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Use Online Resources to ‘Take Charge’ of Your Benefits During Open Enrollment

Today’s challenging economic times make it increasingly important for employees to “take charge” during the upcoming 2011 employee benefits open enrollment period. Employees are advised to take the time to understand your Choices benefit options, the value of your benefits, and how you can make the most of them. 

In the 2010 fiscal year, Crozer-Keystone spent more than $70.3 million to provide these valuable benefits for eligible employees. 

While employees can easily view their benefits, update beneficiary information, find participating providers, print benefit-related forms, and access important wellness information online at all year long, open enrollment is the only time that eligible employees can make changes to their benefits elections or eligible dependents without experiencing an IRS-qualifying change (such as marriage, the birth of a child, etc.). Open enrollment is also your only opportunity to elect to sell time to cover your 2011 benefit costs, or to enroll in a Medical or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account for 2011 – the unique benefit elections that do not automatically roll forward from one year to the next and must be elected each year.

The 2011 open enrollment period is from Nov. 1 to 17, with a special extension through Nov. 30 to add eligible over-age dependent children until they reach age 26, as required by recent Healthcare Reform legislation. In late October, Employee Benefit Services will mail an open enrollment kit to eligible employees’ homes. It will highlight 2011 costs and changes (including what you need to do to add an over-age dependent), include a personalized summary of 2010 benefit elections, as well as plenty of information on how to find additional benefit information on the Employee Benefits website.

Last year, over 1,750 employees enrolled online during the 2010 open enrollment period.  Deanna Chiddick, M.S.W., a social worker in adult psychiatry on Crozer’s North Campus, summarizes last year’s open enrollment experience in one word – convenient. “I enjoyed the convenience of being able to enroll online from home where I could take my time and review all of the benefit-related information when I had the time,” she says. 

“The online benefit resource at makes it easy for employees to ‘take charge’ and make any necessary benefit changes during open enrollment, as well as to focus on their overall benefits, health, life issues, finances, future, and wellness 24-hours a day from any computer with Internet access,” says Eugene Zegar, vice president of Human Resources for Crozer-Keystone. “Employees can easily navigate the pages of the employee benefits website to learn what’s new for 2011, evaluate plan options, find in-network providers, access personal support resources such as Carebridge, and much more.”

Benefit-eligible employees can sign on from home, work, or a local library, knowing that your personal information is protected in a secure website at Employees who don’t have easy access to a computer will have access at specific times during open enrollment at each hospital location or can attend a benefit fair. 

Representatives from Employee Benefit Services and the companies that provide the benefits to the health system (such as AmeriHealth, Davis Vision, Delta Dental, Fidelity Investments, and TIAA-CREF) will also be available to answer questions at the benefit fairs, which will be held on these dates:  

  • Monday, Nov. 8:  DCMH, Meeting Rooms A and C, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 9:  Community Hospital, Southeast Conference Room, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 10:  Taylor Hospital, Classrooms A, B and C, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 11: Crozer-Chester Medical Center, James E. Clark Auditorium Lobby, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 12: Springfield Hospital, Lower Level Conference Room, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Employees are also encouraged to “take charge” of their finances during open enrollment by exploring the tax-saving benefit programs offered, including Medical, Dependent Care or Transit Flexible Spending Accounts, as well as evaluating their pre-tax retirement savings in a Tax Sheltered Annuity provided by TIAA-CREF and/or Fidelity Investments. Open enrollment is also the perfect time to focus on your life and disability insurance coverage, as well as considering your future long-term care needs.

For more information about open enrollment, call the Employee Benefit Services Benefit Answer Line at (610) 595-6380 (19-6380).

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