SMU 2014 Open Enrollment takes place Oct. 12-31, 2013

Benefits U logoSMU’s 2014 Open Enrollment period began Saturday, Oct. 12 and ends Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. The Open Enrollment period is the only opportunity for SMU employees to make changes to benefits elections for the coming year, except for qualified life event changes.

For 2014 open enrollment, you must take action if:

  • You want to make changes to your current coverage, including adding or dropping dependents.
  • You want to participate in one or both of the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) or the Health Savings Account (HSA) in 2014. You must re-enroll in the FSAs or the HSA even if you participated in 2013.

If you do not make any changes during open enrollment, your 2013 elections will continue for the upcoming calendar year, except for contributions to the FSAs and the HSA.

In 2014, significant provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) require changes that may affect you:

  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, all U.S. citizens will be required by law to have health insurance.
  • If you do not have health insurance in 2014, you will pay a penalty to the federal government. The penalty is the greater of $95 (up to three per family, or $385) or 1 percent of your income.

Your health insurance coverage options for 2014 include:

  • An employer-sponsored health plan like SMU’s or a spouse’s employer health plan.
  • A health plan available through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

All of the SMU Health and Wellness Plan medical options meet or exceed the government’s “minimum essential value” criteria. As a result, SMU’s benefits-eligible faculty and staff members and their eligible dependents will not be eligible for a premium subsidy in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

> Learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace at

SMU will continue to offer the $1,000, $2,000, $2,500 and $5,000 deductible options. Medical premiums for all University plans except the $5,000 deductible plan will increase 5 percent – half the national healthcare inflation average of 10 percent.

Specialist office visit and emergency room copays will increase in 2014. The Primary Care Physician (PCP) copay of $25 and the Urgent Care Center copay of $35 will remain the same.

Changes in copay will vary depending on the medical plan you choose for 2014:

  • For the $1,000 or $2,000 deductible plans, the copay for specialist office visits will increase from $40 to $75. The emergency room copay will increase from $100 to $300.
  • For the $2,500 deductible plan, copays do not apply until the deductible is met. The copay for specialist office visits will increase from $40 to $75. The emergency room copay will increase from $100 to $300.
  • The $5,000 deductible plan has no copays. All covered services apply toward the deductible.

> Find more information in SMU’s 2014 Benefits Guide

Express Scripts will continue to administer SMU’s pharmacy plan in 2014; however, CVS and Walgreens pharmacies will no longer be in the retail pharmacy network available to SMU faculty and staff members.

Participating pharmacies have agreed to offer greater prescription discounts to remain in the retail pharmacy network, including Costco, Kroger, Sam’s Club, Target, Tom Thumb and Wal-Mart, as well as several independently owned stores.

The Express Scripts web portal,, enables faculty and staff members to get retail and mail-order pricing information for prescription medications.

> Read more about SMU’s new pharmacy plan for 2014

SMU has provided on-campus health screenings for a number of years. Beginning in October 2013, those screenings will be replaced by a more comprehensive preventive health check-up provided by Catapult Health. The preventive health check-up will continue to be free for all faculty and staff members.

The Catapult Health check-up takes about 45 minutes and includes these elements:

  • Private 20-minute check-up with a health technician
    • Lab-accurate finger-prick blood test that measures cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose
    • Biometric values measurements including blood pressure and waist circumference
  • Private 10-minute consultation with a nurse practitioner
    • Review Personal Health Report and develop a Personal Action Plan
    • Review listing of programs SMU makes available to help you improve identified health risk factors

In addition, the University will offer the opportunity to participate in Healthy Outcomes, a voluntary pilot program created to reward healthy behavior by encouraging us to become more aware of our health status and take action to improve it, if needed.

> Read more about SMU’s Healthy Outcomes voluntary pilot program

SMU uses a secure online open-enrollment application available through Access.SMU. To make your benefits elections for 2014:

  • Enter your Access.SMU user ID and password as you normally would to review your pay statement.
  • Click Benefits in the Employee Self-Service navigation on the right, then choose Benefits Enrollment to access your personalized Open Enrollment record.
  • Be sure to read all instructions carefully before making elections for 2014.

More information on vendors and plan changes will be available at SMU’s 2013 Human Resources Fair, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballrooms. Vendor representatives will be on hand to answer questions about your options.

In addition, SMU Human Resources has scheduled a series of information sessions Thursday, Oct. 17 to Monday, Oct. 28 designed to help faculty and staff members better understand the medical plans and other resources available to them. RSVP online for the “How To Be a Better Healthcare Consumer” session of your choice.

> Consult SMU’s 2014 Benefits Guide on the web

> New SMU health program pays incentives for wellness, prevention
SMU to use new pharmacy network in 2014
SMU’s Fall 2013 flu shot clinics begin Sept. 25

New SMU health program pays incentives for wellness, prevention

Benefits U logoIn an effort to improve the health of SMU’s faculty and staff, while helping to control rising medical costs, the University is offering a voluntary health and wellness program with a $300 cash incentive for those who successfully complete the program.

Healthy Outcomes, a voluntary pilot program, is designed to reward healthy behavior and to acknowledge the crucial role of prevention in reducing the cost of health care, says Jeff Strese, executive director of SMU Human Resources. “We want to encourage employees to be aware of their health status and to take action, if needed.”

The program is a response to significant portions of the Affordable Care Act that go into effect Jan. 1, 2014. The healthcare reform law encourages better outcomes and lower costs by permitting employers to offer incentives to employees who take steps to become more aware of their health issues and reduce their known risk factors.

A key component of the program is a baseline check-up designed to identify specific health risks and help participants take steps to maintain good health or improve risk factors.

Catapult Health logoSMU has contracted with Catapult Health to administer the check-ups on campus. The 45-minute Baseline Check-up will measure blood pressure, height, weight, and waist circumference. The Check-up includes a finger-prick blood screening which will identify any risk factors associated with HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose. You will also have a private consultation with a nurse practitioner to help you establish your health goals.

The Check-up meets the screening requirements for those participating in Wellpower and for those who wish to participate in the 2014 Deductible Discount Program.

The Healthy Outcomes Program is open to all SMU faculty and staff members enrolled in a SMU medical plan on January 1, 2014.

There are three steps to completing the pilot successfully and earning a $300 Healthy Outcomes Achievement Award:

  1. Complete a Baseline Check-up before Friday, Nov. 25, 2013 using Catapult Health or your primary care physician. During the Baseline Check-up, you will complete a Commitment Form to officially join the program.
  2. After your Baseline Check-up, your Achievement Period begins. You will have until Thursday, May 15, 2014 to meet your health goals based on your screening results:
    1. If you have no risk factors, your goal will be to maintain your good health by keeping your lab values in the normal range.
    2. If you have one or more risk factors, your goal will be to improve your lab values for each risk factor identified.
    3. Catapult will provide information about SMU’s wellness resources that may help you achieve your goals, or you may select a program of your choice and/or work directly with your primary care physician.
    4. If you are pregnant, you may download and complete a maternity waiver form found on the appointment scheduler website.
    5. If you have a medical condition that would impede your ability to meet the program goals, Catapult and your physician can work with you to develop an alternative program. Email Catapult to request a medical condition form to be completed by your physician.
  3. Complete the Results Check-up before Thursday, May 15, 2014 using Catapult Health or your primary care physician. The Results Check-up will include another finger-prick blood screening that will determine if you met your health goals during the Achievement Period.

Check-up results and information are protected by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). SMU will not have access to your individually identifiable health information.

SMU will receive a list of names along with the Check-up date in order to properly credit participants with completing a screening for Wellpower and the 2014 Deductible Discount. If you volunteer to participate in the Healthy Outcomes program, your name will be released to SMU only if you qualify for the $300 cash incentive. SMU will not know if you volunteered for the program, but did not complete it successfully.

The on-campus Baseline Check-ups will begin Tuesday, Oct. 29 and continue through Friday, Nov. 15 on the main campus. The SMU-in-Plano campus will host the final day of Check-ups on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. Make an appointment online at or by calling (214) 269-1513 and following the automated instructions. The online and phone schedulers are both available 24/7.

The Check-up is open to all benefit-eligible staff and faculty. Spouses and family members are not eligible to participate at this time.

Additional information about how to use results from your own physician, screening/check-up locations, directions to schedule your appointment and more may be found on the SMU HR website.

Watch your mailbox for more information from SMU Human Resources.

> SMU to use new pharmacy network in 2014
SMU’s Fall 2013 flu shot clinics begin Sept. 25

New series on SMU healthcare and benefits for 2013-14

SMU Benefits U logoKey provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act will become law Jan. 1, 2014. As SMU’s open enrollment period (Oct. 12-31, 2013) approaches, faculty and staff members will receive important information about new benefits programs and changes to existing ones.

Beginning the week of Sept. 16, 2013, SMU Forum will post a series of articles on topics ranging from prescription services to wellness initiatives. These articles will appear throughout the 2013-14 academic year to help keep the University community informed about health and wellness issues.

Bookmark our Benefits tag to keep track of this series as each story appears.

> Visit SMU Human Resources online