Open Enrollment FAQs

Benefits Open Enrollment is the time of year that all benefits-eligible faculty and staff have an opportunity to evaluate their health care needs for the upcoming plan year (July 1- June 30). 

  • Staff, fixed term faculty, medical faculty & post-doctoral research fellows:  You can make appropriate changes to your medical/prescription, dental, vision (if eligible), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), employee and dependent life/AD&D insurance, and short-term disability (if eligible). 
  • Regular faculty:  You can make appropriate changes to your dental, vision, Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), employee and dependent life/AD&D insurance and short-term disability.  Note: Open enrollment for the MESSA medical/prescription is held in the fall with elections effective Jan. 1.

This is also a perfect time to evaluate additional benefits such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Account (HSA). Additionally, you may add or remove eligible dependents from coverage as appropriate and verify your beneficiaries are up to date.

Employees can log into CentralLink<CMU Choices to access their current benefit elections.  

Open Enrollment begins Monday, April 20, 2020 and ends on Friday, May 1, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST.  Coverage and premium cost share are effective July 1, 2020.

A few changes will become effective beginning July 1, 2020.  You may view all plan and premium cost share changes online at www.cmich.edu/openenrollment.
Yes. You MUST take action during the 2020-21 Open Enrollment process if you wish to enroll in vision coverage (Fixed-term Faculty only), Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA). If no action is taken, and you're currently enrolled in coverage, you will be automatically enrolled with the following benefit elections:
Benefit
​Staff/Medical Faculty/Post-Doctoral Research Fellows
​Fixed-Term Faculty
​Regular Faculty
Medical/Prescription 
(If you currently waive medical/prescription, no action is required as the "no coverage" election will roll over)
​Same as Current Election
​Same as Current Election
​Same as Current Election - MESSA Open Enrollment will take place in the fall 2020, effective January 1, 2021
Dental
(If you currently waive dental, no action is required as the "no coverage" election will roll over)
​Same as Current Election
Same as Current Election​​Same as Current Election
Vision
(If you currently waive vision, no action is required as the "no coverage" election will roll over)
​Same as Current Election
​NEW Election Required - Form
​Same as Current Election
Flexible Spending Account (Healthcare and Dependent Day Care FSA)
​NEW Election Required
NEW Election Required
​NEW Election Required
Health Savings Account (HSA)
​NEW Election Required
​NEW Election Required
​NEW Election Required
Life/AD&D and Disability
​Same as Current Election
​Same as Current Election
​Same as Current Election
Legally, the terms of University's benefit plans prohibit them from making exceptions for those employees who do not make benefit elections within the allotted time. 

BE PREPARED. The open enrollment process relies on you, the employee, to take action.

Yes.  Employees actively enrolled in the BCBS PPO1 plan on June 30, 2020 can remain in this plan for the 2020-21 benefit year.
Yes. You may add or remove eligible dependents during open enrollment.  The effective date of any change is July 1, 2020.  To view dependent eligibility rules at www.cmich.edu/fas/hr/HRBenefitsandWellness/Pages/Benefits_Eligibility_Criteria.aspx.

Important Reminder:  The Working Spouse / Other Eligible Individual Rule applies to staff, fixed term faculty, medical faculty and post-doctoral research fellows.  For details, visit https://www.cmich.edu/fas/hr/hrbenefitsandwellness/pages/working-spouse-oei-rule-faq.aspx  

Yes.  All new employees hired after April 1st, must enroll in benefits twice - once during their 30 calendar day new hire window and once during the annual Open Enrollment period.  Follow these simple steps to make your new hire elections.

  •  Access the CMU Choices online enrollment system
  • Make your new hire benefit elections.
    • You can enter and exit the enrollment system as many times as needed up to your new hire enrollment deadline (30 calendar days from date of hire).  At that point, your elections are binding for the remainder of the plan year (June 30).
    •  When you have completed your new hire elections, please review your Current Benefits Summary Report for accuracy and keep a copy of your records.
  • Once you have completed your new hire elections, return to the CMU Choices online enrollment system to make your Open Enrollment elections.
All changes are made through CMU Choices online enrollment system.  You can access CMU Choices on CentralLink using your global ID and password on any computer with internet access.
Yes.  Visit https://apps.cmich.edu/ESSBenefits/Certification.aspx to make benefit elections from any computer with internet access.
No. The Open Enrollment period deadline is Friday, May 1, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST, so all elections must be made by then. CMU Choices is available at https://apps.cmich.edu/ESSBenefits/Certification.aspx on any computer with internet access. 
Yes.  You are required to complete the CMU Choices online enrollment process if you wish to enroll, make changes or cancel your medical/prescription (applicable only staff, fixed-term faculty, medical faculty and post-doctoral research fellows), dental, vision, flexible spending account and health savings account.   
Health care options can be very confusing and understanding them is important.  Below are the available resources to help you take control over how you spend your health care dollars.  

  • Picwell is a new online personalized health plan selection tool. This is an interactive tool that helps you determine which health plan is the best fit for you and your family. You answer a few questions to determine which plans you are eligible for, what medical expenses you anticipate in 2020-21 (like having a new baby), and how you prefer to pay for medical expenses (more each month or more out-of-pocket). In a few minutes, you have a recommendation for the best fitting health plan for you.  Visit Picwell at cmu.picwell.com.
  • Watch the recorded video to learn more about the Blue Cross Blue Shield health plan options available to you during this Open Enrollment and find out how to choose the best options that best supports you and your family health care needs.  The video is available online at www.cmich.edu/openenrollment
Being covered by more than one medical or dental plan may or may not be advantageous.  CMU's plans DO NOT offer additional coverage if the benefits paid by a primary plan are equal to or higher than the amount the CMU plan would have paid.  If you are currently enrolled in both CMU and an alternative plan (e.g. your spouse/ OEI's medical plan), the CMU plan is considered primary for yourself and will pay benefits first.   You (or the health care provider) can then submit amounts not paid by CMU's plan to your alternate plan for possible additional payments.  For your spouse, their coverage will be primary and CMU's plan is their secondary.  You should understand both CMU's and your alternative plan's coordination of benefits rules to see if it will pay additional benefits.

All benefits information can be found by accessing the Benefits & Wellness webpage at www.cmich.edu/benefits.
Yes.  If you are currently contributing to your HSA and want your deductions to continue on your first paycheck in July), you MUST make a HSA contribution using CMU Choices during the Open Enrollment period.  If you do not take action – your current election will automatically reduce to $0 and deductions will not take place.  Note:  Benefit deductions for academic-year faculty members are withheld from the August 31st through May 15th paychecks.
Yes.  If you are enrolled in the BCBS HSA-Advantage HDHP or MESSA ABC Saver medical plan, you can prospectively start, stop or change your contribution amount to the HSA at any time during the plan year.  To request a change to your HSA, return a completed HSA Enrollment / Change Form to the Benefits & Wellness office.   Note:  Benefit deductions for academic-year faculty members are withheld from the August 31st through May 15th paychecks.
  • Medical/Prescription:  Employees enrolling for the FIRST TIME will receive new ID cards after open enrollment.
    • Those electing the BCBS HSA-Advantage HDHP plan for the FIRST TIME will receive new ID cards as well as a Health Equity welcome packet.
  • Dental: Employees enrolling for the FIRST TIME will receive new ID cards after open enrollment.  An ID card is not required to use the Guardian dental benefits.  Simply provide your dental office with the Group ID number (00560625).  If you wish to have an ID card, a reference call is available online at https://www.cmich.edu/fas/hr/Documents/Member%20Dental%20ID%20Card.pdf.
  • Vision:  An ID card is not required for members to receive services or care.  Simply call a VSP provider to schedule an appointment and tell them you're a VSP member.  The provider and VSP handle the rest.  If you wish to have an ID card, a reference call is available online at https://www.cmich.edu/fas/hr/Documents/member-vision-card.pdf
  • Flexible Spending Account:  You will not receive a new debit card unless you enrolled in a FSA account(s) for 2020-21 for the first time.  Retain your current card.

Contact the customer service number for your insurance carrier directly.  Toll free numbers are available online at https://www.cmich.edu/fas/hr/Documents/Vendor%20Information.pdf.
Open enrollment elections are binding for the plan year (July 1 – June 30).  Changes to your benefits elections after Open Enrollment require a qualifying status change event.  You must submit a Status Change Request form to the CMU Benefits & Wellness office within 30 calendar days of the qualifying event and provide supporting documentation of the qualifying event or wait until next Open Enrollment.
Qualifying events include but may not be limited to: marriage, birth or adoption of a child, divorce, dependent gaining employment, dependent's employment terminating, death of dependent and leave of absence.  Additional information regarding qualifying event is available online at https://www.cmich.edu/fas/hr/HRBenefitsandWellness/Pages/Status_Changes.aspx and in the CMU Choices Flexible Benefit Plan Plan Document / Summary Plan Description www.cmich.edu/fas/hr/Documents/flexplandoc1.pdf.
You must submit a Status Change Request form to the CMU Benefits & Wellness office within 30 calendar days of the qualifying event and provide supporting documentation of the qualifying event or wait until next Open Enrollment. If you have any questions about qualifying status event or how to complete the form, contact CMU Benefits & Wellness office at 989-774-3661 or benefits@cmich.edu.

Dependent children are eligible for coverage through the end of the calendar year of the child’s 26th birthday.  CMU Benefits & Wellness office will automatically end medical/prescription, dental, and/or vision (based on enrollment) at 11:59 pm on December 31st.  Your children will be eligible to elect COBRA continuation coverage.