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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

What you need to know about health coverage (EUTF) open enrollment

How to add, change or drop a plan or dependent, or change coverage tiers

 
HSTA and EUTF on health care plans and open enrollment

 

Kali Puuohau, Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) outreach and training specialist, is here to discuss health care plans and open enrollment. Feel free to leave questions in the comments section for him to answer. What you need to know about health coverage open enrollment: http://bit.ly/eutfopen19 Settlement reached, updates to your contract: http://bit.ly/2Vgmazv

Posted by Hawaii State Teachers Association on Thursday, April 4, 2019

Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) outreach and training specialist Kali Puuohau joined us on Facebook Live to discuss health care plan changes and open enrollment. View this video directly in Facebook or on YouTube.

The Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) provides medical, chiropractic, prescription drug, dental, vision and life insurance benefits to all eligible State of Hawaii, City and County employees and retirees.

Now is the time when you should stop and think about health coverage for yourself and your family, and determine which plans will best meet your needs.

The open-enrollment period for Active Employee Health and Life insurance plans runs April 1 through April 30, 2019. The plan and new premium rates will be effective July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.

On April 1, HSTA's Board of Directors approved a supplemental contract agreement with the State of Hawaii and the Board of Education to increase health coverage contributions. Click here for the full story.


As of Monday, April 8, EUTF updated its 2019-20 active employee rates and contributions for EUTF (BU 05) here and HSTA VB here.


Click here for a reference sheet that HSTA created as a quick and easy way to compare updated plan rates in the coming year.

Open enrollment is your only annual opportunity to make changes to your health plan enrollment without experiencing a qualifying event. During open enrollment, you can:

  • Add a plan, change from one plan to another, or drop a plan,
  • Add an eligible dependent or drop a dependent, or
  • Change coverage tiers such as changing from single to family or family to two-party.

HSTA suggests that members take some time to assess their current plan enrollment(s) and the health plans available. It is in every member's best interest to analyze the health plans available and decide which plan(s) best meet member and their family's health care needs, taking cost and coverage into consideration.

Submit your form to DOE-EBU, P.O. Box 2360, Honolulu, HI 96804. The address is printed in the upper right corner of your form.

You are not required to do anything if you wish to remain with your current plan.

Click here for more information about open enrollment. If you have any questions, email eutf.outreach@hawaii.gov.


EUTF and Health Benefits FAQs

What is open enrollment?

Open enrollment is a period of time where you may do any of the following without having to experience a qualifying event: enroll in a plan, change from one plan to another, cancel a plan, add or drop a dependent, change tiers (self to family, two-party to self, etc.). Open enrollment is a time period when you should analyze the health plans available to you and your family and decide which will best suit your needs when taking cost and coverage into consideration. You are not required to do anything if you wish to remain with your current plan.

What is a qualifying event?

A qualifying event allows you to make changes to your health plan outside of the open enrollment window. Common events include: acquisition of alternative coverage, birth of newborn, court order to cover child, death, divorce or termination of domestic partnership, guardianship decree, legal separation, leave of absence without pay for more than 30 days, loss of alternative coverage, marriage, newly eligible or ineligible full time student aged 19 through 23, new hire, new domestic or civil union partner. Click here for a full list of qualifying events.

What are the new rates and when do they go into effect?

The new rates go into effect on July 1, 2019. Coverage dates are from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. New premiums will be deducted from your paycheck from July 20, 2019 through July 5, 2020. The rates can be found in the links below.

Click here for a reference sheet that HSTA created as a quick and easy way to compare plan rates in the coming year.

What is the difference between EUTF and HSTA VB?

In 2010, the state Legislature opted to sunset the HSTA VEBA Trust, which allowed HSTA members to have their own health care plans. Its elimination was supposed to save the state money by consolidating HSTA members, who had lower health care utilization rates, with all other state employees into the already existing EUTF. The state was sued over this move. In late 2010, Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto ruled in Kono v. Lingle that the EUTF needed to offer those covered under HSTA VEBA plans with EUTF plans that had the “same level of coverage.” These plans are now listed as HSTA VB plans under the EUTF and are limited only to those who were in HSTA VEBA Trust plans. Unfortunately, his ruling did not prevent premium costs from increasing.

Where can I find more information?

Informational sessions will be held throughout the state and webinars will take place throughout the month of April. Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) employees can use up to two hours of work time, including travel time to attend a session, or one and one-half hours to view a webinar, as long as it does not disrupt normal school/office operations and is approved by the supervisor. Informational sessions are approximately one and one-half hours long. View the full schedule of sessions and webinars here.

Download these EUTF resources (.pdf):

Use these interactive online tools:

  • EUTF Active Employee Premium Calculator: Use the Premium Calculator link below to compare 2019 premiums between your current plan and two additional plans.
  • EUTF Plan Finder: Use the EUTF Plan Finder tool to determine which Benefit Plans you are currently enrolled in based on the amounts from your pay stub.

View the Hawaii Department of Education's memo to employees and EUTF open enrollment highlights.

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