Open Enrollment for benefit plans begins October 15th

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues:

January 1, 2019, marks the beginning of a new year for the College’s benefit plans. The open enrollment period for making any changes is October 15 – November 11, 2018.  This is an active enrollment process, meaning that subscribers must log into bswift to confirm or change your elections. An active process ensures that employees annually examine their benefits and make appropriate decisions about the benefits that best suit you and your families’ needs.

Medical Plans: The news this year is once again exceptionally good! We will have no medical premium increase for 2019.  Like in years past, this is made possible by decreases in claims over the past 24 months. Our hope is that faculty and staff will continue to participate in the Wellness at Williams incentive program, which is intended to heighten awareness of healthy lifestyle choices.

For those enrolled in the deductible plans, employees will continue to be responsible for their $500 deductible for an individual plan and $1,000 deductible for employee-plus-one and family plans. We are eliminating the Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) plan, where the college pays the second half of the deductible. This change is intended to alleviate confusion about when the deductible has been met and when plan coverage kicks in. The other two plans remain unchanged.

New BCBS ID cards will be issued for all medical plans (effective January 1st), as plan numbers will be changing.

Dental Plan: Unlike our medical plans, our dental plan claims have been increasing each year. This is resulting in a dental premium increase for 2019.  The monthly premium will increase by $0.34 for individuals, $0.84 for employee-plus-one, and $1.11 for families.

Vision Plan: The BCBS Blue 20/20 vision plan will continue to be available to employees and their families with no changes to the plans or premiums. New this year – Hearing Discounts for Blue 20/20 Members

You can review the 2019 Health, Dental and Vision Plan Costs on the HR website. You can also review all benefit plan premiums in bswift during open enrollment.

Life Insurance and Long-Term Disability: There are no changes to life insurance premiums or options. Please take the time to review your beneficiaries in bswift and update as needed. Supplemental LTD premiums also remain unchanged this year.

Flexible Savings Accounts: You must log into bswift to complete your election for 2019 FSA Healthcare, FSA Dependent Care and HSA. The annual limits will increase slightly for HSA.

Charitable Contributions: You must log into bswift to complete your election for annual contributions to the Bennington United Way, Berkshire United Way, Northern Berkshire United Way, and Williamstown Community Chest. All contributions will be spread over 24 pay periods.

Personalized Enrollment Statement: You will receive a 2018 Personalized Enrollment Statement by email on October 14, 2018. We recommend you review this. As 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 2019 FSA Healthcare, FSA Dependent Care, HSA and Charitable Donations, and update your dependents/beneficiaries if needed.


Additional Resources

The BCBS dedicated line for Williams subscribers is (888) 772-5208. The line will be available on 10/16, 10/23, 11/1, and 11/5, from 9:00am – 11:00am and 2:00pm – 4:00pm on all these dates.

Open Enrollment Information Sessions:

  • 10/15 at 10:00am
  • 10/16 at 3:00pm
  • 10/23 at 1:00pm
  • 10/29 at 10:00am
  • 10/30 at 1:00pm
  • 11/5 at 9:00am

All sessions are in Paresky Auditorium. Facilities and Dining Services will have special presentations at their all-hands meetings.


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.