What’s new for benefits in 2019

Open enrollment for benefits-eligible employees, including faculty, staff, residents and research postdoctoral associates, is Oct. 8 – 22. This is the one chance during the year to make changes to benefits, other than when a qualifying life event occurs, such as marriage or birth of a baby. Changes made during Open Enrollment will be effective Jan. 1, 2019.

There are several new features in Baylor’s benefits for 2019, all with a focus on the health and well-being of Baylor employees and their families. One thing that won’t change in the coming year, however, is insurance premiums. These will remain the same for medical, dental and vision plans in 2019.

Virtual medical visits

When non-emergency conditions occur, like a cold or flu, pink eye, rashes and fever, a new feature of UnitedHealthcare (UHC) offers virtual healthcare within 30 minutes. It’s accessible through the UHC website or mobile app, UnitedHealthcare Health4Me. The visit will start with brief medical questions then, if appropriate, users will be connected to a licensed physician who provides a diagnosis and prescription, if necessary. Remember, this is best for non-emergency conditions. Normal co-pays apply.

Education and College Advising (formerly Bright Horizons College Coach)

Don’t underestimate the importance – and the stress – of planning for your child’s college education! This unique online program can help by offering access to experts who have worked at colleges and universities around the country. Some of the highlights of the program include:

  • Capability to build customized college list
  • Essay review
  • Informative presentations and webinars
  • Tips on saving
  • Personalized assistance from experts

Register online (passcode: BCM). Questions? Call 888-527-3550 or email bcm@getintocollege.com. Register on College Coach before Nov. 30 to be entered to win one of four $25 Amazon gift cards.

Real Appeal Weight Loss Program

This free program is available to benefits-eligible employees, their spouse or domestic partner and adult dependents who are enrolled in a BCM medical plan option with UnitedHealthcare. It provides weekly weight loss coaching in group and/or one-on-one sessions for up to 52 weeks as well as tools to track food intake, activity and weight loss progress. Benefits-eligible employees can receive BCM BeWell points for participating and also receive a personal blender in advance of week 8 of the program, which provides healthy smoothie recipes.

BeWell / Wellness Updates

Starting in 2019, individual participants in the BCM BeWell program must earn 15,000 BCM BeWell Vitality points to receive the 20 percent premium reduction on their individual or individual-plus children insurance premium. This is down from 18,000 points in 2018.

New to BCM BeWell is the option of participation by spouses and domestic partners. Individual plus spouse/domestic partner participants and family must earn 20,000 BCM BeWell Vitality points to receive a 10 percent reduction to the individual plus spouse insurance premium, and the spouse/domestic partner must earn 5,000 of the BCM BeWell Vitality points.

Shapa/Vitality Partnership

Shapa is a unique scale that doesn’t show weight but instead offers a picture of overall health by displaying a five-point color scale (like green for great) and Shapa age, then provides personalized recommendations for a healthier lifestyle. Watch this video on the Shapa scale. Through the new BeWell partnership with Shapa and Vitality, benefits-eligible employees can use their Vitality rewards to purchase the Shapa scale, then create an account through the Shapa app. By allowing data to be shared with Vitality and engaging in the Shapa program with daily weigh-ins, users can earn five Vitality points per day.

Learn more about benefits for 2019, and see the schedule for information sessions.