Open Enrollment for health plans is underway

Don’t like your health care plan?

The time to switch your coverage is underway.

For city employees, the fall transfer period of the city’s Health Benefits Program runs from Oct. 22 to Nov. 11. The transfer period for retirees is from Nov.1 to Nov. 30.

The change is effective on Jan. 1, 2017, for retirees and in the first payroll period of the month for members.

If you want to switch plans, you should visit the Office of Labor Relations section on the city’s website at nyc.gov/hbp.

In addition to general information about the New York City Health Benefits Program, the OLR site has a form you need to process for your change in health-care coverage.

City employees have the opportunity to change their plan every year during the fall open enrollment period. With a one-time exception, retirees may only change their plans during even-numbered years.

The open enrollment period for the city’s Flexible Spending Accounts Program began Sept. 19 and continues until Oct. 31. The program includes:

• The Health Care Flexible Spending Account, which allows participants to make pre-tax deductions from their paychecks for medical expenses not covered by their health plan or union benefits.

• The Dependent Care Assistance Program, which lets employees set up an account dedicated to expenses for a child or another dependent. You may deposit between $500 and $5,000 a year in your account to cover dependent care expenses.

•The Buy-Out Waiver Program, which allows participants to waive their health-care coverage. The city provides an incentive of $50o a year for employees with individual health-care plans. The incentive is $1,000 for employees with a family plan.

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