Effective January 1, 2014 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) all individuals and their family members are required to obtain health insurance or they may be subject to a tax penalty.

The health plan options listed here are provided to you, as an eligible participant in the University of Pennsylvania benefits program, and to your eligible dependents in accordance with Penn’s obligation under Employer Shared Responsibility provisions of the ACA.

It is important to remember that if you waive your University coverage, you are still responsible for obtaining coverage through some other source, such as a spouse or domestic partner’s plan or your parent’s plan (if you are under age 26); or you can obtain coverage via the Health Insurance Marketplace.

You are required to report to the IRS that you have coverage, whether through the University or some other source. The University has provided you with the required form (1095-C) in time for your tax filing. The 1095-C form will confirm that you were offered the minimum level of coverage each month and whether you elected the coverage or waived this coverage. For questions or to request a copy of your 1095-C, call Equifax at 1-855-823-3728.

Plan Changes as of July 1, 2016

Please take note of the following changes for the 2016–2017 plan year.

PennCare/Personal Choice PPO Plan

The PennCare/Personal Choice PPO plan deductible will increase as of July 1, 2016. Under the PennCare tier, the individual deductible will increase from $125 to $150, and the family deductible will increase from $375 to $450. Under the Personal Choice tier, the individual deductible will increase from $300 to $350, and the family deductible will increase from $900 to $1,050.

Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account Website

Penn’s Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) provider, ADP, moved its FSA administration to a new, enhanced platform on March 17. New debit cards were automatically issued for the participant only. If you need additional cards for your qualified dependents, log on to and select the FlexDirect FSA Manager link from the left menu, then click “Request Duplicate Card.”  The additional debit card will be issued in the dependent’s name. If you have any questions about your account or need additional assistance, contact the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236).

Dependent Eligibility Change

Effective July 1, 2016, the definition of dependent as related to health plan coverage will change to include only the legally married spouse of an employee, regardless of gender. This means that, as of July 1, no new same-sex domestic partner may be added as a dependent to a Penn health, dental and/or vision plan or dependent life insurance. This will apply whether there is a qualifying life event or if a new employee with a same-sex domestic partner is hired.

Prior to July 1, 2016, a new same-sex domestic partner may be added during Open Enrollment (April 18–29), if there is a qualifying life event, or if  an employee with a same-sex domestic partner is hired.

Same-sex domestic partners enrolled in a Penn health plan prior to July 1, 2016 may remain on the plan for an additional two years, until June 30, 2018. Dependent children of a same-sex domestic partner may remain on the plan for two years as long as they are under age 26.

After June 30, 2018, participants may continue coverage under COBRA or obtain coverage on their own. Participants who are no longer eligible for coverage under the new definition of dependent (i.e., legally married spouse) will be offered COBRA coverage for 36 months.

If you are not legally married to your same-sex domestic partner, you will continue to pay Federal, Social Security, and Medicare taxes on the value of the benefits extended to your partner and his/her children. Penn will continue to provide you with up to $125 per month (minus applicable taxes) through June 30, 2017, to help offset the imputed income tax on the medical plan. After June 30, 2017, the offset will end for those who have not married.

Supplemental Life Insurance

Effective July 1, 2016, supplemental life insurance rates will decrease.  This means you may pay less out of pocket for coverage that you currently have.

Making Changes During Open Enrollment

During Open Enrollment you need to determine if your current benefits still meet your needs or if you need to make a change, such as:

  • Enrolling in a health care 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 that you provide verification of that dependent’s eligibility under Penn’s plan rules. You’ll also need to provide verification if you re-enroll a spouse/partner who had previously been covered.

How to Enroll

You’ll be able to make your Open Enrollment elections from Monday, April 18 through Friday, April 29.

Just visit the online enrollment system and use your PennKey and password to log on. If you don’t have online access, you can contact the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENN-BEN (1-888-736-6236), Monday through Friday, between 8am and 6pm EST and complete your enrollment over the phone.

If You Don't Enroll

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

Your Contributions

Your contributions for medical, dental, vision, and the 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. If that is not the case, then your enrollment cannot be processed.

When Changes Are Effective

Any changes made during Open Enrollment will be effective as of July 1, 2016. New rates for all plans will begin with your July 2016 paycheck.

Outside of Open Enrollment, you may only modify your elections when you experience a life event change—such as marriage or the birth of a child—and even then, the IRS limits the types of changes you are allowed to make.

Attend a Presentation

Several Open Enrollment presentations will be held in the spring of 2016 so you can get more information and ask questions. Presentation run 45 minutes, followed y a Q&A session.

Presentation Date

Start Time


Tuesday, April 12


Houston Hall, Golkin Room

Thursday, April 14


Perelman School of Medicine,
**NEW LOCATION** John Morgan Building, Reunion Auditorium

Monday, April 18


Houston Hall, Golkin Room

Monday, April 25


Houston Hall, Golkin Room

If you can't make it to a presentation, you can view the PowerPoint here.

Attend a Fair

Representatives from Penn’s health care providers and administrators will be onsite to share information and answer questions. Learn about medical plans, prescription drug coverage, dental plans, vision coverage, flexible spending accounts and the Penn Benefits Center. At the Open Enrollment and Wellness Fair, you can also take advantage of free health screenings and wellness information on several topics.

Campus Locations for Online Enrollment

If you don’t have internet access at home or at work, don’t worry—log on to manage your benefits at one of these convenient locations:

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

Unique Advantage
3624 Market Street
Suite 1SD
Monday–Friday: 8am–5pm

Are You Newly Eligible for Benefits or Have You Experienced a Qualifying Event?

If you’re newly eligible for benefits or you experience a qualifying life event between now and June 30, 2016, you’ll need to enroll twice: once to elect or change your benefits for the current plan year (through June 30, 2016), and then again to elect your coverage for the 2016-2017 plan year (starting July 1, 2016).

Learn More About Open Enrollment

Stay up to date on the latest Open Enrollment information by:

Questions? Contact the Penn Benefits Center: 1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236).