Feature Story: Benefits Open Enrollment is Almost Here

Katie Saylor, Senior Benefits Specialist

It’s the best time of year—your annual benefits open enrollment!

I know, I know, most of you view this as a necessary evil, as insurance can be overwhelming and scary. But this is my Superbowl, and it’s the goal of the benefits team to have all employees on campus know when open enrollment is (Oct. 26 – Nov. 11, 2020), what they need to do and what’s changing for the 2021 plan year.

Speaking of changes, here they are! The university is moving from BlueCross and BlueShield of Oklahoma to Aetna for medical and dental. Here are some details.

  • Six plans will be available to full-time employees and their dependents. These plans are familiar but with a few new details, including networks.
  • Two networks are available to choose from: Broad and High-Performance. The broad network is just that – broad. It includes Integris, Mercy, Saint Anthony’s and other major providers in Oklahoma. Because this network is large, it does cost employees more to choose plans with this network. The High-Performance network only includes Integris doctors and OU Children’s, but incentivizes providers to improve their patients’ outcomes while lowering patient costs. The high-performance network pays doctors more money if their patients are healthier. The healthier the patient, the bigger paycheck for them.
  • We’re bringing CVS back! The university chose to carve out our pharmacy plans, adding CVS back in the mix, as well as keeping old favorites: Walgreens, WalMart, Costco, etc. The biggest change for you? A separate card to keep track of (or app, but we’ll get into that during open enrollment!) and less costly medications.
  • Instead of using MDLive, the university’s virtual health appointments will be used with Teladoc. A cool feature? Most regular Teladoc appointments are a $10 copay for participating plans. Put this in your back pocket when we’re in the thick of flu season!
  • Want your annual deductible credit? Look out for a benefits system, ALEX, that helps employees choose the best benefit plans for their individual needs. Once you use ALEX, we’ll be notified and you’ll earn that $250 credit for the 2021 plan year.

Don’t worry, The Zero Card, VSP vision plans and our extra voluntary plans with The Hartford and Primary Health Partners are all here to stay. We heard you, so keep using those benefits!

Questions? Check out Centralities, our internal site peoplehub.uco.edu and be on the lookout for the open enrollment meeting schedule. All meetings will be held virtually, with a question-and-answer session scheduled at least once a day, unless there’s a meeting.


  • Robyn Ellison

    So in order to keep my Mercy doctors, I’ll have to choose the Broad plan? I had to change doctors once before due to insurance change when I worked for a different company. I have no desire to do that again. How much more is the Broad Plan than the High Performance Plan?