Open Enrollment Is Underway — Here Are the Top Questions HR Is Receiving This Year

Oct. 29, 2020

While so many aspects of our lives have been disrupted this year, one thing remains the same: the importance of taking care of yourself and your family. The Annual Open Enrollment period is the time for you to choose the benefits and well-being resources that best meet your needs for 2021.

The following are the most frequently asked questions HR is receiving this year:

1- Do I need to do anything if I am not planning to change my benefits?

We recommend that you review your coverage to confirm your current elections will continue to meet your 2021 needs. If you are satisfied they do, you are not required to re-elect coverage, which automatically carries forward to 2021, with the exception of healthcare flexible spending and dependent care flexible spending accounts. You must make a new election if you want to contribute to either of these accounts in 2021. If you want to change your benefits coverage, you must make the new elections during Open Enrollment.

2- How do I enroll in voluntary benefits?

Winston Benefits handles your enrollment in voluntary benefits, which include supplemental health, legal services, and LTD Buy-up plans. To enroll, change, or waive coverage, go to myprincetonbenefits.com or contact Winston Benefits at (855) 393-3601.

3- What is the dental lock-in period?

The MetLife Basic Plan and the MetLife High Option Dental Plan feature a two-year lock-in period. This means that, if you elect the MetLife Basic or High Option Dental plan during Open Enrollment, or if you carry over your 2020 enrollment into 2021, your coverage remains in effect through December 31, 2022. You may not waive or change coverage until the 2023 Open Enrollment period unless you experience a qualifying event. If you waive dental coverage or enroll in the Aetna DMO, you will not have the option to elect a MetLife dental plan until the 2023 Open Enrollment period.

4- Can I increase my supplemental life insurance?

You may elect or increase your supplemental life insurance amount by one times your base salary without Evidence of Insurability (EOI), provided the increase does not raise your supplemental life insurance above three times your base salary or $500,000. EOI is required for any election over three times your base salary or $500,000 in value.

5- Can I change my contribution to the Retirement Savings Plan during open enrollment?

Yes! You can change your Retirement Savings Plan contribution for 2021 in HR Self Service at any time during the year, including Open Enrollment.

6- Why should I attend the Virtual Benefits Fair?

While it is hard to replace the in-person fair, the virtual version will still offer employees the opportunity to connect with benefits providers and gather the information needed to make decisions for the upcoming year. Join us from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4, and Thursday, November 5, for on-demand and live presentations.

7- Will I have the opportunity to make a mid-year change to my Healthcare or Dependent Care FSA elections after open enrollment?

Unless the IRS makes changes to allow for mid-year changes in 2021, you will not have the opportunity to make mid-year changes to your Healthcare FSA election, unless you experience a qualified status event. Therefore, you should carefully estimate your election amount.

The IRS allows mid-year changes to your Dependent Care FSA election in certain circumstances such as a qualified status event or if your childcare needs change. The changes allowed are on a prospective basis only, and refunds of monies already contributed are currently not allowed.

8- Did COVID-19 affect any of my benefits?

Throughout the pandemic, there have been many updates to Princeton’s healthcare plans and well-being resources. Visit the Benefits Updates During COVID-19 webpage for information that may help you and your dependents.


Find key dates, communications, resources, and plan information on the Open Enrollment website. Be sure to enroll by midnight on Friday, November 13!

If you have questions, contact the Benefits Team at (609) 258-3302 or benefits@princeton.edu.