FAQs Related to Flex Open Enrollment — Important Changes Please Read!
As you know, MEA’s new labor contract provided for significant increases to Flex allotments for those employees covering a spouse, children or their whole family on a health plan. As open enrollment continues, we have received some questions related to the implementation of this plan and wanted to put out some frequently asked questions and answers for everyone.
1. What are the new Flex allotment levels?
The new Flex allotment levels are:
Waiver/No Health Insurance: $11,705
Employee Only Coverage: $11,705
Employee Plus Child/Children Coverage: $14,000
Employee Plus Spouse Coverage: $16,000
Employee Plus Family Coverage: $22,000
In one of the booklets about open enrollment, there was a typo related to Flex amounts. The numbers above (and the numbers in the City’s open enrollment system) are correct.
2. If I cover my family with only dental or vision coverage, do I get access to the higher Flex allotments?
No. Your Flex allotment level is only determined by the level of health insurance you take (waiver, employee only, employee plus children, employee plus spouse or employee plus family coverage). Once you are in that allotment level, you may choose to take a different level of dental of vision coverage using Flex dollars, but your allotment amount is based only on health coverage.
3. If I take one of those higher levels of Flex allotment (children, spouse or family coverage), can I still cash out any extra money or put it into my 401(k)?
For those who choose one of the dependent health coverage levels, any “extra” allotment can be spent on dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance or allocated to a spending account for dental/medical/vision (“DMV”) reimbursements or for child/dependent care costs. But it cannot be “cashed out” as income or contributed to your 401(k).
(Only for those who waive health insurance or only cover themselves, there is NO CHANGE — the allotment is still $11,705 per employee, and all or a portion of the allotment not used for benefits can be taken back as “cash” income or contributed to your 401k.)
4. What is a “DMV” account and how does it benefit me?
DMV is a separate spending account that can be used to reimburse yourself on a tax free basis for any out-of-pocket costs related to health, dental or vision expenses. For instance, co-pays, medications, dental procedures not covered by insurance, prescription sunglasses, medical supplies or any other eligible out-of-pocket health/dental/vision expense can be reimbursed to you tax free through this type of account.
5. Will the City automatically put leftover Flex allotment into a DMV account for me?
No, you have to choose to do this when you enroll.
6. So how do I maximize this new Flex structure if I have dependents or a whole family to cover?
If you are covering your entire family ($22,000 Flex allotment) and don’t wish to pay out of pocket for any insurance, you could — for example — select:
Sharp Select Family = $16,100
MetLife Dental PPO Family = $2,502
VSP Vision Family = $642
Max out DMV = $2,750
Total = $21,994
If you are covering your spouse ($16,000 Flex allotment) you could select:
Sharp Select Employee Plus Spouse = $11,603
MetLife Dental PPO Employee Plus Spouse = $1,494
VSP Vision Employee Plus Spouse = $390
DMV = $2,513
Total = $16,000
If you are covering your child or children ($14,000 Flex allotment) you could select:
Sharp Select Employee Plus Children = $10,069
MetLife Dental PPO Employee Plus Children = $1,716
VSP Vision Employee Plus Children = $390
DMV = $1,825
Total = $14,000
If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to MEA, Risk Management, your payroll specialist or SDPEBA.