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2014 Open Enrollment Q and A

What is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is the annual designated period when employees can make changes to their benefit elections. These benefits include health, vision, dental, flexible spending accounts, and short- and long-term disability insurance.

When is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is November 11, 2013 through December 13, 2013.

When do changes made during Open Enrollment go into effect?

For employees that are paid bi-weekly, the changes made during open enrollment will be effective January 12, 2014. For employees that are paid semi-monthly (some DCPS, some UDC) the changes made during Open Enrollment will be effective January 1, 2014.

Are there any new plan offerings during Open Enrollment for 2014?

There are no additional plans for 2014; however, there are still many options available to meet your needs. As with Open Enrollment period, you should attend at least one Open Enrollment fair, so you can ask questions and get the information you need to CHOOSEWELL. You also should take this opportunity to review your current benefits election and update beneficiaries.

Will my health and dental insurance premiums change?

Yes, the rates for benefits typically change. The rates are available online at http://dchr.dc.gov. If you do not make any changes during Open Enrollment, your premium will be adjusted according to your current plan election.

How can I make changes to my benefit elections?

Open Enrollment changes are made through Employee Self Service (ESS). You can access ESS through PeopleSoft on your work computer or via any computer at https://ess.dc.gov.

Can I make changes from my computer at home?

Yes, visit https://ess.dc.gov to make benefit elections from the comfort of home.

What if I need assistance with ESS or do not have access to a computer?

Employees that need assistance with ESS or need to access to a computer may come to the DCHR Customer Service Center located in the lobby of 441 4th Street, NW (accessible via Metro’s Red Line at Judiciary Square). The hours of the Customer Service Center are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Do I have to make changes during Open Enrollment?

No, you do not have to make changes to your benefit elections during Open Enrollment. If you choose to not make any changes, the current plan(s) that you have will remain in place. However, with Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Commuter Benefits Account, you must make the election each year in order to keep the pre-tax benefits. You are highly encouraged to review your current benefit elections during Open Enrollment. You also should review the summary plan descriptions for selected carriers. It also is important to review new premium rate information.

What is the difference between DCEHB and FEHB enrollees?

District of Columbia Employee Health Benefit (DCEHB) enrollees are employees of D.C. Government that were first hired on or after October 1, 1987.

Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) enrollees are employees of D.C. Government that were first hired on or prior to September 30, 1987.

Will I have an opportunity to meet with the providers to discuss different insurance options?

There are several Open Enrollment Fairs that are being held throughout the city, both during the week and on
weekends. The schedule of fairs is available online 2014 Open Enrollment Benefit Health Fairs

Where can I get information on the current plan offerings?

You can get information by attending one of the Open Enrollment Fairs, visiting or Employee Benefits, or calling DCHR at (202) 442-7627.