USA Health and Dental Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

▼   Are employee premiums changing for 2018? NEW!!!!

Open enrollment for the USA Health & Dental Plan (BCBS) will be held from November 1 – 30, 2017. During November, eligible faculty, staff and administrative employees may enroll in the USA Health & Dental Plan (BCBS) and/or add eligible dependents with coverage to be effective January 1, 2018.

The Fringe Benefits Committee recommended and President Waldrop approved no increase in the University and Employee cost sharing for 2017. The premiums for the Base and Standard plan will be as follows:

 

Base Plan
for employees hired prior to January 1, 2013
  • Single coverage will remain at $108 per month ($158 per month without the non-tobacco wellness incentive)
  • Family coverage will remain at $354 per month ($404 per month without the non-tobacco wellness incentive)
  • The University's monthly contribution to the USA Health & Dental Plan (BCBS) will remain at $448 for single and $939 for family coverage
Standard Plan
for employees hired on or after January 1, 2013
  • Single coverage will remain at $128 per month ($178 per month without the non-tobacco wellness incentive)
  • Family coverage will remain at $418 per month ($468 per month without the non-tobacco wellness incentive)
  • The University's monthly contribution to the USA Health & Dental Plan (BCBS) will remain at $426 for single and $870 for family coverage

Premiums for health and dental coverage are paid one month in advance and the employee contribution for bi-weekly paid employees is split equally between the first two paydays of the month. The employee contribution is exempt from federal, state and FICA taxes with participation in the Premium Conversion Plan (automatic enrollment).

Employees that are currently enrolled in the USA Health & Dental Plan, and wish to make no change in coverage, no action is required. 

Wellness Incentive

The USA Health & Dental Plan initiated a Tobacco Cessation Program in 2011 to help participants stop the use of tobacco. The program includes a wellness incentive that reduces the employee premium cost sharing by $50 per month, if both the employee and covered spouse do not use tobacco products. As a current USA Health & Dental Plan (BCBS) member, if you are not receiving the wellness incentive and both you and your covered spouse do not use tobacco products (and have not for at least six months), you must complete the Tobacco Declaration Form.  No action is required by employees that currently receive the wellness incentive.

The USA Health & Dental Plan is committed to helping you achieve your best health. Rewards for participating in the Wellness Incentive Program are available to all employees. If you think you may be unable to meet the standard for the reward under this program, you may qualify for an opportunity to earn the same reward by different means. Contact the Human Resources Department for additional information.

The USA Health & Dental Plan Member Handbook for the Base Plan and Standard Plan along with other plan information is available in Human Resources on campus and in the University Hospitals.

A Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) is available in Human Resources on campus and in the University Hospitals. The SBC summarizes important information about your health coverage options in a standard format to assist in your comparison of options.

University of South Alabama
Summary of Benefits and Coverage Base Plan - Group 13515 & 86113 (hired prior to 1/1/2013)
Summary of Benefits and Coverage Standard Plan - Group 78380, 79873, & 74640 (hired on or after 1/1/2013)
Glossary of Health Coverage and Medical Terms 

USA Health & Dental Plan Enrollment/Change Forms must be received in Human Resources no later than 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 30, 2017. 

Human Resources office addresses

 

▼   Who is eligible for coverage with the USA Health & Dental Plan?

Employees are eligible for participation in the USA Health & Dental Plan (BCBS) or USA VIVA Health & Dental Plan based solely on hours of service. The Affordable Care Act requires an offer of coverage to employees credited with 30 hours of service per week or 130 hours of service per month on average. The Plans may defer the offer of coverage if the employee is determined as having “variable hours” in which case benefits-eligible status will be determined using a 12-month measurement period with a corresponding 12-month coverage period in compliance with the Affordable Care Act.

Eligible Employees include:

  • An employee with an employment start date prior to January 1, 2013, and a specific appointment with no termination date, occupying a permanently budgeted position, and working a minimum of 20 hours per week on a regular basis.
  • An employee with an employment start date on or after January 1, 2013, who is credited with 30 hours of service per week or 130 hours of service per month on average.

Eligible Employees may also enroll their legal spouse, as recognized by the state of Alabama, and children under age 26. Coverage with the selected Plan will begin on the first day of the month following the first day of employment, contingent upon timely application to the Human Resources department and payment of any required employee contribution.

▼   When will my medical/dental coverage be effective if I am a new employee?
Coverage with the selected Plan will begin on the first day of the month following the first day of employment, contingent upon timely application to the Human Resources department and payment of any required employee contribution.
▼   What is premium conversion?
USA Health & Dental Plan (BCBS) and USA VIVA Health & Dental Plan premiums are deducted before any Federal, State or Social Security taxes are withheld. Your gross income is reduced by the amount of your premiums and therefore, you pay fewer taxes. New employees are automatically enrolled in Premium Conversion. However, Premium Conversion is optional for employees. Contact the Human Resources department for information regarding opting out of Premium Conversion.
▼   Who are eligible dependents for the USA Health & Dental Plan (BCBS)?
  • Spouse – As recognized by the state of Alabama.
  • Dependent child –
      • Your natural-born child under the age of 26.
      • Your stepchild under the age of 26.
      • Your legally adopted child, including a legally adopted child living with you as the adopting parent, during a period of probation.
      • A child under age 26 over whom you have legal guardian status by court appointment.
      • A child under age 26 for whom you are legally required to provide health insurance coverage pursuant to a Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO).
      • Your disabled child of any age provided the disability commenced prior to age 19. Coverage under the Plan continues without interruption for the duration of the disability as long as the employee maintains dependent coverage.
▼   If I am not a new employee, when can I enroll in the USA Health & Dental Plan (BCBS)?

You may enroll in either Plan, enroll your eligible dependents or terminate coverage for yourself or a dependent when certain events cause a Change-In-Status. To make an enrollment change due to a Change-in-Status event, you must make application and provide documented proof of the Change-In-Status event to the Human Resources department within 30 days of the event. The effective date of the election would be the date of the qualifying event. If you fail to notify Human Resources within 30 days of the qualifying event, you must wait until the Open Enrollment Period.

Some examples of qualifying events include, but are not limited to:

  • Marriage / Divorce
  • Birth of Child
  • Adoption or placement for adoption
  • Death
  • Change in your spouse’s employment status
▼   When is the Open Enrollment Period?

There is a one-month Open Enrollment Period, usually the month of November, during which an employee may enroll in the USA Health & Dental Plan (BCBS), or USA VIVA Health & Dental Plan, and/or add eligible dependents. During this period, you may file an application with the Human Resources department and coverage will begin on the first day of the following calendar year. During this time, employees can also re-enroll in SouthFlex Flexible Spending Accounts if they wish to participate the following calendar year.

▼   How do I sign up for my benefits?

All new employees must attend New Employee Orientation. During orientation, you will be given the opportunity to complete enrollment forms. Your department will notify you as to the date/time of your scheduled orientation.

▼   How much is the monthly premium and how is it deducted from my paycheck?
USA Health & Dental Plan - Base Plan (employees hired prior to 1/1/13) Single Family
Non-Tobacco $108 $354
Tobacco $158 $404
USA Health & Dental Plan - Standard Plan (employees hired on or after 1/1/13) Single Family
Non-Tobacco $128 $418
Tobacco $178 $468
Note: Premiums for health & dental insurance are pre-tax dollars and are paid one month in advance so the initial deduction may reflect a retroactive adjustment.
▼   How does the Tobacco Cessation program/wellness incentive work?

The University of South Alabama encourages all employees to adopt healthy lifestyle choices. That effort will benefit you, your family and your fellow employees. The University’s Fringe Benefits Committee recommended, and the University adopted, a tobacco cessation program which is intended to help employees stop using tobacco products. Tobacco use and especially smoking will increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis, as well as cancer including: lung, throat, mouth, esophagus, pancreas, bladder, and leukemia. The benefits from stopping the use of tobacco are almost immediate regardless of how long you have been smoking or using tobacco.

For new employees the Tobacco Declaration information/election is provided within the USA Health & Dental insurance enrollment form.

Existing employees that do not currently participate in this wellness incentive may begin participation by completing the Tobacco Declaration form. On this form employees will declare that they and their covered spouse do not use tobacco products; and have not used tobacco products within six months prior to the date on the form. This will qualify for a wellness incentive of $50 per month (one per family). The wellness incentive will be applied to the monthly insurance premium effective the pay period following the date on the Tobacco Declaration form (payroll deadlines can affect when this discount will be applied).

For employees enrolled in the USA Health & Dental plan (BCBS) seeking assistance with tobacco cessation please call 1-888-768-7848 to obtain information about the Blue Cross Blue Shield - Quit for Life Program. The Program is provided at no cost to employees and covered spouses who want to stop using tobacco products and offers a 24-hour support hotline, customized phone counseling sessions and nicotine replacement patches, gum or lozenges.

For additional tobacco cessation resources you may also contact the Employee Assistance Program office at 461-1346.

▼   If I resign, terminate employment or retire, when would my coverage end?

Premiums for health & dental insurance are paid one month in advance. Your cancellation date will be based on your last day of employment. Example: If your last day of employment is 12/14/2016, your last paycheck will be 12/30/2016. Premiums paid in December through payroll deduction have paid for coverage in January 2017. Your insurance will cancel effective 1/31/2017.

Note: The above information applies only to employees in a paid status. For employees on a leave of absence in an unpaid status, please contact Human Resources for an effective date of cancellation. 

 

General Information
Glossary of Health Coverage and Medical Terms
Summary of Benefits and Coverage - Group 13515/86113
Summary of Benefits and Coverage Standard Plan - Group 78380, 79873, & 74640
USA Health and Dental Plan Notice of Privacy Practices
University of South Alabama Notice of Exchange - Identity Protection Services
HealthCare Management, LLC Notice of Exchange
Health Care Authority Notice of Exchange