October 1, 2018

Benefits enrollment will run for two weeks -- Oct. 22 through Nov. 2

Purdue’s annual benefits enrollment is coming up Oct. 22 to Nov. 2. During this time, employees will go online to make benefit selections for 2019.

What employees need to know

All three medical plans -- Purdue Health Plan, Purdue Health Plan Plus HSA 1 and Purdue Health Plan Plus HSA 2 – are expected to experience increased out­-of-­pocket costs next year. Unfortunately, medical costs continue to climb nationwide. The University has shouldered $30 million in increased costs over the past four years, keeping employees sheltered from the increases. As much as the University would like to avoid increases for everyone, it is simply unavoidable, says Candace Shaffer, director of benefits in Human Resources. Despite the proposed increases in 2019, employee premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums are still below the national average.

How employees can save

The good news is that Purdue’s health plans provide several ways that employees can manage their costs and save throughout the year.

* Find affordable care on campus. Employees can continue to visit the Center for Healthy Living, located on the West Lafayette campus, for a small copay -- $10 for Purdue Health Plan members and $40 for members of Purdue Health Plan Plus HSA 1 and Purdue Health Plan Plus HSA 2. The Center for Healthy Living also offers several no-cost programs to all benefits-eligible employees -- even those not located on the West Lafayette campus -- to help manage chronic conditions, and health coaching to assist with maintaining and improving health overall.

* Get an annual physical. Preventive care is free under the University plans. Employees who get their annual physical and other preventive screenings are being proactive with their health. Problems can be detected before they are serious -- and expensive. Plus, next year, an annual physical as part of the Healthy Boiler Wellness Program will again help employees maximize their health savings account or health reimbursement account contribution from Purdue -- and put more money in employee pockets to pay for medical expenses.

* Choose care wisely. The difference between an ER visit and one to a primary care physician, urgent care, retail clinic or Center for Healthy Living can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Using the most appropriate type of service can limit costs for everyone.

* Request generic prescriptions. Generic drugs can save significant money while providing the same active ingredient found in the brand name counterpart.

Employees encouraged to do their homework

Employees are encouraged to evaluate all their options, their expenses and consider which benefits are best suited for them and their family.

Stay tuned

Enrollment guides will be delivered to campus addresses beginning Oct. 22. Additional communications and resources -- including home mailers, emails, Purdue Today articles, walk-in labs, presentations and a dedicated enrollment website -- will follow. Notice that open enrollment will be held for two weeks this year rather than three. Employees are encouraged to make use of resources early to meet the deadline to enroll.

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