Date: October 13, 2011
To: All Faculty and Staff
From: Vivian Fernández
Vice President Faculty and Staff Resources
Subject: New Benefits Open Enrollment Period and Availability of Additional Plan Options

In July, we provided notification that Governor Christie signed Chapter 78, P.L. 2011 into law effective June 28, 2011, which has resulted in significant changes to the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP). The law stipulated that the SHBP form committees to review current health plans and offer additional plan options. On October 12, we received notice from the Division of Pensions and Benefits that the SHBP committees had decided on several additional health plan options and premiums that would be available to state employees. As a result, the State has designated a new open enrollment period from October 17, 2011 to November 11, 2011.

At this time, the only information we have available is that the additional plan design options have lower premiums in exchange for slightly higher cost sharing options (i.e., copayment, coinsurance and deductibles), and the new fee structure. While the specific new plan option details are not yet available, we do know that the current NJ DIRECT 15 and Aetna and CIGNA HMO plans available through the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) will still be available in plan year 2012. We will provide additional information regarding the extension of the Open Enrollment period and the new plans and premiums as soon as it is made available by the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits. All applications that have been submitted to the Benefits Enrollment Department will be held pending the release of the new plan information and premiums.

To help employees assess the impact of these changes, UHR has developed the Pension and Health Reform webpage which provides detailed information for affected employee groups. We also have created the SHBP Employee Health and Prescription Premium Calculator to help employees determine future health premiums.

If you have any questions regarding the pension and health reform changes, please contact a Benefits Specialist at 848-932-3990 or at