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From Human Resources
March 27, 2007, Volume 53, No. 27

Even if you’re satisfied with your current elections, make sure you understand what changes are being made for the upcoming plan year. And take this chance to find out what else Penn has to offer. Open Enrollment begins Thursday, April 5 and runs through Friday, April 20. You’ll receive personalized enrollment information at your home address in early April.

Open Enrollment 2007-2008
Thursday, April 5–Friday, April 20

Don’t miss this once-a-year opportunity to make changes to your healthcare coverage!


What Kinds of Changes Can I Make during Open Enrollment?

Outside of Open Enrollment, you’re only allowed to make changes to your benefits when you experience a life event change such as marriage or a child’s birth—and even then, the IRS limits the types of changes you can make. During Open Enrollment, you have the opportunity to make any changes you’d like to your benefits coverage, such as:

• Newly enroll in or drop coverage for a healthcare plan
• Change your medical or dental plan
• Increase or decrease your life insurance coverage
• Increase or decrease your Pre-Tax Expense Account contribution
• Add or drop a dependent from your healthcare coverage

How to Make Changes

Make your Open Enrollment changes online 24 hours a day at www.upenn.edu/u@penn (click on “Open Enrollment” under Announcements).  When you log on, simply provide your PennKey and password, and the online system will walk you through the enrollment process. If you don’t have online access or are having problems enrolling online, contact the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236), Monday- Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m.

Open Enrollment and Health Fairs

Date Time Location
Thursday, April 5 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Houston Hall, Bodek Lounge and Reading Room
Wednesday, April 11 10 a.m – 2 p.m Biomedical Research Building (BRB) II/III, Room 251

Register now for a free cholesterol screening. This screening will be available at the April 5th fair only. Go to www.hr.upenn.edu and click on “Open Enrollment” under Benefits for more information.

Ask questions and gather information—Representatives from Penn’s healthcare providers and administrators will be onsite, including: medical (Independence Blue Cross, Aetna), prescription (Caremark), dental (Penn Faculty Practice, MetLife), vision (Davis Vision), life insurance (Aetna), pre-tax expense accounts (ADP) and the Penn Benefits Center (ADP). 

Make your elections onsite—computers will be available so you can make your Open Enrollment elections onsite.

Take advantage of free health screenings and information—A variety of free health screenings and health and wellness information will be available, including: blood pressure, glaucoma, blood glucose, nutritional health, dental and oral health, recreation and fitness, women’s health, environmental safety and ergonomics, Employee Assistance Program, occupational and physical therapy, diabetes and heart health.

New Bolton Center–Open Enrollment Fair

Speak with representatives from Penn’s healthcare providers and administrators at the New Bolton Center Open Enrollment Fair on Thursday, April 12, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at Alumni Hall.

What’s New for 2007-2008


Benefit Plan


What’s Changing Effective July 1, 2007


Medical –
All Plans

Copays will increase for all of the medical plans for specialist visits (including GYN and maternity), outpatient surgery, and inpatient hospitalization.


Dental –
Penn Faculty Practice
(PFP) Plan

The Penn Faculty Practice (PFP) plan will be making several changes:

•  Penn Dental at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) will no longer be a participating provider.

•  There will be increased charges for broken or failed appointments (less than 24 hours notice given). A $50 charge will apply after the first broken or failed appointment. A $100 charge will apply after the third broken or failed appointment. 

•  Under special circumstances and at PFP’s discretion, a patient may be referred to an out-of-network provider.  Reimbursement would be based on PFP’s covered services and allowances.

Vision –
Davis Vision Plan

There will be a number of changes to the Davis Vision plan:

•  Scheie Eye Institute will be added as a top-tier provider.  Use Scheie Eye providers to receive the highest allowance for frames, disposable contacts, and specialty contacts.

•  Receive an increased allowance for eyeglass frames and medically necessary contacts when using Davis Vision providers.

•  A $10 copay will apply when using Davis Vision providers for eye exams.

•  Receive increased reimbursements for many services when using out-of-network providers.

•  The reimbursement when using out-of-network providers for progressive lenses will decrease slightly.

Dependent Care
Expense Account

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires the benefit for this account to be provided uniformly to “highly compensated” (defined by the IRS for 2007 as those making $100,000 and over) and “non-highly compensated” participants.  IRS-required nondiscrimination test trends indicate that we must lower the maximum contribution for highly compensated participants in order to meet this mandate.  The maximum amount highly compensated participants will be able to contribute to this account will be $1800. 



Healthy Lifestyle, Lower Costs

One of the ways we can all help reduce the high cost of healthcare is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The healthier you are, the less likely it is that you’ll need to use healthcare services—which means lower costs for both you and the University. Penn offers numerous ways to help you and your family stay fit and healthy. For more information, visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/quality/wellness.

Come to the Open Enrollment and Health Fairs–On April 5 and 11, a variety of health and wellness information will be available, including free health screenings and information tables.

Attend health and wellness workshops–Penn offers free workshops throughout the year on topics that deal with physical and emotional wellness.

Utilize the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)–The EAP provides free, confidential counseling to help you and your family deal with the issues and challenges that affect your personal or professional life.

Join a gym through the GlobalFit discount fitness club program–This program allows you and your family to join any one of many area participating health clubs at a substantially discounted corporate rate.

Take advantage of Department of Recreation facilities and programs–The Department of Recreation offers intramural sports, open recreation, adult recreation classes, sport clubs, fitness programs, and special interest programs.

Quit smoking–You have access to several smoking cessation programs here at Penn, as well as assistance through the EAP to help you quit smoking.

Join the “Maintain, Don’t Gain” program in the fall–A holiday weight maintenance program helps you curb your appetite during the busy holiday season.

Get a flu shot in the fall–Penn provides flu shots at a discounted rate to help keep you healthy during flu season.

Find out about the health and wellness programs offered by your medical plan–Penn’s medical plans provide access to several programs and resources designed to help you live a healthy lifestyle, such as weight-loss programs and bike helmet reimbursements.

HR Open Enrollment Calendar

Make your Open Enrollment changes online 24 hours a day,
beginning April 5, at www.upenn.edu/u@penn
(click on “Open Enrollment” under Announcements)
by April 20. Coverage changes are effective July 1, 2007.



Cost of Healthcare

Healthcare costs have been on a steady upswing for many years now, due in large part to external market forces such as technological advances, the increased use of medical tests, a sharp escalation in the prices of prescription drugs, the nation’s aging population, and a rise in uncompensated care. In addition, an increased utilization of services has been a significant contributing factor to the rise in Penn’s premium costs. What this means is that the individuals covered under Penn’s medical and prescription plans have been using healthcare services to a greater extent: more doctor’s visits, more hospital stays, more prescriptions, etc. Increased utilization means increased healthcare spending…and higher premium rates each year.

As cost increases persist, Penn has been actively researching ways to limit the amount both you and the University pay for healthcare. Penn continues to pay a significant portion of the total healthcare premium costs for full-time faculty and staff. And the University works diligently to negotiate the best possible rates from year to year by benchmarking best practices and regularly meeting with our providers. In fact, according to a recent survey by a global benefits consulting firm, Penn’s healthcare costs over the past year were lower than most other companies in the local and national markets.

The new premium rates shown below will take effect with your first June paycheck (rates shown are for full-time faculty and staff).  Keep in mind that both the University and you pre-pay healthcare premiums a month in advance, so your June deductions pay for your July healthcare coverage. 

­—Division of Human Resources


Rates for 2007-2008


WEEKLY PAID (per pay period)


MONTHLY PAID (per pay period)


Employee Employee + 1 Employee + 2 or more   Employee Employee + 1 Employee + 2 or more
Keystone HMO
Aetna HMO
PENNCare / Personal Choice
Penn Faculty Practice Plan
MetLife Dental
Davis Vision


How Do I Find Out More?

•  Attend an Open Enrollment Fair.
•  Look for personalized Open Enrollment information at your home address in early April.
•  Visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu.
•  Call the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236), Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Apply for Supplemental LTD by March 30

Friday, March 30, is the last day to apply for guaranteed coverage in Penn’s new Supplemental Long-Term Disability (LTD) program. For more information, visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/disability/SupplementalLTD.asp, or contact the plan administrator at 1-877-321-4427 or UPenn@IncomeBenefit.com. Remember–this is your only opportunity to apply for this benefit without having to show proof of good health.



Almanac - March 27, 2007, Volume 53, No. 27