The annual health benefits open enrollment period is September 26 – October 21, 2022.
The annual health benefits open enrollment period allows uninsured but eligible employees and retirees to enroll for coverage effective the following January 1. This is also an opportunity for currently insured subscribers (active employees, retirees and continuants) to change health plans, enroll or remove adult children from family coverage, change from individual to family coverage, change from family to individual coverage, or cancel coverage.
We encourage employees to electronically submit their enrollment changes. The enrollment process may vary between employers. Employers must verify their enrollment process and communicate instructions to employees. There is targeted enrollment information in the health benefits sections of the ETF web site. 2023 health insurance information will be available at the end of September prior to the open enrollment period. Please see the Employer’s Application Processing Instructions for 2023 later in this bulletin for more information.
The 2023 health benefits decision guides will be delivered to all employers at the end of September, if requested. The 2023 health benefits web pages will be available online to employers and members by the end of September. Visit etf.wi.gov for open enrollment information.
Please consider using the sample email at the end of this employer news to notify employees of open enrollment and important changes. To comply with federal notification requirements, see the Electronic Distribution of the health benefits decision guides section below. Since these web pages will not be available until the end of September, please do not send this email to your employees until the last week of September.
State Employer Open Enrollment Kickoff Meeting
2023 Virtual Benefits Webinars
Important Plan and Program Changes
Federal Section 1557 Non-Discrimination Information
General Open Enrollment Information
2023 Health Benefits Decision Guides Distribution
Additional Instructions and Information
Contacting the Health Plans
Sample Employee Emails
The open enrollment kickoff event for plan year 2023 will be held virtually. This kickoff meeting will follow a similar agenda as in previous years, and a recording of this event will later be available on the ETF website for viewing anytime.
Date: Thursday, September 15, 2022
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Registration: September 15 kickoff registration link
The employer kickoff meeting provides an opportunity to receive information from representatives from the health plans, benefit vendors, and ETF employees regarding benefit program changes effective January 1, 2023.
ETF is hosting a series of webinars for employers and members to connect with health benefits vendors during the 2023 open enrollment period. These webinars with the vendors will provide the same personal interaction with a vendor as a benefit fair or kickoff event from the safety of your own home or office.
Additional details and registration information will be provided in the near future. Attendees must pre-register to attend these events online via webinar. Due to the high demand, please register as soon as possible.
WEA Trust No Longer Available – Action Required: WEA Trust will no longer offer health insurance after December 31, 2022. All current WEA Trust members must select a new health plan during open enrollment in order to have coverage for plan year 2023. Members who do not select a new health plan will not be covered effective January 1, 2023. WEA plans include:
Access Plan by WEA Trust
State Maintenance Plan (SMP) by WEA Trust
Medicare Plus by WEA Trust
WEA Trust – East
WEA Trust West – Chippewa Valley
WEA Trust West – Mayo Clinic Health System
ETF strongly encourages employers to process all WEA-related enrollment changes as a priority. WEA is working with ETF to have all enrollments and invoices reconciled and closed no later than March 31, 2023.
New Access Plan Vendor: Dean Health Plan will provide coverage for Access plan designs beginning January 1, 2023. Members currently enrolled in the Access plan must enroll with Dean Health Plan during open enrollment to continue coverage in this plan.
New Medicare Plus Vendor: UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will provide coverage for Medicare Plus beginning January 1, 2023. Members currently enrolled in Medicare Plus must enroll with UHC during open enrollment to continue coverage in this plan.
This is a new offering from UHC. It does not impact IYC Medicare Advantage or its benefits.
New Health Plan: Security Health Plan will return for plan year 2023. This new health plan will cover select counties in west central Wisconsin with key providers from Marshfield Clinic Health System.
Health Plan Name Changes: Several health plans have renamed service areas for the 2023 plan year. Members currently enrolled in a renamed network do not need to take any action during open enrollment to stay enrolled.
New Health Plan Service Areas: There are four new service areas for plan year 2023. Visit etf.wi.gov/insurance for more information about these new service areas.
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative
(Offered in partnership with Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire)
State Maintenance Plan (SMP): Will be offered by Dean Health Plan. Subscribers who want to continue with SMP will have to enroll during open enrollment with SMP by Dean.
SMP continues to be available in Florence County. Employees should make sure their providers are in-network or select another plan.
Medical Benefit Changes: There are two minor medical benefit changes for plan year 2023, including:
Pharmacy Benefit Change: A new specialty drug program (clear bagging) has been added through the University of Wisconsin Specialty Pharmacy for non-Medicare members receiving care within the UW Health System. This new program is limited to certain non-oncology specialty drugs. Contact your specialty drug administrator for more information.
New Uniform Dental Benefit: The uniform dental benefit and all supplemental dental benefits will continue to be administered by Delta Dental.
Dental Rate Changes: Delta Dental of Wisconsin will continue to provide the Preventive Plan, Select, and Select Plus Supplemental Dental Plans in 2023.
Dental rates are changing effective January 1, 2023.
Accident Plan by Securian Financial: There are two notable changes to the Accident Plan for plan year 2023:
Disclaimer: UW System and UW Hospital and Clinics employees may have different supplemental benefits.
Vision Plan by DeltaVision: DeltaVision, with EyeMed Vision Care, will continue to provide supplemental vision coverage in 2023.
Employees who wish to claim the $2,000 opt-out incentive must complete the Health Insurance Application/Change (ET-2301) form (complete Sections 1, 12 and 13) unless the employer has an ETF approved electronic system to gather and report this information (for example, STAR). Employees must complete this opt-out request each year.
New Vendor Microsite: Optum Financial has launched a new microsite. Visit myoptumfinancial.com/etf to view resources and access the member portal.
Pre-Tax Savings Account Limit Changes: Multiple contribution and carryover limits have changed.
Minimum Election and Carryover Amount Requirements: ETF is implementing two rules regarding account minimums to help ensure members are actively engaging with some pre-tax savings accounts on an annual basis.
To be eligible to enroll in the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) or Access HDHP, the subscribing employee must be enrolled in the Health Savings Account (HSA). In addition, the subscriber cannot:
Note: If a subscriber has Veterans Administration (VA) benefits, this is not disqualifying health care coverage. The subscriber may only utilize VA benefits for care of a service-related disability. If the subscriber does not have a service-related disability, they are unable to contribute to an HSA if they have accessed their Veterans Administration (VA) benefits in the 90 days prior to open enrollment or if they access VA benefits during their enrollment in HDHP/HSA benefit option. (It is the subscriber’s responsibility to know when they can and cannot contribute. If the subscriber has questions, they should speak with their tax consultant.)
If the employee/subscriber meets all eligibility criteria and does not have any disqualifying health care coverage, but the spouse and/or dependent(s) have other health insurance coverage (such as non-HDHP health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or TRICARE), the subscriber and their spouse and/or dependent(s) are eligible for the family HDHP/HSA. The subscriber can contribute up to the HSA family maximum amount and the $1,000 catch-up, if applicable. HSA funds can be used for the spouse’s and/or eligible tax dependent’s eligible medical expenses if the same expenses are not being reimbursed in another way.
Reminder: An HSA application must be accepted, not just submitted, to be eligible for an HDHP.
The deadline to earn the 2022 Well Wisconsin incentive is October 14, 2022. Participants will receive the $150 gift card sent by postal mail to their home address.
Two new Well Wisconsin web resources are available on the ETF website:
Reminder: Please notify ETF of requests for health benefit information to be translated into languages other than English. Please share data about which information is being requested and in what language. Send to email@example.com.
To change health plans or coverage levels or opt-out of medical or decline dental coverage, employees must submit a completed electronic or paper health insurance application to their employers no later than Friday, October 21, 2022.
Employees may select any health plan regardless of their county of residence but should consider whether the providers are within a reasonable distance for medical care. The 2023 Health Plan Search page will identify counties covered by each health plan, as well as a listing of their major providers and links to provider directories.
The updated Group Health Insurance Application/Change (ET-2301) form can be downloaded from ETF’s Internet site or you may order applications by completing the Online Forms Order page found on the employer forms page on the ETF website.
Retirees & Continuants: ETF mails decision guides directly to retirees and former employees who have continued their health insurance coverage. These mailed guides will have the Health Insurance Application/Change for Retirees (ET-2331) enclosed. Employees who wish to change health plans and who will retire effective January 1, 2023 or later, must complete their health benefits applications as active employees. Employees who will retire prior to January 1, 2023 should submit their health benefits application to ETF. Changes for retiree and continuant coverage are handled by ETF.
The 2023 health benefits decision guides must be distributed in a timely manner to all employees. The distribution method (hard copy, link to web version, PDF file) is determined by the employer. It is acceptable for employers to distribute health benefits decision guides using an electronic method. Employee distribution should include:
Employers distributing open enrollment information electronically must incorporate the following as part of their electronic distribution procedures:
Note: Distributing links to web versions or PDF files of the health benefits decision guides is acceptable. However, if employees who do not have access to a computer and/or employees who receive the electronic distribution but request a paper copy, must be given one.
Employees must contact health plans directly to request the most up-to-date information regarding service area and/or provider availability related to open enrollment.
Note: When contacting a health plan or Navitus, employees must identify themselves as a State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program subscriber in order to receive information pertinent to the program administered by ETF.
Health plans often report they are unable to contact current subscribers due to incorrect addresses on file. Please remind employees who participate in the group health insurance program that they are responsible for providing address changes and revisions of other relevant information, such as marital status changes, to you via a myETF Benefits update or the Group Health Insurance Application/Change (ET-2301) form.
Employers are responsible for keying changes submitted on paper by using the myETF Benefits system found in the Online Tools section of the ETF website or by electronic file transmission if the employer uses this method. Once mailing addresses are updated, employees will receive provider information in a timely fashion, including information for the annual disabled dependent verification process, which enables members whose dependents remain eligible in 2023 to continue their current health insurance. If an employer uses electronic file transmission, employee address updates must be sent separate from the annual open enrollment election or manually keyed by the employer into the myETF Benefits System.
During the open enrollment period, employees should be directed to self-service enrollment options whenever possible. Employers should direct employees to the appropriate payroll center for directions on how to process any application materials.
Employers must either provide their own electronic method of enrollment to transmit to ETF, allow their employees to enroll online or accept paper applications and enter them into myETF on behalf of the employee.
Employers that accept a paper copy of the Group Health Insurance Application/Change (ET-2301) form must collect the applications no later than the close of business on October 21, 2022. If an employer accepts a paper application, the employer must enter that application into the myETF Benefits system on behalf of their employee through the Online Tools link to the myETF Benefits System found on the ETF website. The application is not to be mailed or faxed to ETF for processing and keying. The deadline for employers to enter health benefits applications into the myETF Benefits system is November 11, 2022.
If the employee submits a paper application to their employer, ETF does not require that a copy of the application be submitted to ETF. Employers are not to make entries on behalf of their employee without an application as documentation of the employee’s request. The employer is to maintain a copy of the paper application in the employee’s file.
If employers are going to accept a Group Health Insurance Application/Change (ET-2301) form, the following steps in processing the application are required:
All applications received by the employer on or prior to October 21, 2022 must be entered electronically by November 11, 2022. This deadline must be met by the employer to ensure health plans and Navitus receive the contract information timely so employees receive their health plan information and identification cards prior to January 1, 2023.
Entry into myETF Benefits of an employee’s request to withdraw or rescind a health benefits application must be completed by ETF. Employees may rescind a 2023 application by notifying their employers in writing prior to December 31, 2022. The written request should be filed with the employee’s records. Forward one copy of the employee’s written request to rescind to ETF. An employee may also rescind their request by writing “Rescind” across the top of their original application and initialing. Forward a copy of this updated application to ETF for processing and keep a copy for the employee’s file. If the employee enrolled through an employer’s human resources benefit application, a copy of the enrollment screen must be submitted, with “Rescind” across the top and initialed by the employee. Retain a copy for your employee’s records. ETF will update myETF Benefits by deleting the request and reinstating the employee’s original coverage.
If an employee submitted his/her request through the myETF Benefits system and now wants to rescind that request, the employee must submit a written request to their employer by December 31, 2022. Employers are to make a copy of that written request and forward it to ETF while retaining a copy for your employee’s records. ETF will update myETF Benefits by deleting the request and reinstating the employee’s original coverage.
Specific instructions are found in the State Agency Health Insurance Standards, Guidelines and Administration Employer Manual (ET-1118):
Contact the Employer Communication Center at 1-877-533-5020 with questions or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The updated Health Plan Contact List (ET-1728) is meant for employers to use when contacting the health plans for assistance with membership, supplies, etc. The contact list includes email addresses and fax numbers when available.
Note that employees who need assistance should contact the health plan directly, using the health plan contact information for members that will be available on the updated health plan pages soon and in the decision guides. These are customer service lines and are fully staffed to handle a large number of phone calls. Employees should specify they are enrolled in the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program when calling the health plans.
You can use the below sample email to provide health benefits information to your employees:
Important Information about Your Health Benefits for 2023
The annual open enrollment period, which begins on September 26 and ends on October 21, 2022, is right around the corner.
This is your chance to:
Changes you make during open enrollment become effective January 1, 2023.
Your To-Do List:
Visit etf.wi.gov for information about your 2023 benefits.
Language assistance is available.