January 1, 2023, marks the beginning of a new year for the College’s benefit plans. The open enrollment period for making any changes is Monday, October 10 – Monday, October 31, 2022.
As in past years, this is an active enrollment process, meaning that benefits-eligible employees must log in to bswift to confirm or change your elections.
A summary of important updates to the 2023 plans is included below.
For 2023, we will make a significant adjustment to the college’s medical plan pricing that is designed to provide a more fair allocation of the college’s subsidy of medical plan costs to all categories of employees. The result will be a reduction in premiums for many employees, modest increases for others, and a more significant increase for individuals enrolled in family plans. For those of you who have been at the college for several years, you may recall that when we added the employee +1 tier to our plans, “we held families harmless” and did not adjust rates for participants in the family tier. So for the last several years, those in the family tier have received a larger subsidy than other tiers.
We are taking this opportunity to provide a dollar amount of cost share for each tier level that will be the same amount across all plans, while still providing members with a range of choices for our varied range of needs.
Why are we making this adjustment now? Over the years, many staff members have noted challenges with our formula for calculating the college’s contribution to employee medical plans. Individuals received a larger or smaller subsidy from the college, depending on which plan they chose, instead of every member receiving equal support and then being able to choose the plan that met their needs.
For many, there are alternative plan options that can meet your medical needs and yield cost savings. We will hold a series of sessions where staff can learn about plans that would deliver comparable benefits at a lower cost. However, members may choose to pay the new, higher premium to maintain their current plan if they wish. The college will provide a one-time subsidy to individuals enrolled in either the family HMO Copay or HMO Deductible plan, and who earn under $70,000 annually, to ease the immediate impact of the change in calendar year 2023.
Here is the framework we will use for 2023:
- Williams will cover 80% of the full employee benefits budget cost, which is approximately $22.6M, representing a 9.9% increase over last year.
- Employees will assume the remaining 20% of the cost, representing an overall 3.4% increase over last year. However, the change to individual premiums will depend on which plan and tier you choose.
- If our community’s medical claims exceed $22.6M for the year, the college will pay 100% of any additional amount.
- We will treat the BCBS HMO Deductible Plan as our “core” plan. The college will contribute 81% of the cost at each tier of this plan (Individual, Employee +1, and Family).
- That same dollar amount will be provided to all members of a given tier who choose other plans. This means that every member of a given tier will receive the same amount of support from the college, and then will be able to choose the plan that offers the features you want or need at a cost that reflects the selected plan relative to the core plan.
We see this as the opportunity to finally bring parity to college healthcare contributions by providing an equal amount of cost share across all plans, while still providing flexible options to meet community needs. It is important for employees to review the medical plan options and carefully consider available options. We strongly encourage you to attend one of the upcoming Information Sessions to learn more.
As a result of lower-than-normal utilization of our dental plan in 2022, we will see a 5.2% decrease in our total dental premiums for 2023. As with our medical plans, the college will now cover 80% of the total dental budget resulting in an overall decrease of 20% to employee premiums.
Wellness Incentive Program
We will no longer levy the $250 wellness surcharge that was historically added to medical premiums and will discontinue the $500 incentive program. This, too, is an effort to be more equitable as participation has declined and employee surcharges were funding the program.
Employee wellbeing remains a priority and will be supported by wellness workshops, webinars, incentivized challenges, and fitness classes throughout the year as a committee works to reenvision Wellbeing at Williams.
We strongly encourage you to attend one of our Open Enrollment Information Sessions, happening virtually and in person.
Once again, this is an active enrollment. All employees must log in to bswift to complete Open Enrollment elections or make changes. Please remember to make elections for the 2023 Health Care FSA, Dependent Care FSA, HSA, and/or Charitable Donations, and update your dependents and beneficiaries as needed.
Danielle Gonzalez, Chief Human Resources Officer
Mike Wagner, Vice President for Finance and Operations, Treasurer
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.