Annual Benefits Enrollment is here

Your share of the cost of your medical, dental, and vision benefits will not change

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Health and well-being have become top of mind for many of us during these unprecedented times, and Johns Hopkins takes pride in offering an array of benefits and services to help meet the needs of employees and their families.

It's time to enroll for your 2021 benefits. Annual Enrollment runs from Wednesday, Oct. 14, through Friday, Oct. 30. The Benefits Office encourages you to review your current coverage and take advantage of the enrollment resources available to help you make smart choices for the coming year.

For 2021, the university will continue to offer the same choice of comprehensive medical options so you can choose the plan that best meets the needs of you and your family. Many of your other benefits offerings—including dental, vision, life, and AD&D insurance—and voluntary options also remain unchanged for 2021. Here is a quick summary of everything you need to know before you enroll.

What's new for 2021

Despite rising health care costs and other financial challenges that universities are facing, your share of the cost of your medical, dental, and vision benefits will not change for 2021. The university knows that this has been a difficult time for many families and that all its employees have made sacrifices to support its long-term financial stability. To support you amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is holding employee health care contributions steady for 2021.

As the university continues to modernize its plan offerings, it will be making adjustments to the CareFirst BCBS plans, effective Jan. 1, as follows:

  • The new CareFirst BCBS Preferred Provider Organization (former Indemnity) plan will now have an out-of-network cost share of 30% for members, after the deductible is met. The PPO plan will continue to have the JHU Preferred Physician Network.
  • The network of providers for all CareFirst BCBS plans, including the High-Deductible Health Plan, will be modified to take advantage of the CareFirst BlueChoice Advantage (PPO) network. While members will still have access to the national PPO network, the enhanced network will allow access to deeper provider discounts in Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Virginia, which in turn means lower out-of-pocket costs for you. All CareFirst members will receive new ID cards this year.
  • To see if your providers are in the CareFirst BlueChoice Advantage network, go to, select Find a Doctor, log into your member account or continue as a guest, enter your ZIP code, and select the BlueChoice Advantage network. Quest and LabCorp will remain in network.

Effective Jan. 1, 2021, the CareFirst and EHP plans will include some changes to the lifetime maximum benefit that applies to infertility services. Coverage for comprehensive infertility treatments such as AI and IUI (up to six cycles per live birth) and advanced services such as IVF, GIFT, and ZIFT (up to three cycles per live birth), as well as prescription drugs related to infertility treatment, will be subject to a combined $100,000 lifetime maximum. Note that the cycle limits will not change. If you or a covered dependent is undergoing infertility treatment and is midcycle as of Dec. 31, 2020, your current coverage will continue through the completion of the current cycle.

The health care and limited purpose flexible spending account maximum employee contribution will increase for 2021, to an amount to be announced by the IRS later this month. As a reminder, you must reenroll each year in the health care FSA or limited purpose FSA and dependent care FSA. If you are participating in the health care FSA for 2020 and have a remaining balance, up to $550 will automatically roll over to your 2021 health care or limited purpose FSA with Discovery Benefits.

If you elect to participate in the High-Deductible Health Plan, you must reset a new health savings account contribution amount each year; otherwise, your contribution will be set to $0. In 2021, you can contribute up to $3,600 per individual and up to $7,200 per family (including the JHU contribution). As a reminder, you can change your HSA contribution throughout the year.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, Lincoln Financial Group will replace the Hartford as the disability insurance administrator. Lincoln Financial Group has been selected because of its enhanced administration systems and excellent customer service offerings. Your short- and long-term disability coverage will remain the same, and the university will continue to provide long-term disability coverage to you at no cost. Note: If you are receiving disability benefits as of Dec. 31, 2020, those benefits will continue to be administered by the Hartford through the duration of your claim period.

Remember to apply (or reapply) for the child care voucher program for 2021. Through this program, eligible employees have the opportunity to receive tax-free assistance to help pay for child care for their pre-kindergarten children under age 6. If you meet the criteria, you could be awarded up to $5,000 in voucher funds to use toward the cost of your child care. You must apply for the program during Annual Enrollment. For more details and to learn about eligibility criteria, click here.

As you go through your benefits elections for 2021, you will be invited to click on the United Way link in the enrollment site to make your annual pledge. This annual campaign, in long-standing partnership with the United Way of Central Maryland, raises donations for nonprofit organizations working to improve the well-being of our neighbors.

You are encouraged to learn all you can about all your health plan options so you can make informed decisions to maximize your university benefits.

Posted in Benefits+Perks

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