Open enrollment takes place Nov. 1-15; start planning your 2016 selections

During open enrollment Nov. 1-15, you’ll have the chance to make changes to your 2016 City benefits. This year’s open enrollment period is shorter than usual, lasting two weeks instead of three. Please plan ahead to meet the Nov. 15 deadline.

So you can start planning, here’s what you need to know to make decisions about your coverage next year.

Changes to health care flexible spending accounts

A change beginning in 2016 will protect you from losing up to $500 in unspent health care flexible spending account (FSA) money.  Unspent money greater than $25 but less than or equal to $500 that remains in your health care flexible spending account at the end of 2016 will carry over to your 2017 flexible spending account.   

Please note: Unused 2015 health care flexible spending account money will not carry over into 2016. The carryover change begins with 2016 health care FSAs. In 2015 and earlier, money remaining in a flexible spending account at the end of the year is forfeited. Your 2015 FSA is still a “use it or lose it” plan.

Learn more about flexible spending accounts.

Medical plan

The medical plans and health care provider networks offered by the City do not change for 2016. There will still be one plan design with a choice of three networks of health care providers.

Your deductible, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximum stay the same. Learn more about the medical plan.

Health insurance premiums

The City contributes to the cost of your health insurance premiums. In 2016, the City will contribute $512 per month for single coverage and $1,383 per month for family coverage.

The amount you pay in 2016 premiums will depend on the network of health care providers you choose and whether or not you participated in the employee wellness program in 2015. Those who completed the wellness program by Aug. 31 will pay the “wellness rate” – a lower monthly rate than those who didn’t. Half of your monthly premium is deducted from your first paycheck each month and the other half is deducted from your second paycheck each month. 


Optional life insurance

One standard rate will apply for smokers and nonsmokers who choose the City’s optional life insurance benefit in 2016. Visit for the monthly rates, instructions on how to calculate your premiums and information on how to increase or decrease your life insurance amounts. (Note: Proof of good health is required to add life insurance or increase the amount of your optional life insurance.)


The City deposits money into your HRA/VEBA account, administered by WageWorks, each month to help you cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. The 2016 HRA/VEBA contribution remains $90 per month for single coverage and $190 per month for family coverage.

What you need to do

During open enrollment, log in to COMET to:

Even if you choose to make no changes to your 2016 benefits and don’t want a 2016 flexible spending account, you should still log in to COMET to submit your benefit selections to ensure your enrollments are accurate. To make changes to your 2016 benefits in COMET:

If you receive a paper open enrollment form with the open enrollment materials that will soon be mailed to your home, you have the option of enrolling with the form or enrolling with COMET.

After open enrollment ends, you will receive a confirmation statement outlining the 2016 benefits you are enrolled in. It is your responsibility to let the Benefits Office know if anything is incorrect on that form before the new plan year begins Jan. 1, 2016.

Learn more

Open enrollment information will be sent to your home at the end of October. For more information about your 2016 benefits, watch for the short open enrollment video that will be coming soon or attend an open enrollment meeting.

Published Oct 20, 2015



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