Open Enrollment for 2021 benefits includes new health plan option


Faculty, staff, retirees and benefits-eligible graduate students may change their benefits during the once-a-year Open Enrollment that runs Oct. 19 through 5 p.m. Oct. 30.

Changes can be made to health, dental, vision and legal plan enrollments. Faculty and staff may also add eligible dependents and enroll in a flexible spending account.


Benefits changes and new rates will take effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Eligible employees and retirees will have an additional health plan choice for 2021. The university will add Michigan Care, a new managed-care plan, to the available options.

U-M will continue to offer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Community Blue PPO, Comprehensive Major Medical and U-M Premier Care, as well as GradCare for benefits-eligible graduate students.

Michigan Care is a managed-care plan similar to U-M Premier Care. It will offer a narrower network than U-M Premier Care with a lower monthly premium for non-Medicare participants. 

In addition to telehealth coverage with their network primary care provider or specialist, Michigan Care members will have on-demand video access to Amwell Online Care Group physicians for urgent medical needs, and access to the Amwell behavioral health network by appointment. 

Because of the narrow provider network, access to the plan will be limited to faculty, staff and retirees who live in a specific geographic area within Southeast Michigan. An online tool is available to determine what ZIP codes are part of the coverage area.

The new plan will include chiropractic coverage, and access to Michigan Medicine health care providers as well as other high-quality network providers in Southeast Michigan. Faculty, staff and retirees can find out now if their providers are part of the network using an online directory.

Visit for access to the provider directory, eligibility tool and more information on the plan. 

No action required, except for flexible spending accounts

No action is required to keep current benefits, except for flexible spending accounts. There are two types of FSAs, pre-tax accounts used to pay for qualified health care expenses or child day care expenses. 

The Internal Revenue Service regulates FSAs. Unlike other benefits, the IRS rules do not allow FSA enrollments to continue from one year to the next. Employees who wish to participate in an FSA for 2021 will need to enroll.

Review benefits plans, options and rates

The Benefits Office encourages everyone to evaluate health plans based on cost, provider network and the anticipated use of health care services. Total annual health care spending for all dependents covered under an individual’s benefits should be considered. This includes monthly premiums, co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles.

Rates for 2021 are available through Wolverine Access. Benefits plan information is available at

Enroll or make changes online

Faculty, staff and benefits-eligible graduate students can make benefits changes online from Oct. 19 until 5 p.m. Oct. 30.

The Benefits Office will mail books to retirees in mid-September. Retirees may make changes online or complete and return the enrollment form included in the Open Enrollment book. Forms must be returned by fax or mail and received or postmarked by Oct. 30.

Wolverine Tower is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and no walk-in service is available.


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