State Employees Can Change Health Insurance or Opt Out by Jan. 18

health care words in blue-heart-shaped image.

Published December 12, 2018

Health insurance carriers have announced changes for 2019. State employees can make allowed changes to health insurance through January 18, 2019.  

Eligibility

Active state employees who are enrolled in the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) are eligible to:

  • Transfer health care options
  • Change from family to individual coverage
  • Voluntarily cancel coverage 
    • Please note: UB's coverage ends 12/26 at 11:59 pm
    • You will receive a coverage termination letter from NYSHIP mailed to your home address on file
  • Enroll in the Opt-out Program (if eligible)

Employees currently participating in the NYSHIP Opt-out Program must re-enroll for 2019. 

No action is required if you wish to keep your current health plan.

Employees participating in the NYSHIP Opt-out Program must re-enroll every year.

Employees who are represented by UUP are not eligible to participate in the Opt-out Program for 2019.

Changes will go into effect on 12/27/2018.

If you are changing your health insurance carrier, any doctor visits from December 27 and on will be billed to your new carrier retroactively.

2019 Health Insurance Costs

If you have questions about plan coverage, please contact the carriers directly.

Plan Biweekly Cost
Salary Less Than $44,312 or Grade 9 or Less Individual Family
Empire Plan (PPO):
1-877-769-7447
$42.90 $189.12
Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY (HMO):
716-884-2800
$38.24 $164.10
Independent Health Association (HMO):
1-800-453-1910
$37.36 $158.88
Salary of $44,312 or More
Grade 10 or Higher
Individual  Family 
Empire Plan (PPO):
1-877-769-7447
$57.20 $225.09
Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY (HMO):
716-884-2800
$50.98 $195.49
Independent Health Association (HMO):
1-800-453-1910
$49.81 $189.33

Please note:  2019 Rates are not yet available for Non-Ratified Groups including NYSCOBA, PBANYS and PEF. As soon as the rates become available , they will be posted.

 

To Make Your Changes

Download

  • All forms and supporting documentation are due in our offices (120 Crofts Hall) by close of business on January 18, 2019.

Download and follow the instructions provided in the enrollment package.  Incomplete paperwork cannot be processed.

Opt-out Program Eligibility

The Opt-out Program is available to eligible employees who have other employer-sponsored group health insurance. YOU MUST RE-ENROLL IN THE OPT-OUT PROGRAM EVERY YEAR.

Eligibility Requirements for the Opt-out Program:

  • You must be a member of a group eligible for the Opt-out Program and you must have been enrolled in NYSHIP by April 1, 2018.
  • You must be a member of a group eligible for the Opt-out Program and you must have been enrolled in NYSHIP on your first date of NYSHIP eligibility if that date is later than April 1, 2018.
  • You must have remained continuously enrolled in NYSHIP while eligible for the employee share of the premium through the end of 2018.
  • You are currently participating in the Opt-out Program and you wish to continue your enrollment.
    • Please note: Employees who are represented by UUP are not eligible to participate in this program for 2019.

Enroll or Re-enroll in the Opt-out Program

Download

Should you choose to opt out, if eligible, you can opt out based on your current individual or family enrollment.

UUP Employees Who Were Enrolled in the Opt-out Program 2018

  • If you are going to continue your current health insurance then no action is needed. 
  • If you want to enroll in health insurance at UB please download the Option Transfer Enrollment Package for 2019.
    • Follow the instructions for 'Changing Health Insurance Carriers'.
    • Your option transfer is based on your current Opt-out program status of individual or family.
      • If Opt-out status was individual and you want to enroll in family coverage see next section, 'Making Other Insurance Changes' for additional information.

Making Other Insurance Changes

Other changes to your coverage are possible with or without a qualifying event.

Contact an Expert About Submitting Changes

Nadine Burns.

Nadine Burns

Health Benefits Administrator

State Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4471

Email: nmburns@buffalo.edu

Claudia Samulski.

Claudia Samulski

State Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4487

Email: samulski@buffalo.edu

Amy Myszka.

Amy Myszka

Director

Benefits and Work Life Balance

Phone: 716-645-5357

Email: amyszka@buffalo.edu