Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Open Enrollment Period and Benefits for 2021
1. Should I review my benefit elections each year?
Yes. The benefits you have in 2020 might not make sense for you in 2021. Your situation may have changed this year or be changing in 2021. You may be able to add or remove people from your coverage during the year if you have a Qualifying Event, but in most cases, you can’t change plans during the year – other than during the Open Enrollment period. Think about any expenses you may have in 2021. Do you have upcoming medical or dental procedures? How will they be covered? Does it make more sense to be in a different plan? There are four medical plans and three dental plans to choose from. Should you contribute to one of the reimbursement accounts (health care, dependent day care, transit commuter and parking) so you can pay for eligible expenses on a pre-tax basis, so it costs you less? If you use eyeglasses or contact lenses, consider whether you should sign up for the vision care plan.
Take the time to review your choices to find the benefit programs that provide the right coverage for you. We even have a tool called ALEX that can help you select the plans that best fit your needs.
2. When can I make changes to my benefit elections?
During the Open Enrollment period you can make changes to your Medical, Dental and Vision Care coverage, Reimbursement Accounts (Health Care, Dependent Day Care, Transit Commuter, and/or Parking), and the Vacation Buy Plan coverages. You must re-elect some of these benefits each year, otherwise they end on December 31. See Q&A #10 for more information.
You may also be eligible to make changes to some of your benefits if you have a Qualifying Event. Information on Qualifying Events
3. When is the Open Enrollment period for benefits for calendar year 2021?
Tuesday, November 3, 2020, at 9 a.m. through Friday, November 13, 2020, at 5 p.m. EST.
4. What benefit elections can I make during the Open Enrollment Period?
For the Medical, Dental and Vision Care plans, you can:
- Join the plan(s)
- Drop the plan(s)
- Change from one medical and/or dental plan to another
- Add eligible family members to your plan(s) – you may need to provide supporting documentation (birth, adoption and/or marriage certificate)
- Drop family members from your plan(s)
- Change the amount you contribute to the Health Savings Account if you’re enrolled in the Aetna Medical Plan 4.
You can enroll or re-enroll in the Health Care, Dependent Day Care, Transit Commuter, and Parking Reimbursement Accounts, and the Vacation Buy Plan. Your 2020 elections for these programs do not automatically carry over to 2021.
5. When are the elections that I make during the Open Enrollment period effective?
January 1, 2021
6. Will there be a benefits fair this year?
We will not have a benefits fair on site this year. Instead, we will have a virtual benefits fair on our Benefit Programs website with online videos and other materials from our Aetna Medical Plans, the Delta Dental Plans, the EyeMed Vision Care Plan, the PayFlex Reimbursement Accounts (health care, dependent day care, transit commuter, and parking), and TIAA, where you can learn about the plans during the Open Enrollment period. The Benefits Program website.
We encourage you to use ALEX, the online benefits tool, that can help you select the plans that best fit the needs of you and your family. It includes information on the medical, dental, vision care, life, AD&D, and long term disability plans — as well as reimbursement accounts. ALEX estimates the total yearly out-of-pocket costs (a combination of your contributions and the costs for the services you plan to use) for each plan and recommends the one with the lowest overall cost to you. ALEX will be available during Open Enrollment.
7. What are the changes in the benefit programs for 2021?
- Employee contributions for the Aetna medical plans are increasing. See Q&A #9 for more information.
- The Aetna Plan 4 Health Savings Account (HSA)
- The maximum amount you may contribute to the HSA in 2021 is increasing to $3,100 individual /$6,200 family.
- The 2021 limits for the Reimbursement Accounts have not yet been announced by the IRS but will be posted to the Benefits website when available. The 2020 Reimbursement Account limits and the 2021 HSA limits are indicated below.
|Type||Minimum||Your Maximum Contribution|
|Dependent Day Care||$300/year||$5,000/year if you are married and file a joint tax return or are single. If you are married and file separate income tax returns, the maximum you may contribute is $2,500.|
|Transit Commuter||$25/month||$3,240/year but no more than $270/month|
|Parking||$25/month||$3,240/year but no more than $270/month|
|Health Savings Account (HSA)||$300/year||$3,100/individual or $6,200/family (excludes BSA’s contribution)|
8. Where can I get help determining which plans best meet my needs and access ALEX, the online benefit tool?
ALEX is our online benefits tool that will help you identify the plans that best meet the needs of you and your family. It includes information on the Medical, Dental, Vision Care, Life, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, and Long Term Disability insurance plans — as well as the Reimbursement Accounts. Based on your input to ALEX, it will estimate your total yearly out-of-pocket costs for the upcoming year (which is a combination of your contributions for the coverages from your paychecks and the costs for the services you plan to use – such as copayments at the doctor’s or dentist’s office) and recommend the one with the lowest overall cost to you.
Because there are changes to some of the benefit programs each year — changes that can affect your paycheck (through your premium contributions) and your wallet (such as what you pay at the doctor’s office) — we highly recommend using ALEX to see if your current choices still meet your needs – or if you should make some changes.ALEX will be available during Open Enrollment.
The Benefits Office staff is also available to assist you and can be reached at (631) 344-5126, (631) 344-3724 and (631) 344-2877.
9. What are the employee costs for the medical, dental and vision care plans for 2021?
Aetna Medical Plan (These have increased from 2020 to 2021. There are also fewer weekly pay periods in 2021 than in 2020. There are 52 weekly pay periods in 2021. There were 53 weekly pay periods in 2020.)
The Annual Base salary category for eligible part-time employees is based in their full-time equivalent salary.
Delta Dental Plans (The annual cost of coverage has not changed from 2020 to 2021 but the premiums in each weekly paycheck are higher because there are fewer pay periods in 2021 than in 2020. There are 52 weekly pay periods in 2021. There were 53 weekly pay periods in 2020.)
2021 Dental Plan Contrinutions
EyeMed Vision Care Plan (The annual cost of coverage has not changed from 2020 to 2021 but the premiums in each weekly paycheck are higher because there are fewer pay periods in 2021 than in 2020. There are 52 weekly pay periods in 2021. There were 53 weekly pay periods in 2020.)
2021 Vision Plan Contributions
10. Where can I get more information on the benefit programs?
Additional information on the benefit programs (including Summary Plan Descriptions) is available on the Benefits Program website.
11. Do all of my benefit elections carry over from calendar year 2020to 2021?
No. See below for details.
Medical, Dental and Vision Care
Your elections automatically carry over from 2020 to 2021 except for any children who reach age 23 by December 31, 2020. Those children are no longer eligible for Dental coverage on January 1, 2021 and will automatically be removed from the coverage. If you are enrolled in Aetna Plan 4, the amount you contribute to the Health Savings Account will also carry over.
Health Care, Dependent Day Care, Transit Commuter, and Parking Reimbursement Accounts
Your elections do not carry over from 2020 to 2021. If you want to participate in the Reimbursement Accounts in 2021, you must reenroll during the Open Enrollment period. Otherwise, your Reimbursement Accounts will end on December 31, 2020.
Vacation Buy Plan
Your election does not carry over from 2020 to 2021. If you want to participate in the plan in 2021, you must reenroll during the Open Enrollment period. Otherwise, your Vacation Buy plan election will end on December 31, 2020.
Life insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance
Your elections carry over from year to year. The Lab provides basic life and AD&D insurance at no cost to you. Supplemental life insurance is available for you, your spouse and your dependent children (age 15 days to 19 years old or up to 25 if the child is a full-time student). Supplemental AD&D insurance is available for you and your spouse. You may make changes to your supplemental Life and AD&D elections at any time during the year, although certain changes may require approval from the insurance company. You should review your beneficiary designation in PeopleSoft HR from time to time, and update it, if needed.
Long Term Disability (LTD) Plan
You are automatically enrolled in this plan when you are eligible for the plan. This cannot be changed at any time as it is a required coverage to protect you from a loss of income in the case of a long-term disabling illness or injury.
You are automatically enrolled in this plan when you are eligible for the plan. The Lab contributes to this plan on your behalf after each pay period. You do not contribute to this plan. Investment fund elections carry over from year to year, although you can make changes to your investments at any time. Certain restrictions may apply. From time to time you should review your beneficiary designation at www.tiaa.org,, and update it, if needed.
You may enroll in this plan at any time. Elections carry over from year to year. Changes to the amount you contribute from your paychecks and to your investments can be made at any time, although certain restrictions may apply to investment fund changes. From time to time you should review your beneficiary designation at www.tiaa.org, and update it, if needed.
12. What happens if I don’t do anything during the Open Enrollment period?
See Q&A #10 for details on each plan. Not all coverages carry over from 2020to 2021.
13. How do I enroll for or make changes to my benefits during Open Enrollment?
Follow the instructions below.
- Log into PeopleSoft HR using your User ID and password. If you need assistance with your password or with logging in, call the ITD Help Desk at (631) 344-5522.
- Click the following links: Employee Self ServiceàBenefitsàOpen Enrollment.
- Click on the applicable sections (Medical, Dental, Vision Care, Reimbursement Accounts, and/or Vacation Buy) and make your elections for 2021.
- Save your election(s).
Your elections must be completed by no later than Friday, November 13, 2020 at 5 p.m. EST.
14. If I attain age 65 or become eligible for Medicare in 2021, is there anything I need to do?
Yes. You should sign up for Medicare Part A through the Social Security Administration. There is no cost for Medicare Part A. If you are enrolled in BSA’s Medical Plan as an employee, Medicare Part A will be secondary coverage to BSA’s Medical Plan.
If you are enrolled in Aetna Medical Plan 4 (the high deductible health plan with the health savings account), you will no longer be eligible to participate in that Plan 4 and must elect a different plan. Your choices will be Aetna Plans 1 – 3. Contact the Benefits Office for more information.
15. What is a Qualifying Event?
A Qualifying Event is a change in your family status and includes:
(a) change in legal marital status: (1) marriage, (2) death of spouse, (3) divorce, (4) legal separation, (5) annulment
(b) change in number of dependents: (1) birth, (2) adoption, (3) placement for adoption, (4) death of a dependent
(c) change in employment status: (1) termination or commencement of employment of the employee, spouse or dependent, other than for gross misconduct
(d) change in work schedule: (1) an increase or decrease in the number of hours of employment by the employee, spouse or dependent, (2) a switch between full-time and part-time status, (3) a strike or lockout, (4) commencement or return from an unpaid leave of absence
(e) the dependent satisfies or ceases to satisfy the requirements for coverage under the plan(s)
(f) change in the place of residence or work site of the employee, spouse or dependent
You may be able to change certain coverages if you have a Qualifying Event.
For the medical, dental and/or vision care plans, you may be eligible to add or delete dependents, or add or drop coverage. For the Reimbursement Accounts, you may be eligible to enroll or make changes to your contributions for the remainder of the calendar year. The change(s) in coverage that you request must relate to the change that affects eligibility for coverage.
Contact the Benefits Office at (631) 344-5126, (631) 344-3724 and (631) 344-2877 to request a change in your coverages.