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Click here to listen to Joni Mardesen talk about Open Enrollment
"Open enrollment is now available online to all clergy and even to those lay staff at the local churches that are currently participating in benefits." said Joni Mardesen, Human Resources director for the Conference.
If someone has not received their sign-on information they need to contact the HR office so they can receive their instructions and sign-on for the first time, she said.
"It's a very nice process, it's very smooth," Mardesen said.
There have been a few adjustments necessary to make certain that monthly contributions appear properly, said Mardesen. With those completed the system is ready to go.
"It's going well, actually," said Mardesen.
As the December 6 deadline for enrollment approaches benefits staff will be contacting individuals via email who have not completed the enrollment process. A friendly reminder about benefits enrollment will be provided.
"If there are some elections that have to happen on an annual basis, then they do need to go through that open enrollment process," Mardesen continued. "So that they can clearly identify their own contributions."
Flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts are some examples of designations that must be made each year.
"Those are deductions, contributions that need to be chosen each and every year," said Mardesen."
There may be people who think that because they won't be making changes to their benefits in the New Year, they don't have to participate in open enrollment. Not so, said Mardesen.
"So if they don't make any changes and they just assume that it will carry into the next year, that's not correct," Mardesen said. "They need to be doing that."
Participants will be able to add beneficiaries and dependents. Security settings have been amended to allow this.
"Folks are now able to add their beneficiaries and dependents," she said. "If they do not see them already in the system, all they need to do is click the little green box with the white arrow, the "Add" button, up in the Beneficiaries section, and add their beneficiaries as appropriate."
As participants go through the open enrollment process they will also be able to choose whether or not they are covering any of those dependents.
"It will ask them that as they run through the open enrollment selections," said Mardesen.
The selections are represented by tabs across the top of the screen.
"And so it will actually guide them through their benefit selection," she said.
For example when participants get to the medical plan they have the choice of participating as a family or single only. For participants selecting family coverage there is a tab that will allow them to identify which dependents will be covered.
A summary statement will be generated at the end of the process for all enrollments.
“There is a “Submit” button and once they hit that “Submit” button they are able then to pull up the summary,” Mardesen said. “That summary then can be printed or saved. And for those clergy that are appointed to local churches, I would recommend that they print at least two copies; one for themselves and one for their local church treasurer.”
Once participants have hit submit, if they would like to go back and make any changes, they can still do that through the open enrollment process.
“Once they hit Submit it’s not as if things are set in stone,” said Mardesen. “They can still go back, up through December 6, and make choices to their benefit selection. That’s important to know.”
Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Human Resources department.
“The easiest way to do that is to either send an email message to either Linda Remster or to Jodi Mardesen. Our email addresses are out on the website under the HR page under the Episcopal Office,” Mardesen said. “Our phone numbers also out there."