A message from your AFA Benefits Committee
We’ve had a number of questions, and have heard that many of our group is confused about the purpose of the Benefits Call Center. Additionally, some have reported having trouble navigating the system and revising selections once they have made them.
This is a new enrollment process, so we compiled some of the more frequently asked questions to assist you through the process. If you have additional questions, please contact an AFA Benefits Committee Member. You can find contact information at http://afaalaska.org/benefits.
What information can be found at myalaskabenefits.com?
The new benefits web site, myalaskabenefits.com, is your one-stop shop for learning about, and choosing which benefits are right for you. The site includes detailed information about medical, dental and vision plans, as well as other coverage options like life insurance and optional short-term disability coverage.
Details are great, but what about tools? The site includes a number of “estimators”, including the Medical Expense Estimator (found in the Benefit Tools tab). It predicts healthcare usage, based on demographic data, and shows you what each plan will cost you, based on those assumptions. If you’d like to spend a little more time customizing those assumptions, you can tailor it based on your own known healthcare needs, or your own assumptions. Before you make a healthcare plan selection, or choose to keep your existing plan, you should give this estimator a try – you will likely be surprised by how much money you can save yourself.
How do I compare the costs and coverage of the Premera PPO and Consumer Choice PPO plans?
For a good side-by-side comparison, log in to the enrollment screen. Once there, select “Make Changes” in the medical section. On the right side of the page is a button that says “Need Help Deciding on a Medical Plan.” This will take you to a very detailed comparison of the medical plans.
When should I contact the Benefits Call Center?
The Benefits Call Center is currently available to help you with all of your 2015 Annual Enrollment questions. You should call a representative if you have questions about enrolling, health plans, life insurance, spending accounts, or simply navigating the myalaskabenefits.com site and using the available tools. The call center can also enroll you in benefits over the phone. Beginning January 1st, the Benefits Call Center will provide additional services such as answering general eligibility questions and assisting with mid-year status change events (i.e. adding coverage for a new spouse, child, etc.).
What are Advocacy Services?
Employees who need assistance with more complex issues such as claims payments, questions with an EOB, appeals or balance-billing (in the event you seek care from a non-network doctor) are transferred from the Benefits Call Center to an advocate who will provide you with expert assistance. Advocacy Services aren’t meant to take the place of your health plan’s Customer Service line, but they are an additional resource for you when you need it.
Can I make a change to my benefit elections while I am on leave of absence?
If you are on a leave of absence, as indicated in PeopleSoft, your next opportunity to make health plan changes will occur when you return to actively working. Upon your return, you will be automatically enrolled in the coverage that you had prior to your leave of absence. You will also receive an email asking if you’d like to make any changes to your benefit elections, with instructions on how to do that.
Please note, if you are continuing active healthcare coverage by utilizing your sick leave, you likely aren’t considered to be on a leave of absence in PeopleSoft. For those in this situation, you should make your health care changes during the Annual Enrollment period, which ends November 18th. If you aren’t sure what your leave status is, you should contact your Supervisor or Leave Analyst
Wondering about the need to designate a beneficiary through the Web Portal?
In the past, beneficiary designations were done via a paper copy. This is the first year that there has been an electronic version. All flight attendants should update, and review their beneficiary designations.
Does this change my 401(k) plan beneficiary?
No. This might be a good time to review your designations, to make certain that they are up to date. However, if you wish to make changes, that would need to be done through Vanguard, either online, or via the website. Just login in, click on ‘Manage my Account’, and follow the instructions.
When I submitted my changes and went back to look at them, I saw that I still needed to add beneficiaries. Is something wrong?
We have discovered that until you completely log out of the portal and log back in, the ‘red line’ indicating that you need to add beneficiaries will still be there. If you want to double check, log out, log in and you should see that your changes have taken place.