July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 (Fiscal Year 2015)
Begins: Monday, April 7
Rice Fest: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 (11:00 am to 3:00 pm, RMC/Ley Student Center)
Ends: Friday, April 25, 2014 (11:59 pm)
Effective Date: July 1, 2014
Benefits open enrollment for active faculty and staff is completed online via Esther. Your Esther ID is your employee ID number (be sure to use a capital "E"), and your password that you selected. If you cannot remember your password, please enter your ID and click the "Forgot PIN" button. If that method does not work, please e-mail email@example.com for assistance or call xBENE (x2363).
The absolute deadline to complete your benefits enrollment online via Esther is Friday, April 25 @ 11:59 pm. There are no extensions or grace periods -- this is a true deadline (and it's a Federal law, so no exceptions can be made!).
You need to complete enrollment via Esther if you have changes to your benefit elections or you wish to continue your medical or dependent care spending accounts. If you have no changes and do not participate in flexible spending accounts, you do not need to complete enrollment online -- your benefits will continue as-is.
However, be sure to review the important information below regarding changes to your benefits effective July 1, 2014, and we are holding a lot of information sessions before open enrollment begins. We don't like surprises and we assume you don't either, so be prepared and attend one of these events!
Please note that Rice Fest is Tuesday, April 8 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm in the RMC/Ley Student Center. Come speak directly with our plan insurance carriers.
Has your life changed over the past year? Do you need to make changes? This article will guide you through some issues to consider during open enrollment.
If you are a retiree, please remember that retiree benefits open enrollment is in May - we will mail you a packet of information then.
Open Enrollment Menu (click the icon below to go to that section of this page):
What Is New for 2014-2015?
The United Concordia dental plan is moving to Aetna for ease of administration. Same plan design, however, you will also save some money thanks to this switch.
Are you adding a new dependent to your coverage this year? Please be sure that he or she is an eligible dependent prior to adding them to your coverage. We will be auditing dependents so you may be asked to provide "proof" that this dependent is eligible under the plan (proof of eligibility may include marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.). If you are not sure if a dependent is eligible, please contact a member of the Benefits Team prior adding them to your coverage.
The medical spending account limit remains $2,500 for 2014-2015. This amount is the result of federal law (i.e., Affordable Care Act). If your spouse is also eligible for a medical spending account as an employee of Rice or another employer with FSA benefits, then you can each elect up to the $2,500 limit (but this is not true of the dependent care spending account, which is limited to $5,000 per family).
General Benefits Information for 2014-2015
Complete 2014-2015 Benefits Booklet (link coming soon)
Need help understanding the terms used in medical insurance documents? Review the Federal Glossary of Health Coverage and Medical Terms for help.
When you enroll in an Aetna medical plan through Rice, you are eligible for the following additional discounts through Aetna (some items may require you log into Aetna Navigator to view).
Summary of Plan Premiums
Other Helpful Information for Open Enrollment
- Explore our website for other important plan information (use the links on the upper left of this page).
- Rice News article on benefits open enrollment (link coming soon)
- How to Navigate Through Esther Benefits Open Enrollment (link coming soon)
- A Handy Guide for Comparing Your Health Plan Options
- A Handy Guide for Comparing Your Dental Plan Options (link coming soon)
- Medical Spending Account Worksheet (link coming soon)
- Curious about Long Term Care? Click here to review and price the plans Rice offers through payroll deduction. The forms to enroll are also available through that link.
Forms You May Need to Complete During Enrollment
- Evidence of Insurability -- required if you increase coverage or elect life insurance for the first time. This form will be mailed to your home address, if required.
- Life Insurance and AD&D Beneficiary Form -- required if you elect new life or accidental death & dismemberment insurance coverage, or use this to update existing beneficiary information.
- LTD Voluntary Payment Form -- required if you elect to pay your own long-term disability benefits premiums through post-tax payroll deductions.
Please contact your Benefits Team with any questions you may have. We would rather you ask us a question, versus assume something and be incorrect! You cannot un-ring the bell...
Updated: March 11, 2014