Select a section below to learn more. You can also view the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM)'s 2023 Open Enrollment page.
What (and When) Is Open Enrollment?
Each year, you have choices to make regarding health benefits and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). If you take no action, your current health plan will continue into the new plan year. However, FSAs must be renewed annually.*
This year's open enrollment period is May 1 to May 15, 2023. All changes and enrollments made during open enrollment will take effect on July 1. The new plan year is July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.
- Semi-monthly payroll deduction changes are effective starting with the July 14, 2023 paycheck.
- Bi-weekly payroll deduction changes are effective starting with the July 7, 2023 paycheck.
- All 9-month faculty (both 9/9 and 9/12) deduction changes are effective September 15, 2023.
Refer to the Spotlight on Your Benefits newsletter (English / Spanish) to learn everything you need to know about open enrollment—including detailed plan breakdowns, incentive programs, dependent coverage, frequently asked questions, and more. This newsletter is mailed to your home address on record. If you did not receive your mailed Spotlight, all materials are available on the DHRM website.
*To learn more about FSAs, refer to the Flexible Spending Accounts tab.
What Can I Do During Open Enrollment?
If you wish, you can take action to:
- Enroll in a health plan or change your current health plan.
- Elect optional buy-ups to your existing Cova Care, Cova HDP or Cova HealthAware health plan, such as Expanded Dental, Vision & Hearing and/or out-of-network benefits.
- Waive coverage.
- Add or remove family members (note: if you are adding family members, you must submit required supporting documentation).
- Enroll (or re-enroll) in a Health Care FSA, a Dependent Care FSA, or Premium Rewards (note: these do not carry over year to year).
No action is required if you:
- Do not want to make any changes to your current health plan or enroll in a new health plan.
- Are not enrolling or re-enrolling in an FSA.
- Do not plan to participate in Premium Rewards in the new plan year.
If you need help in the language you speak, language assistance services are available to you free of charge. Assistance is available in Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic, Persian, Amharic, Urdu, French, Russian, Hindi, German, Bengali, Bassa, Igbo, Yoruba, and Tagalog.
To request language assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 804-786-0356.
To Make Changes/Elections During Open Enrollment
- Log in to the Cardinal online portal using your Cardinal ID (aka your state employee ID). You'll receive a confirmation email after submitting your actions in Cardinal.
- Alternatively, you may complete the fillable form on the DHRM website and submit it (along with all supporting documentation) via the secure upload portal.
- All open enrollment actions must be completed between May 1 and 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2023.
Which Plan is Best for Me?
Not sure which plan is best for you? Talk to ALEX, your virtual benefits counselor. ALEX evaluates your circumstances and recommends the best options for you. A smartphone-friendly version of ALEX is also available in English and Spanish.
Or, stop by the Vendor Fair on Monday, May 8 from 10 – 1 p.m. to speak with representatives from Anthem BC/BS, Aetna, and Kaiser Permanente. Details can be found under the 'Drop-In Counseling Schedule' tab.
Premium Rewards are health plan incentives for COVA Care and COVA HealthAware plan participants who complete a health assessment. For more detailed information on Premium Rewards, refer to page 12 of Spotlight on Your Benefits, the DHRM website, and DHRM's Premium Rewards FAQ.
- You and/or your spouse must be active and enrolled in COVA Care or COVA HealthAware before you can take the health assessment.
- You must complete the health assessment during open enrollment for savings to be effective July 1, 2023.
- If you miss completing the health assessment during open enrollment, you can take it any time after the plan year begins on July 1.
- If you are changing plans during open enrollment, you'll need to wait until you receive your new insurance ID card to take the health assessment.
- Please note that you may not receive your mailed insurance card until on or around July 1. Don't worry—you can still complete the assessment once the new plan year has started.
- Premium Rewards do not carry over year to year.
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a tax-saving benefit that allows you to set aside a certain amount of money to pay for future out-of-pocket medical expenses (Health Care FSA) or dependent medical expenses (Dependent Care FSA). You can contribute to one or both of these account types. You may want to consult with a tax advisor when determining the annual amount to contribute.
You may enroll in an FSA even if you are not enrolled in a health insurance plan. Please note that FSAs do not carry over year to year, so you must re-enroll each year during open enrollment to have access to your FSA in the next plan year.*
*Note: Open enrollment is not the only time you can enroll in a Dependent Care FSA. If you have a change in dependent care costs, it is considered a qualifying mid-year event (QME) and you will have 60 days to make necessary health care changes.
Employees Hired Between May 1 – June 1, 2023
Newly-eligible employees with coverage effective between May 1 – June 1, 2023 can enroll in an FSA for the remainder of the current plan year (through June 30, 2023) in addition to enrolling in an FSA for the new plan year (July 1 2023 – June 30, 2024).
The Benefits team will hold onsite and virtual drop-in sessions where you can stop by to ask questions and get assistance. There will also be a Vendor Fair on Monday, May 8 with representatives from Anthem BC/BS, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, Delta Dental, and PayFlex.
|Thursday, May 4|
(with Spanish translator)
|12 – 6 PM||Colgan Hall 110A (SciTech)*||RSVP|
|Monday, May 8: Vendor Fair||10 AM – 1 PM||Merten Hall 1202 (Fairfax)||RSVP|
|Wednesday, May 10||10 AM – 2 PM||Zoom||Zoom link|
|Thursday, May 11|
(with Spanish translator)
|12 – 1 PM||Merten Hall 2001 (Fairfax)||RSVP|
|Thursday, May 11||1 – 2 PM||Merten Hall 2001 (Fairfax)||RSVP|
*General parking permits are valid in the Occoquan lot, located directly across the street from Colgan Hall. View the SciTech campus map.
What if my dependent doesn't have a Social Security Number?
- Dependents may not have a Social Security Number (SSN) for a variety of reasons. If your spouse or child doesn't have one, you must submit a valid visa, proof of alien status, or other DHS/State Department documents to add them to your health plan.
- If your child doesn't have an SSN but was born in the US, their birth certificate will suffice.
- For information on obtaining or replacing an SSN, please visit the Social Security Administration's website.
I can’t find my supporting documentation. What should I do?
When adding dependents, there is required supporting documentation that provides proof of eligibility. You may need to request duplicates directly from the state in which you were married and/or your children were born, which can take some time. Please continue to make your health care changes/enrollments before the open enrollment deadline—supporting documents can be submitted later.
I am a new employee hired between May 1 – June 1, 2023. Can I participate in open enrollment?
Yes. Please note that for FSAs, you can enroll for the remainder of the current plan year (through June 30, 2023) in addition to enrolling for the new plan year (July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024).
I have a qualifying mid-year event between May 1 – June 1, 2023. Can I participate in open enrollment?
If you have a qualifying mid-year event between May 1 – June 1, 2023, you can make changes to your health plan and/or FSA if your changes are related to the event. Changes/enrollments can be made for the remainder of the current plan year (through June 30, 2023) in addition to the new plan year (July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024).
How will I know my actions in Cardinal are confirmed?
You'll receive an emailed confirmation that a benefit change or enrollment has been completed in the Cardinal system. You can also view your benefit enrollment statement in Cardinal.