Family Life Insurance Program for 2022.

If you have coverage in force, you may increase coverage during the Annual Increase Option (AIO) period; September 27 – October 22, 2021. You may increase your coverage through the MyUW Portal or by submitting the Individual & Family Annual Increase Option Form available in the Forms & Resources section below.

To decrease or cancel your coverage at any time, submit the Individual & Family Insurance Application (available in the Forms & Resources section below) to your institution’s human resources office.

For additional information, review the Fact Sheet available in the Resources section below.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance

There are no changes to the AD&D Insurance plan or employee premiums for 2022.

You may enroll, change, or cancel your AD&D coverage at any time. Changes made during ABE to your AD&D coverage will be effective January 1, 2022. If you would like to change your coverage prior to January 1st, submit the AD&D Application available in the Forms & Resources section below.

Accident Insurance

This plan provides active employees cash to help cover out-of-pocket expenses regardless of health insurance coverage. The plan helps cover unexpected out-of-pocket expenses by providing a lump sum payment for specific injuries due to accident. Additional features of the plan include:

  • Accidental death & dismemberment coverage
  • Identity Theft coverage from Generali Global Assistance

For 2022, the following changes will be made:

  • Covered Services
    • Increase cash benefit payment amounts for most covered injuries due to accident.
    • Add cash benefit for outpatient rehabilitation therapy when necessary due to accident.

Employee premiums will remain the same for 2022.

Spending and Savings Accounts

Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

For 2022, the following changes will be made:

  • Annual Maximum Contribution: $2,750*
  • Annual Maximum Carryover: $550*

*The IRS will release the maximum contribution and carryover amounts for 2022 after the start of ABE. If there are significant changes, the above amounts may change.

Dependent Day Care Account
  • Annual Maximum Contribution: Up to $5,000 (depending on tax filing status)
  • Annual Maximum Carryover: $0

Review the Resources section below for additional information.

ACTION REQUIRED: You must enroll in the Health Care FSA and/or Dependent Day Care Account each year you want to participate.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

For 2022, the following changes will be made:

The HSA annual maximum contributions will increase. The following maximum contribution amounts include the employer contribution:

  • Single HDHP: $3,650*
  • Family HDHP: $7,300*

*Employees that are or will attain age 55+ in 2022 may contribute an additional $1,000 to their HSA.

See the HSA web page for details and eligibility requirements.

ACTION REQUIRED: You must enroll in the Health Savings Account (HSA) each year if you enroll in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).

UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program (SRP)

UW System is making changes to enhance the 403(b) Program:

Updates to the program focus on cost-effectiveness, simplification and ease of use for 403(b) program participants. UW System’s goal is to make it easier to enroll, select investments, and monitor investment performance on an ongoing basis.

The 403(b) program has been rebranded to the UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program, from the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program.

Beginning January 1, 2022, the 403(b) program will be undergoing enhancements to the recordkeepers (providers) and investment line-up.

  • TIAA and Fidelity will remain as active recordkeepers in the program.
  • T. Rowe Price, Ameriprise, and Lincoln will no longer be offered as recordkeepers.

If you are a current program participant – or enroll in the program in the next few months – you may need to take action this fall. Review the 403(b) Program Enhancements web page for detailed information.

ACTION REQUIRED: Review your contribution election(s) and make changes if needed. If you have contribution(s) going to T. Rowe Price, Ameriprise, and/or Lincoln and do not take action, future contribution(s) will be directed to TIAA effective January 2022.

Other Considerations for 2022

  • Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS): The contribution you and UW System make to the WRS will decrease slightly to 6.5%, effective January 1, 2022.
  • State Group Life Insurance: The employee coverage premium will increase 5% for most age groups, effective April 1, 2022. Spouse & Dependent coverage premium will remain the same.
  • Income Continuation Insurance (ICI): Premiums will decrease effective February 1, 2022.
  • Parking & Transit Accounts: Account limits remain unchanged for 2022.
No open enrollment opportunity for the below plans; you may enroll through Evidence of Insurability (requires medical underwriting).
  • State Group Life Insurance
  • UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance
  • Individual & Family Life Insurance
  • Income Continuation Insurance
Enroll in the following plans at any time during the year:
  • UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program (SRP)
  • Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (457) Program
  • Parking & Transit Accounts
  • Long-Term Care Insurance

Changes Allowed During ABE

Benefit Plan What Changes are Allowed during ABE? Add or Remove Dependents* Cancel
State Group Health Insurance Enroll, Change Plan Design and/or Carrier Yes Yes
State Group Health Insurance
Opt-Out Incentive
MUST re-enroll each year N/A N/A (automatically ends December 31st)
Uniform Dental Insurance Enroll
(if enrolled in State Group Health)
Yes Yes
Preventive Dental Insurance Enroll
(if not enrolled in State Group Health)
Yes Yes
Supplemental Dental Insurance Enroll, Change Plans (Select OR Select Plus) Yes Yes
Vision Insurance Enroll Yes Yes
Individual & Family Life Insurance Annual Increase Option
(current enrollees only)
No – Add
Yes – Remove (anytime)
Yes (anytime)
Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance Enroll, Change Volume of Coverage Yes Yes (anytime)
Accident Insurance  Enroll Yes Yes
Flexible Spending Accounts MUST re-enroll each year N/A N/A (automatically ends December 31st)
Health Savings Account
(must have High Deductible Health Plan)
MUST re-enroll each year N/A N/A (automatically ends December 31st)

* To determine who you can cover on your plans, see the Dependent Eligibility Chart available in the Forms & Resources section below.

How To Enroll

Once you have made your benefits plan decisions, enroll using the MyUW Portal (September 27 – October 22, 2021). You will be required to provide the below information, so have this information handy.

  • Dependent names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth
  • Copy of health insurance card (if you have other health insurance coverage)

View a video on How to Enroll Using the MyUW Portal (available in the Forms & Resources section below).

You may make changes beginning September 27, 2021. All benefit elections must be submitted by Friday, October 22, 2021 (4:30 pm). If paper applications are used instead of the MyUW Portal they must be received by your institution beneifts contact by Friday, October 22, 2021 (4:30 pm). Changes are effective January 1, 2022.

Forms & Resources

Individual & Family (I&F)
Life Insurance

Every effort has been made to ensure this information is current and correct. Information on this page does not guarantee enrollment, benefits and/or the ability to make changes to your benefits.