Open Enrollment 2018

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues:

January 1, 2018 marks the beginning of a new year for the College’s benefit plans. The open enrollment period for making any changes is October 16 – November 12, 2017.  Your coverage will remain the same, with a few automatic changes as described below, unless you log into


Medical Plans: The news this year is exceptionally good. After many years of rate increases and high medical claims, for the first time we will have a medical premium decrease of 0.5% for 2018. This decrease is due to many fewer claims over the past 24 months.  Our hope is that faculty and staff will continue to participate in the Wellness at Williams incentive program intended to heighten awareness of healthy lifestyle choices. There will be no major changes to the four medical plan options.

Dental Plan: A review of our dental plan indicates our claims have been increasing each year. This is resulting in a dental premium increase for 2018, the first since 2009.  The annual premium will increase by $8 for Individuals and $28 for Families.  

New Tier for Medical/Dental: We are adding an Employee + One Dependent tier for medical and dental. Employees currently enrolled in Family medical and/or dental with only one dependent (spouse or child) will automatically be mapped over to the new tier.

New Vision Plans: We are replacing the current vision plan with the BCBS Blue 20/20 Vision Plan with two options. The new Basic option has improved benefits at a reduced cost.  The new Enhanced option offers even more benefits.  Employees currently enrolled in the vision plan will be automatically enrolled in the Basic option.  You can log into bswift to make changes.  

You can review the 2018 
Health, Dental and Vision Plan Costs on the HR website. You can also review all benefit plan premiums in bswift during open enrollment.


Supplemental Long Term Disability: Employees who have chosen to opt-in to Supplemental LTD will see a small premium increase due to our recent higher claims experience.  As an example, an employee making $50,000 will have their rate go from $3.75 to $4.31 per pay period.

Life Insurance: There are no changes to life insurance premiums or options. Please take the time to review your beneficiaries in bswift and update as needed.

Flexible Savings Accounts: You must log into bswift to complete your election for 2018 FSA Healthcare, FSA Dependent Care and HSA. The annual limits will remain the same.

Charitable Contributions: All benefit eligible employees can now make elections in bswift for annual contributions to: Bennington United Way, Berkshire United Way, Northern Berkshire United Way, and Williamstown Community Chest.  You will receive a separate email with more details. All contributions will be spread over 24 pay periods.


Personalized Enrollment Statement: You will receive a 2018 Personalized Enrollment Statement by email on October 15, 2017. We recommend you review this. If no changes are needed, you do not have to log into bswift to complete Open Enrollment. However, we strongly recommend that you do log in, to fund an FSA or HSA, review your new payroll deductions or update your dependents/beneficiaries.


Additional Resources

  • Open Enrollment Information Sessions:
    10/17 at 2:00 pm
    10/23 at 10:00 am
    10/24 at 4:00 pm
    10/30 at 9:00 am
  • Vision Plan Information Sessions:
    11/6/17 at 11:00 am, 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm
  • HealthEquity/BCBS Savings Account (FSA/HRA/ HSA) Information Sessions:
    11/1/17 at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, 4:30 pm
    11/2/17 at 9:00 am

All sessions are in Paresky Auditorium


Notice of Creditable Coverage: We are required to include the Notice of Creditable Coverage to inform Medicare-eligible beneficiaries that the coverage provided under the group health plan meets or exceeds what is required under a Part D drug plan.