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Benefits update

Open enrollment gives employees opportunity to evaluate coverage

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Open enrollment packets, including this booklet, will be mailing during the week of Oct. 11.

The annual benefits open enrollment period for the University's health and welfare plans will run from Monday, Oct. 18, through Friday, Nov. 5. Open enrollment offers faculty and staff an opportunity to review their current benefits and consider changes to their coverage that will become effective Jan. 1, 2005.

Open enrollment also is the time when employees can enroll or re-enroll in the expense account plans (Health Benefit Expense Account and/or Dependent Care Expense Account) for 2005. Elections in the expense account plans do not carry forward from the previous year. Faculty and staff must re-enroll if they want to participate in these plans in 2005.

Open enrollment packets, including a personalized benefits enrollment form, will be mailed to benefits eligible faculty and staff at their homes during the week of Oct. 11. Employees should carefully review their current coverage and the open enrollment packet for detailed information.

Health plans cover breast reconstruction

The Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 requires all group health plans that provide medical and surgical benefits with respect to mastectomy to provide coverage:

• for reconstruction of the breast on which the mastectomy was performed;

• reconstructive surgery of the other breast to produce a symmetrical appearance; and

• prostheses and treatment of physical complications of all stages of mastectomy, including lymphedema (swelling associated with removal of the lymph nodes).

These services must be provided in a manner determined in consultation with the attending physician and the patient. This coverage may be subject to annual deductibles and co-insurance provisions applicable to other such medical and surgical benefits provided under the plan.

Faculty and staff members should refer to their summary plan description for deductibles and co-insurance information applicable to the plan in which they choose to enroll.

New assistance program available to faculty and staff through Carebridge

A new and confidential faculty and staff assistance program is being offered to University employees, effective Oct. 1, 2004. This benefit is provided by Carebridge Corp., a company with expertise in the field of employee assistance and work/life programs.

Carebridge is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This assistance program provides up to six face-to-face or telephone counseling sessions for each issue such as: work relationships; parenting/schooling; stress management; and addiction. The work/life program helps with concerns such as child care, eldercare and adoption.

For more information or to use the Carebridge library, visit this Web site: <www.carebridge.com>. Enter your name and Princeton University for the Princeton Information Center. Carebridge also is available by calling 1-800-437-0911.

Those with questions regarding the Carebridge Faculty and Staff Assistance Program can call the Human Resources Solution Center at 258-3300.