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What's New for 2018

Open enrollment process

You must make the elections required below during open enrollment, Nov. 13 – Dec. 1, 2017, through PeopleSoft HCM.

Election required: Healthcare and Dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

For new or continuing enrollment

If you want an FSA in 2018, you must make an election during open enrollment. If you are currently contributing to a Healthcare FSA and/or Dependent Care FSA, you will need to make an election to continue to have an FSA in 2018. If you don't make an election, your deduction will stop, and you will have no FSA benefit in 2018. You can enroll after December 1, 2017 only if you experience a qualifying event, such as the birth of a child.

FSA-approved expenses incurred in 2017 may be submitted to PayFlex until March 31, 2018. Up to $500 of any unused 2017 FSA balance will be carried over automatically to a 2018 Healthcare FSA whether or not you elect a 2018 Healthcare FSA if you are a Port employee on January 1, 2018. You would then be able to claim reimbursement from this account for qualifying 2018 expenses.

To enroll in the Healthcare FSA and/or Dependent Care FSA, you are required to use HCM Self-Service to elect the amount you want deducted from your 2018 paychecks.

2018 FSA Contribution Limits
The Healthcare FSA contribution limit for 2018 has changed from $2,600 to $2,650. The Dependent Care FSA contribution limit for 2018 remains at $5,000 if the employee is married and filing a joint return; $2,500 if married filing separately.  Remember that the Dependent Care FSA is for reimbursement of child day care or adult day care expenses and not healthcare expenses for your dependents.

Election required: Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

For new or continuing enrollment

If you enroll or continue to be enrolled in the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) for 2018 and want to contribute to an HSA in 2018, you are required to use HCM Self-Service to elect the amount you want deducted from your 2018 paychecks. If you are currently contributing to your HSA, your deduction will stop at the end of 2017 if you do not make an election.

Please remember that if you completed the 2017 Wellness Program you must elect an HSA in order to receive the Port contribution. You will receive the Port contribution even if you elect to contribute $0.00. If you do not enroll by the open enrollment deadline of Dec. 1, 2017, you can still enroll later during the 2018 plan year, but this will affect the eligibility of expenses incurred before the establishment of your HSA if you do not currently have one.

You are solely responsible for determining whether you are eligible to establish an HSA, for calculating the amount of HSA funds you are eligible to contribute based on your age, the date you become eligible, and the date eligibility ends, and for determining whether expenses are eligible for reimbursement. Please refer to IRS Publication 969 for information or consult with a financial advisor.

2018 HSA contribution limits ​ ​
Individual:  $3,450​ ​($50 increase from 2017)
Family:   $6,900​ ​($150 increase from 2017)

Passive enrollment for Medical/Vision and Dental Plans

Election is required only if you are changing plans, coverage levels, or family members

If you wish to remain in the same plan type next year AND you do not wish to make any change to your family members, you do NOT need to take any action for your medical coverage. This is referred to as "passive enrollment."

Enrollment in your current plan(s) for you and any family members will continue automatically from 2017 to 2018. The difference will be that instead of Cigna as the plan administrator for the High-Deductible and Deductible plans, you will have Aetna. Kaiser Permanente will remain as the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan administrator.

However, if you DO want to change plans or family members on your plan, you will need to enroll. If you need to add or drop a family member, you may do so during open enrollment, and you MUST log into HCM self-service to make your changes.

If you need to add a family member (due to a qualifying event) or drop a family member after open enrollment has closed, you will need to submit a hard copy enrollment form to the Total Rewards staff in Human Resources or scan and email it to

If your Wellness completion status has changed...

If you received a premium discount or Port-provided HSA contribution in 2017, but did not complete the 2017 Wellness Program requirements to receive a premium discount or HSA contribution in 2018, AND you do not make an election for 2018, you will remain enrolled in the same plan, with the same family coverage as in 2017. However, you will pay a higher premium rate or will not receive the HSA contribution, depending on the plan in which you are enrolled. You will need to make an election during open enrollment if you want to change to a different plan, drop dependents, or waive coverage.

Conversely, if you: (a) were paying a non-wellness rate, (b) did not receive a premium discount or HSA contribution in 2017, (c) earned your Wellness Reward for 2018, and (d) did not make an election for 2018, you will remain enrolled in the same plan with the same family member coverage in 2017. However, you will now receive the wellness discounted premium discountrate or HSA contribution (if you are eligible for an HSA), depending upon the plan in which you are enrolled.

Meet the Vendors

From Nov. 14-16, Representatives from Aetna, Kaiser, The Standard, and PayFlex, as well as Port of Seattle Total Rewards staff will be available to take your questions. View the schedule...

Additional Life Insurance

During this open enrollment period, you are eligible to apply for Voluntary Additional Life Insurance coverage for yourself and/or your spouse or domestic partner without having to provide any medical history information.  This coverage would supplement the Basic Life insurance the Port provides which equals two times your annual salary. Read more...

Premium Share Rates

Premium rates for both Aetna plans are rising 1.4%, while premium rates for the Kaiser Permanente Plan will rise by 4.4%. View the 2018 Medical and Dental Plan Premium Share Rates.

Medical Plan Changes

Kaiser Permanente Core Plan

There is only one change to the Kaiser Permanente Core Plan:

  • Beginning January 1, 2018, the Kaiser Permanente Core Plan will not include "The Everett Clinic" (a DaVita Medical Group) and Virginia Mason providers and facilities.

Deductible Plan and High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

Administered by Aetna, the Port’s new medical plan administrator

Subscribers to the Aetna-administered plans will receive new insurance cards by mid-January.  Prior to receiving your card, you can download a copy from the Aetna website beginning January 1, 2018.  You can also download the Aetna Mobile App for easy access to all of your healthcare information.

Aetna Provider Network (Find a doctor): The name of the Aetna provider network is Choice POS II. Use this link to find an in-network provider. For the most accurate results, you will need to know the Port's plan name. Please click here for instructions.

Transition of Care (form): Aetna provides a service where you may continue care with the same provider you had with Cigna for a limited time. This applies only to those doctors who were in-network with Cigna but will be considered out-of-network with Aetna.

Automated Service (Aetna Navigator): An automated self-service option is available as well.  A virtual assistant, "Ask Ann," is available 24/7 through the Aetna Navigator on the Aetna website.  Ask Ann can help with a variety of situations from enrollment to looking up a claim. 

Watch this video for a guided introduction (opens in a new tab):

Health Concierge Service: Aetna’s Health Concierge Service provides an enhanced level of customer service that goes far beyond just answering your routine questions. They use advanced technology to coordinate care across multiple programs to give you a holistic view of all of the member benefits, programs, and products available to you.

The concierge service is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. When calling the toll-free customer service number at 1-855-788-5786 (on the back of your member card), you will hear a menu prompt for a Health Concierge. Aetna also has language services upon request when you call this number.

You can also contact a Health Concierge during the same business hours mentioned above via secured web-based chat or email. If the Health Concierge needs additional detail from a member during the web chat, the Health Concierge will call the member directly at the member’s convenience to continue the conversation.

Additional information is available on this info sheet.

Telemedicine (More information): With Teladoc through Aetna, you can talk to a U.S. board-certified doctor either by phone or online video 24/7/365. These doctor can diagnose, recommend treatment, and prescribe medication when appropriate. Another convenient option that’s available 24/7 is Aetna’s Informed Health Line.  This service allows you to email or call an experienced registered nurse to help you make informed healthcare decisions.

Aetna Premier Plus Plan Drug Guide (click to view): Outlines the medications that will be considered Generic, Preferred Brand, Non-preferred Brand Drugs beginning January 1, 2018 to see if your medications fall into a different category. This list is subject to change quarterly during the plan year. Aetna will notify you should you be affected by a quarterly drug change. You can also use the "Find a Medication" feature on Aetna's website (instructions). The pharmacy plan is called Premier Plus.

Step Therapy Drug List (click to view): Please remember that both the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and Deductible Plan apply a “step therapy” protocol to certain medications used to treat some common medical conditions. The protocol requires you to try the most cost-effective and appropriate medication for your condition. We recommend ordering enough medication to last through mid-January to ensure you have enough through the transition. Read the list to see if your drug included. If it is, you will be required to try a more clinically appropriate drug before you are approved to use the drug that was originally requested. If your doctor provides clinical evidence to Aetna to explain why you must use the drug that was originally prescribed, Aetna will honor that request. Please do not send in requests before January 1, 2018.

Other prescribed drugs must go through a pre-certification process. Aetna recognizes the importance of this and strives to complete the process the same day if your healthcare provider contacts them during business hours.  Please do not send in requests before January 1, 2018.

Generic Preventive Drug List (click to view):  If you enroll in the High Deductible Health Plan, you can purchase drugs on this list and pay only the 20% coinsurance before you have satisfied the deductible.

Pharmacy 90-day Supply: Except for the Deductible plan’s copay for a 90-day supply of maintenance drugs purchased at a retail pharmacy, pharmacy copays are not changing. On the Deductible plan, the cost of purchasing a 90-day supply of maintenance drugs at any retail pharmacy in the Aetna network will be 3-times the applicable copay of either $5/generic, $35/preferred brand name, or $50/non-preferred brand name. You may continue to purchase a 90-day supply of maintenance drugs for 2-times the applicable copay by using Aetna’s mail order program for a cost savings. Additional information and the mail order form are available at the link below.

Vision: The vision hardware (frames and lenses) benefit is changing from every two years to every 12 months. The routine vision eye exam will be covered only when performed by an in-network provider.

Miscellaneous: Benefits under the Deductible Plan and HDHP that are provided on a calendar year basis will be provided on a monthly basis effective 1/1/18. For example, a preventative care exam is covered every 12 months rather than every calendar year.

Dental Plan Change

There is just one change to the dental plan. Preventive care expenses will not reduce your $2,000 annual benefit maximum. As a result, you will have a larger remaining benefit for other services you may need. 

Update your beneficiaries

Open enrollment is a great time to review your information and beneficiaries for other benefits, including PERS and the 457 Deferred Compensation plan. Read more...