The transition has been guided by several goals that are evident in the medical plan changes:

•  Enhance benefits while managing costs for employees and the health system

•  Streamline and simplify the experience for employees

•  Encourage use of health system services

The medical plans and provider networks

The health system offers a PPO and an HSA, mirroring the types of plans previously offered in Greater Kansas. Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the network provider for both the HSA Advantage Plan and the Signature Plan (PPO).

The plans provide in-network coverage through the Blue Select Plus and Blue Card PPO networks which offer a strong match with providers offered through the previous Trustmark Health network. Most employees in Greater Kansas will be able to continue care with their current providers at in-network rates:

•  All 20 of the most-used providers are in-network

•  The 20 most-used hospitals are in-network

•  99.8% of Tier 1 Trustmark providers are in-network

To search for in-network providers, visit and:

•  Click “Find a Provider”

•  Enter the alpha prefix “USK” to see in-network providers for the HSA Advantage and Signature plans

Lower cost of medical care

The medical plans offer more robust coverage than the previous plan in Greater Kansas with significantly lower out-of-pocket costs for employees, especially for care received within the health system:

•  Lower deductibles and coinsurance

•  Lower copays for primary care and specialists for health system providers

•  Lower copays for urgent care and emergency room

•  Lower out-of-pocket maximums

•  Preventative care remains covered at 100%

In all cases, using health system providers at Greater Kansas locations as well as in the Kansas City metro area saves you the most money. The increased availability of telehealth services expands access to care, with no drive required.

We are proud of the care provided at The University of Kansas Health System, which is why the health system network always has the lowest cost to you.

More robust coverage for dental and vision care

The plans for dental and vision coverage are more robust and offer more choices.

The dental plan uses the same carrier, Delta Dental, and employees now have a choice of two plans – the Basic Plan and the Plus Plan. Both plans have significantly lower deductibles and coinsurance.

Both plans offer coverage for additional cleanings for certain health conditions. The Plus Plan offers coverage for adult orthodontia.

Vision coverage will now be provided through VSP, which offers a wide network of providers in Greater Kansas, with 96% of employees having a provider within 25 miles. The coverage is more robust, including a greater allowance for eyeglass frames.

In 2021, employees in Greater Kansas will have greater flexibility with regard to choice about enrolling in vision coverage as it will no longer be bundled with the medical plan.

Different paycheck costs

Employees in Greater Kansas will notice differences in their paychecks related to benefit costs. Starting in January 2021 premiums for medical, dental, vision and others will be deducted from 24 pay periods per year rather than 26 (FSA and HSA contributions will continue to be deducted from 26 paychecks).

This means premiums will appear higher since your share of the annual cost of benefits will be divided among a smaller number of paychecks. The cost of benefits will be slightly higher in 2021 – increases that will be balanced out by the significantly lower out-of-pocket costs described above for deductibles, copays, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums.

•  Medical and dental plans have slightly higher premiums

•  Separate premium for vision

In addition, employees who use tobacco will receive a surcharge of $50 per paycheck effective January 1. Spouses will no longer be subject to this requirement. The attestation will occur during the enrollment process when you are making your benefit elections so you will not need to attest in the wellness portal.

The health system cares about your health and has resources to help you stop using tobacco products. Tobacco cessation programs are available at no cost to you through the wellness portal. If you complete the program by November 30, the surcharge will be waived.

Employees who enroll their spouse in a medical plan will be charged $50 per paycheck only if the spouse has access to another employer’s medical coverage.

Use the health system pharmacy for convenience and lower cost

The benefits plan for 2021 is focused on providing greater convenience to employees for receiving prescriptions, while at the same time managing increasing costs for you and the health system.

Health system pharmacy locations – at HaysMed and in the Kansas City metro area – offer:

•  Free home delivery

•  Ability to fill, refill and transfer prescriptions electronically

•  Virtual counseling

•  No need for an in-person visit

With these services, the health system pharmacy is able to serve all employees, regardless of location.

Beginning in 2021, specialty medications must be filled by the health system pharmacy. In addition, maintenance medications must be filled by the health system pharmacy or one of three designated pharmacies in Greater Kansas.

Resources to support you

We are here to support you through this transition. Here are some resources available to you:

•  Starting September 29, an interactive benefits guide will be posted here on the Annual Open Enrollment Information Hub.

•  Greater Kansas employees will receive a printed benefits guide at home at the end of September

•  In early October, we will mail to all employee homes a reference guide including benefit highlights and instructions on how to enroll from any computer or mobile device

•  Benefits help line: When calling the Benefits Help Line from a health system phone, you must dial 9 to get an outside line, then dial 1-888-494-9119 (open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays)

•  Benefits email:

•  Benefits enrollment website:

•  One-on-one enrollment assistance by phone or video, beginning October 12: scheduling [link coming soon] launches October 8

•  Virtual benefits expo:

Check back on this communications hub, for the most up-to-date information.