Employee Benefits

2014 Benefits Open Enrollment

Annual Enrollment is April 9 - May 7, 2014 for changes effective July 1, 2014.

Annual enrollment time is here, giving you the opportunity to review your benefit options and choose a new health plan or make other benefit changes if you desire. If you want to keep your current Group Insurance Commission (GIC) health plan, you do not need to fill out any paperwork. See your GIC Benefit Decision Guide and attend a GIC Health Fair to find out about your options for the 2014 Benefits Open Enrollment. 

On-Site Benefits Fair

In addition to the GIC Health Fairs, which are held at various locations throughout the Commonwealth, UMass Lowell will offer a Benefits Fair at each campus during mid-April. Below are a list of the dates and locations. 
  • Tuesday, April 15 - North Campus - Cumnock Hall Auditorium, 12–2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 16 - South Campus – O'Leary Mezzanine, 3-5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 29 – East Campus – Wannalancit Business Center - Room 305, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Benefits Fair Information

Human Resources/Benefits staff will be available at the UMass Lowell Benefits Fairs to answer your questions and to provide important information to help you in making benefit enrollment decisions. We will be joined by our colleagues from the Campus Recreation Center and Parking & Transportation departments along with the investment companies to which employees can direct savings in the voluntary retirement plans, Metro Credit Union, MetLife Auto & Homeowners, Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union, E4 (formerly the Wellness Corporation) and Hartford, our life insurance company.  Please note: If you are looking to meet directly with one of the representatives from the insurance carrier or the State Board of Retirement, you will also need to plan to attend an off-site GIC Health Fair.

During annual enrollment, all employees may:
  • Enroll in or change health plans
  • Apply for Long Term Disability (LTD)
  • Apply for the buy-out option
  • Apply for reduced non-smoker optional life insurance rates if you have optional life insurance as a smoker and have been tobacco-free for at least 12 months
  • Opt in or out of pre-tax premium basic life and health insurance deductions
  • Special for 2014 Open Enrollment: Take advantage of the special Optional Life Insurance Open Enrollment and enroll in coverage of one, two or three times salary or increase your existing coverage by an additional one, two or three times salary without any evidence of good health. Coverage will be effective October 1, 2014. Be sure to use this link for the special open enrollment form.
Be sure to read your GIC Benefit Decision Guide to become familiar with benefit and rate changes that become effective July 1, 2014. The following information is in PDF format:
Additional Information 
Do your homework during annual enrollment, even if you do not plan to make any changes:
  • Identify which plan(s) you are eligible to join and review their benefit summaries – see the Benefit Decision Guide and the GIC’s website for details.
  • Consider enrolling in a limited network plan to save money every month on your premiums. These plans have the same benefits as the wider network plans, but save money because they have a smaller network of providers (fewer doctors and hospitals). These plans are available to employees and Non-Medicare Retirees/Survivors.
  • Contact the plans to find out if your doctors and hospitals participate in the plan. Specify the plan’s full name, such as “Harvard Pilgrim Primary Choice Plan” or “Harvard Pilgrim Independence Plan,” not just Harvard Pilgrim.
  • Check on copay tier assignments that affect what you pay when you get physician or hospital services. Copay tiers can change each July 1. (Copay tiers do not apply to Medicare Plans.)
Your Benefit Decision Guide is an overview of GIC benefits; it is not a comprehensive plan handbook. There may be other services that you or your family need. Contact each plan to find out details about those benefits. Keep in mind: Once you choose a health plan, you cannot change plans during the year, unless you have a qualifying event, such as moving out of the plan's service area. If your doctor or hospital leaves your health plan, you must find a new participating provider in your chosen plan.

See the GIC's website for the latest annual enrollment news, forms to expedite your decisions, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Mark the Date! Enrollment forms are due to the UMass Lowell Benefits Office no later than Wednesday, May 7, 2014. 

Please remember ONLY ORIGINAL forms will be accepted. Fax, copy or email forms cannot be accepted.

Please call us at 978-934-4100 or email us at benefits@uml.edu if you have any questions.