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myHR: Open Enrollment Special Edition

It's Open Enrollment Time

Penn’s Benefits Open Enrollment, your annual opportunity to update your elections for the coming plan year, is here. This year, Open Enrollment runs from April 17 through April 28. This special edition of myHR will help you consider your options so you can make informed choices that are best for you and your family.

Making Changes During Open Enrollment


During Open Enrollment, consider whether your current benefits still meet your needs. Now is your opportunity to make a change, such as:

  • Enrolling in a healthcare plan for the first time, or dropping an existing plan.
  • Switching to a different medical, dental, or vision plan.
  • Increasing or decreasing your life insurance coverage.
  • Changing how much you contribute to a flexible spending account.
  • Adding or dropping a dependent from your benefits coverage.*

* If you add a new dependent, you’ll receive a letter requesting verification of that dependent’s eligibility under Penn’s plan rules.

If You Don’t Make Changes
If you don’t make changes during Open Enrollment, you’ll receive the same coverage you had last year.

If You Waive Coverage
Under the Affordable Care Act, if you waive your University coverage, you are still responsible for obtaining coverage through some other source. For example, you can obtain coverage through a spouse’s or domestic partner’s plan, your parent’s plan (if you are under age 26), or via the Health Insurance Marketplace.

When Changes Are Effective
Changes made during Open Enrollment will be effective as of July 1, 2017. New rates for all plans will be reflected in July 2017 paychecks.

Your contributions for medical, dental, vision, and flexible spending accounts are made with pre-tax dollars. You pay for employee and dependent life insurance with after-tax dollars. All contributions are taken from your paycheck in the month for which your benefits are effective. Your pay must support your contributions for the benefits elected.

Making Changes After Enrollment
The choices you make during Benefits Open Enrollment will remain in effect through June 30, 2017, unless you experience a qualifying event. Qualifying events include the birth or adoption of a child, marriage, domestic partnership (prior to July 1, 2017), divorce or separation, death of a dependent, and change in your dependent’s eligibility for benefits. Keep in mind that the IRS limits the types of changes you can make for qualifying events. If you experience a qualifying event, please contact the Penn Benefits Center within 30 days at 1-888-PENN-BEN (1-888-736-6236), Monday–Friday, 8am–6pm (Eastern Time).

How to Enroll or Update Your Selections


You can enroll or make changes to your benefits coverage online at Log in with your PennKey and password.

If you don’t have internet access, you can enroll by calling the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENN-BEN (1-888-736-6236), Monday–Friday, 8am–6pm (Eastern Time) to complete your enrollment over the phone. You can also enroll online from one of the following campus locations:

Location Hours
Goldstein Undergraduate Study Center
3420 Walnut Street (ground level of Van Pelt Dietrich Library)
Monday–Thursday: 24 hours daily
Friday: closes 12 midnight
Saturday: 10am–2am
Sunday: opens 10am
Human Resources
3401 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Monday–Friday: 8:30am–5pm
AppleOne Employment Services Penn Job Center
3440 Market Street, Suite 105
Monday–Friday: 8am–5pm

Plan Changes Effective July 1, 2017


Penn Is Doubling the Health Savings Account Seed Money

Effective July 1, 2017, Penn will double the employer contribution (seed) amount for Health Saving Account (HSA) enrollees in the Aetna High Deductible Health Plan.

The seed money will increase from $500 to $1,000 for the single tier, and from $1,000 to $2,000 if any dependents are covered. This money will fund your HSA account whether or not you decide to make additional contributions on your own. The deductible will remain the same under the single and family tier. This means that there will be more dollars for you to use, invest, and/or save for future health expenses.

There will be a presentation on the High Deductible Health Plan and the Health Savings Account on April 24.

Copay Changes for PennCare/Personal Choice PPO, Aetna POS II, and Keystone/AmeriHealth HMO

Lower Retail Clinic Copays
Effective July 1, 2017, the retail clinic copay will decrease. Under the Personal Choice tier, the retail clinic copay will decrease from $30 to $25. The Aetna POS II retail clinic copay will decrease from $40 to $30, and the Keystone HMO retail clinic copay will decrease from $35 to $25.

Specialist Copay Changes
Effective July 1, 2017, the specialist copay will increase. Under the PennCare tier, the specialist copay will increase from $30 to $40. Under the Personal Choice tier, the specialist copay will increase from $40 to $50. The Aetna POS II specialist copay will increase from $40 to $50, and the Keystone HMO specialist copay will increase from $35 to $45. This change also impacts spinal manipulations for all three plans, as well as routine x-ray/radiology for the Aetna POS II plan.

Laboratory/Pathology Copay Change for PennCare/Personal Choice PPO Plan and Keystone/AmeriHealth HMO Plan

Effective July 1, 2017, a $25 copay will apply to laboratory/pathology under the PennCare/Personal Choice PPO Plan and the Keystone HMO plan.

New Health Care Flexible Spending Account Limit

The IRS has increased the limit from $2,550 to $2,600. A flexible spending account is a special account you put pre-tax money into that you use to pay for certain IRS eligible out-of-pocket healthcare costs.

Introducing Penn Care Connects

University of Pennsylvania employees now have easy access to new patient appointment scheduling through a concierge line. Find a Penn Primary Care Physician closer to work or home with an appointment time that meets your needs. Appointments are available within two weeks. Call 267-414-2208.

Part-Time Healthcare Benefits

Regular part-time faculty and staff are eligible for the same healthcare plan offerings as full-time faculty and staff. The entire cost is paid by the member. Effective July 1, 2017, current part-time faculty and staff will also be eligible to enroll in the ACA plan. Administered by Aetna, Penn’s ACA plan doesn’t require a primary care provider or referral. The plan has in-network or out–of–network coverage. The individual deductible is $900, and the family deductible is $2,000.

It is important to note that the cost of the single coverage ACA plan is partially subsidized by the University. The cost of all other plans for part-time employees will still be paid by the member.

Specialty Medication

In addition to CVS Pharmacies and CVS Specialty Mail Service, specialty drug prescriptions can also be filled at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania Pharmacy, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center Pharmacy, Pennsylvania Hospital Pharmacy, and Penn Medicine at Radnor Pharmacy.

Surgery Coverage

Sexual reassignment surgery coverage is available under all plans effective July 1, 2017.

Supplemental Life Insurance

Effective July 1, 2017, supplemental life insurance rates will decrease. This means you may pay less out of pocket for coverage.

Learn More


Be sure to use the available tools and resources that can help you make an informed decision that’s right for you and your family. Visit to access plan summaries, benefit comparison charts, contribution charts, and online provider directories. 

You can also contact the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENN-BEN (1-888-736-6236), Monday–Friday, 8am-6pm (Eastern Time), or email Human Resources at  

Attend a Presentation or Open Enrollment Fair


Start Time


Presentation and Q&A

Thursday, April 20


Irvine Auditorium, G-16

Open Enrollment Fair

Thursday, April 20


New Bolton Center, Alumni Hall
Presentation with High Deductible Health Plan session

Monday, April 24


Houston Hall, Hall of Flags

Presentation and Q&A Tuesday, April 25 11am-1pm Houston Hall, Golkin Room,


Health Advocate at Your Service

Save time, money, and worry with Health Advocate—a free and confidential service for you and your family. With a simple phone call, you’ll find personalized assistance in resolving health care-related issues. Trained Personal Health Advocates will work with you one on one to find the solutions you need. They’ll help you sort out billing concerns, get approval for covered services, locate the right treatment facilities, coordinate health care for your elderly parents, and more. Whenever you need help, call Health Advocate toll-free at 1-866-799-2329.

Review Your Life Insurance Beneficiary

Open Enrollment is a good time to protect your loved ones by reviewing your life insurance beneficiary and update the information if needed. Log onto and look under "My Information."

You may update your life insurance beneficiary as often as you like. You may choose as many beneficiaries as you’d like, whether a spouse, child, other family members, or friends. You can even choose an entity like a charity, trust or your estate as your life insurance beneficiary.

A Focus on Wellness


Be in the Know, Penn’s Wellness Campaign

Penn’s Be in the Know wellness campaign supports you in reaching your health and wellness goals. Participants earn points toward cash incentives when they complete the Core Actions (a biometric screening and online health assessment) and Bonus Actions. The more you do, the more points and cash you’ll earn – up to $200 (less applicable payroll taxes). Visit for more information.

Penn’s Behavioral Health Benefits

Penn’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides eligible faculty and staff and their immediate family members access to free, confidential counseling and referral services for personal and professional life issues. EAP services are available by phone, online, and through face-to-face sessions. Call Penn Behavioral Health 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-321-4433, or visit