Annual enrollment for benefits

Tara Turner

Tara Turner, benefits manager, wrote this column.

Fermilab’s annual enrollment for benefits ended on Nov. 6. Thank you for your participation and cooperation! This year, for the first time in quite some time, we conducted a complete re-enrollment for health insurance benefits, receiving more than 1,700 enrollment and confirmation forms. You should have already received an annual enrollment confirmation postcard, which the Benefits Office sent to your Fermilab mail station in late November.

Here are a few reminders about your benefits as we wind down 2012 and get ready for the new year:

  • Your current medical ID cards will remain valid through 2013. However, CIGNA and Blue Cross/Blue Shield will issue new 2013 medical ID cards to every participant. You should receive your new ID card during the last week of 2012 or the first week of 2013. If you do not receive your new medical ID card by Jan. 7, please contact the Benefits Office by e-mail at
  • Your deductible, out-of-pocket maximum and dental benefit limit will be reset on Jan. 1. Consider timing your discretionary medical and dental procedures to get the most out of your benefits with the lowest out-of-pocket spending.
  • The balance of your 2012 Health Care Flexible Spending Account must be used by March 15 of next year, but Dependent Care FSA funds must be spent by the end of this month. You may submit claims to Payflex for both accounts through April 30, 2013. Any unspent funds will be forfeited. Claims may be submitted online at, by mail or by fax.
  • The maximum annual deferral for 403(b) plans will increase to $17,500 in 2013. The catch-up contribution, which is available for employees age 50 or older, will be unchanged next year at $5,500. If you would like to take advantage of the higher maximum deferral, you must complete a new Salary Reduction Agreement, which is available on the WDRS benefits section Web page.
  • Your first paycheck of 2013 will reflect the new 2013 employee contribution rates for coverage, any changed deductions relating to elections you made during annual enrollment, your 2013 Flexible Spending Account enrollment(s) and your 403(b) plan salary deferral. Please check your first pay stub and the Employee Self Service website to confirm that your coverage and deductions reflect the benefit plan elections you intended to make in 2013.

If you have any questions about annual enrollment or your employee benefits, please contact the Benefits Office at, or call a member of the Benefits Office staff for assistance.