Benefits choice period begins Tuesday

Benefits choice period begins Tuesday

The benefits choice period begins Tuesday for state employees and retirees, but those groups will have to wait to sign up for health insurance.

Beth Spencer, spokeswoman for the State Universities Retirement System, said information on dental and life insurance options is available.  But there are no updates yet on health insurance options since the state has not awarded contracts to winning bidders.  Among health insurance providers awaiting word is Health Alliance, which is based in Urbana.

Spencer said members of SURS, along with the College Insurance Plan and state employees, will be given enough time to make a choice once the contracts are finalized.

Employees and retirees should continue to check the state benefits website on a regular basis for updates, Spencer said, adding that  the SURS website also provides the latest information.

Spencer said the delay is no cause for alarm.  She said there will be time to make a choice on health insurance, and a clear deadline will be provided.

Mike Claffey, spokesman for the state's Central Management Services and Department of Healthcare and Family Services, said vendors have until May 17 to submit a proposal to be considered as the state's healthcare provider.