ALEX is Here to Help
Annual Enrollment is the one chance during the plan year for you to make changes to your benefits without having a valid family status change. It’s a big choice, which is why ALEX is back to help you through it.
ALEX is an easy-to-use guide that can help you decide which Health Plan and flexible benefits are right for you and your family. All you have to do is log on and respond to ALEX’s questions. The program will prompt you for some basic information about you and your family, ask a few questions about your personal situation, and help you figure out what to choose based on your answers. Remember, everything you say to ALEX remains confidential.
ALEX is available anywhere that’s convenient for you. Log on from your work computer, your smartphone, or your home computer with an internet connection. Use it by yourself or with your family as you consider your options. And if you have any questions about how any of the benefits work, ALEX can walk you through them.
It’s important to keep in mind that ALEX is not the tool you use to make your actual benefit elections. When you’re ready to participate in Annual Enrollment, you’ll need to visit the FY21 Enrollment Site between April 29 and noon (your time), on May 13.
ALEX will be live on April 22.
The FY21 Decision Guide is Coming Soon
Another excellent source of information available to you during Annual Enrollment is the Decision Guide. The FY21 Decision Guide is a reference document you can use to learn about the health plan, flexible benefits, well-being program, and no cost benefits available to you.
There are few changes in the health and flexible benefits for FY21. Be sure to read the Decision Guide to learn about changes to the health and flexible benefit plans since the previous plan year. The more informed you are, the easier it will be to decide if you need to make changes in your benefits. Look for the decision on the Benefits Website on April 15! Hard copies will be available through the mail upon request.
Resources to Support Your Well-Being
The global spread of COVID-19 is deeply affecting all our lives. Check out the following resources to safeguard your health and improve your well-being:
- What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself and Your Family - The latest information from the CDC.
- Video: Handwashing to Reduce the Spread of Germs - Take every step to rid yourself of germs.
- Manage Stress and Anxiety - Advice from the CDC on coping with stress during trying times.
- Designing a Winning Indoor Workout - Creative tips to help bring your exercise indoors.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19 - Videos, articles, and infographics that will help you get through this challenging time.
- COVID-19 FAQ - Frequently updated to provide State employees with answers on a wide range of COVID-19 related questions.
- Benefits on Social Media - Follow us on articles, infographics, tips, and links full of information on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act changes in regulations pertaining to FSAs, HRAs and HSAs
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which permanently reinstates coverage of over the counter (OTC) drugs and medicines as eligible for reimbursement from Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) without the need for a prescription. It further expands the definition of qualified OTC items to include menstrual care products. This change is effective for expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020.
The CARES Act also allows employees who have elected to contribute to a Dependent Care Spending Account to either decrease or increase the amount they contribute for daycare expenses. Based on IRS guidelines, these would be qualifying events that allow the employee to make a change to their Dependent Care election. For employees who have a decrease in expenses, they can lower their election to the total amount already contributed year-to-date, that is, stop their dependent care spending account contributions. Once they go back to work and their daycare expenses increase, they can increase the election at that time. These employees would need to remain active in Discovery Benefits system to allow claims to continue to process.
For employees who want to stop dependent care spending account contributions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, complete a Family Status Change form (FSC) and enter the date you request to stop the dependent care spending account contribution. Under “Designation of Status Change”, please select “Other” and write in “Covid-19”.
EAP Online Seminars
Planning for Professional Growth - Professional growth and success don't just happen by chance. In this session, we will discuss the four stages of professional careers and provide you with tools to develop a self-assessment plan that can lead to your career growth.
Build Psychological Immunity During the Coronavirus Outbreak - This seminar identifies and acknowledges the emotions you may be experiencing and offers practical suggestions for coping. Topics covered include understanding stress, increasing psychological immunity, practical coping strategies, organizational sensitivity, and discovering resources available.
Keep Calm and Carry On: Maintaining Your Composure Amidst the Pandemic Panic - The coronavirus has led to widespread fear on a global scale. This had led to extreme uncertainty and anxiety as well as unprecedented business and health challenges are being presented across the world. It is more important than ever to retain a healthy sense of perspective, focus upon practical ways to adapt to the situation and respond in a composed way to the outbreak. Topics covered include tackling anxiety and stress, practical work-from-home techniques, addressing signs of panic in the workplace, and when to reach out for help and support.
Go to www.EAPHelpLink.com (Company Code: southdakota) to view these online seminars.
What's next in the Lunch and Learn series?
The next Lunch and Learn will focus on Annual Enrollment. The presentation will offer an in-depth look at the health plan options available to you, why participation is important, and more. Visit the Lunch and Learn page at 12:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday, April 8, to participate.