Human Resources Announces Annual Open Enrollment and UA Health and Benefits Fair

The Open Enrollment period for employee health and benefits begins Nov. 1 and ends Nov. 30. During this time employees can enroll in and make changes to their health, dental, vision, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, and optional benefits. These changes may include adding dependents, changing or canceling coverage elections, and changing premium status between after-tax and tax-exempt.  Employees who would like to participate in the flexible spending plan must make an active election to do so even if they currently participate in a flexible spending plan.

Employees who opt to keep their health, dental, or vision plan elections as they currently are do not have to change those elections; however, all employees who are enrolled in a University health plan must log in and sign the Tobacco Attestation, beginning Nov. 1, through WebBASIS to avoid the $50 Tobacco Surcharge. Employees must complete the Tobacco Attestation by Nov. 30, including employees who previously completed the attestation as well as employees who do not use tobacco products.

Employees who have not yet completed their annual Wellness Exam must do so no later than Oct. 31 to qualify for wellness credits in the 2020 calendar year. Employees enrolled in a university health plan will need to make an appointment with their physician for a Wellness Exam, and the exam must be reported to UMR by your physician as a Wellness Exam in order to meet the qualifications for wellness credits. Both the Tobacco Attestation and the Wellness Exam must be completed for eligibility of wellness credits.

The Critical Illness Protection Plan offered through the University will be changing vendors from MetLife to United Healthcare effective January 1, 2020. Employees who are currently enrolled in the MetLife Critical Illness Protection Plan and want the payroll deduction for their premium will need to enroll for coverage under the United Healthcare plan. Employees who wish to keep their coverage with MetLife will not be able to have their premium deducted through payroll and will need to enroll in an individual plan with MetLife. Information about the Critical Illness Protection Plan through United Healthcare is available on the UA System Benefits website at and on the Critical Illness Protection Plan Summary.

Open Enrollment notices and updates will be distributed to employees by U.S. mail and by email. No enrollments or changes will be accepted after Nov. 30. Open Enrollment will come to an end during the Thanksgiving Holiday break (November 28-30, 2019), during which time the university will be closed. Benefits-eligible employees are encouraged to complete enrollment and alterations to their benefits elections through WebBASIS by Nov. 27, prior to the university closing as Human Resources staff will not be available. All changes made during open enrollment will be effective on Jan. 1, 2020.

The UA Health and Benefits Fair will be held from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. on Nov. 8 in the Arkansas Union Ballroom, located on the fifth floor of the Arkansas Union. The Health and Benefits Fair gives employees the opportunity to speak with insurance and retirement vendors, Human Resources staff, and other UA campus departments. Flu shots will be offered by Pat Walker Health Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in ARKU 513. Hearing screenings will be offered by the UA Speech and Hearing Clinic in ARKU 514. Other benefits-related vendors will be present as well. Exercise bands will be given to the first 400 employees who attend the event, and light snacks will be provided.

More information about Open Enrollment will be available on the Human Resources website on Nov. 1. Contact Human Resources at 479-575-5351 or for questions.


Katherine Murray, assistant director of benefits
Human Resources

Tracee Riggs, senior benefits analyst
Human Resources


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