Effective July 1, 2021, Rutgers employees represented by our union, and all other unions in the Coalition of Rutgers Unions (CRU), will have the chance to pay less for state health benefits by switching to the new NJ Direct Plan during a special open enrollment that starts on May 3 and ends on May 14, 2021.
CRU negotiated this plan option with the University to give members relief from the higher costs that were imposed on us back in 2011 by the State under the Christie administration. If you choose this new plan, or the Omnia tiered plan, you will no longer pay the higher rates based on a percent of premium (this was imposed under a law called Chapter 78). Instead, you will pay as a percent of salary. Members switching to the new plan could save up to $1,500 in payroll deductions.
If you want to stay in your current plan, then there is nothing for you to do during this special open enrollment – no changes will be made and you will continue to pay based on percent of premium if you are not in NJ Direct or Omnia. If you are currently enrolled in the new plan (NJ Direct) or Omnia, then you don’t need to take action but you will see additional savings as you will convert from ‘percent of premium’ to ‘percent of salary’.
As part of the negotiated agreement we reached with the University, we will hold joint information sessions with the State’s Division of Pensions and Benefits and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield on the following dates:
- Monday, May 3: 2p-4p
- Wednesday, May 5: 10a-12p
- Tuesday, May 11: 2p-4p
- Thursday, May 13: 10a-12p
Information on signing up for these sessions will be coming out in the next couple of weeks.
We chose July 1 as the start date so that members could join and experience the plan with time to switch back to Direct 15 or another plan during the regular open enrollment period in October (for effective changes on January 1, 2022).
Dental benefits are not impacted at all by this agreement. You will have to wait until October’s open enrollment to make any changes to your dental benefits.
Sabrina Brown-Oliver, Vice President, HPAE Local 5089
Ryan Novosielski, Co-President, HPAE Local 5094
Justin O’Hea, Co-President, HPAE Local 5094