2018 Open Enrollment for Self-Insured Medical Plan

All employees on the County's self-insured medical plan (HMA) must complete the 2018 Medical Election Form and return it to Human Resources by November 30, 2017.  Your Open Enrollment election will take effect on January 1, 2018.

​         Choosing a medical plan might be confusing or intimidating, but Human Resources is available to help.  

In 2017 Whatcom County covered over 1,500 people on the HMA self-insured medical plan (this includes employees, spouses and/or dependents on all three plans). 

  • 75% of people on the Contributory Plan spent less than $500 towards their $3,000 out-of-pocket max; 77% paid no deductible in 2017. 
  • 79% of people on the 2000 Plan spent less than $500 towards their $4,000 out-of-pocket max; 82% paid no deductible in 2017.                   
How can members have out of pocket costs with no deductible accumulation?
The Contributory Plan and 2000 Plan have medical and pharmacy copays for many services, such as office visits, specialty visits, labs and/or x-rays and prescriptions.   After the copay is paid, most often there are no additional charges incurred by the member for that service.  Copays count towards the out-of-pocket maximum and NOT the deductible.

In many situations, a lower deductible plan may not save you money.
Members on the Contributory Plan and 2000 Plan pay the same copays.  Employees on the Contributory Plan pay an additional $1,780.00 in employee payroll contributions; even though 77% utilized medical services only subject to copays.

Your plan choice in 2018 may help you pay for medical expenses in the future.
For first time employees on the Qualified High Deductible Health Plan (QHDHP), Whatcom County provides seed money. 

  • 72% on the QHDHP spent less than $1,000 towards their deductible and out-of-pocket max for 2017.
  • For first time employees enrolling on the QHDHP, it is likely there will be excess seed money remaining in their Health Savings Account (HSA) to use for future qualified medical expenses regardless of their medical plan choice in the future. 
  • Employees can set aside pre-tax dollars on an ongoing basis to save for future qualified medical expenses. This can be an important benefit for employees who want medical savings to help during retirement.  

Want to learn more about these stats and which medical plan might work best for you and your family? 
If you have questions about the 2018 medical plans, please make an appointment (360) 778-5300 or stop by Human Resource, County Courthouse Suite 107, to meet with a knowledgeable Human Resource Representative.  Office Hours: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM Monday - Friday.

Summary of 2018 Medical Plan


We are able to offer the same three medical plan options for 2018 that are in place for 2017.  There are no changes to the schedule of benefits.  Please view the comparison chart and sample medical examples for more detailed information.
Benefits Chart for Website
  1. 2018 Medical Plan Choices
  2. Frequently Asked Questions
  3. Get More Information
  4. Estimate Your Expenses
  5. Make Your Election

Qualified High Deductible Health Plan with Health Savings Account (HSA)

The QHDHP has a $1,500 deductible for employee only coverage and a $3,000 deductible for employee plus dependent coverage.  With a QHDHP, you pay the full cost for medical care including, but not limited to, doctor visits, prescriptions, and/or inpatient and outpatient hospitalizations until you reach the deductible limits. Preventive care and preventive therapy drugs are covered in full (deductible waived). Once the deductible is met, the Schedule of Benefits and provider network is the same as the other two plans.

For 1st time enrollees, the county contributes seed money to the employee’s HSA.

QHDHP participants are also eligible to contribute their own funds to their HSA via payroll deduction.  If you wish to make contributions to your Health Savings Account in 2017, please also submit a 2018 HSA Payroll Deduction Form by November 30, 2017.  You must submit a new HSA Payroll Deduction Form for 2017 even if you made an election in 2016. Deductions elected in 2017 WILL NOT continue into 2018.  For more detailed information about the plan see the 2018 Summary of Benefits and Coverage.
 

No monthly employee payroll contribution Qualified High Deductible Health Plan.

2000 Plan (Default Plan)

The 2000 Plan has a $2,000 individual deductible and $6,000 maximum family deductible. You can access many services and have benefits kick in as soon as you pay the $30 office visit co-pay ($45 for specialist) or 20% of prescription costs without paying a deductible. After you meet your deductible the plan would cover the percent listed in the Schedule of Benefits.  For more detailed information about the plan see the 2018 Summary of Benefits and Coverage.

A $30 Office Visit co-pay is applicable when receiving care from a Primary Care Physician (PCP), Family Practice, OB/GYN, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, General Practice, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy and Mental and Nervous Outpatient (Counseling Services).

No monthly employee payroll contribution for the 2000 Plan.

Contributory Plan

With this option, employees can elect a lower deductible level ($750 for individual coverage, $2,250 for family coverage). Employees’ contributions are paid through pre-tax payroll deductions starting in December 2016.

Under the Contributory Plan, you can access many services and have benefits kick in as soon as you pay the $30 office visit co-pay ($45 for specialist) or 20% of prescription costs without paying a deductible. After you meet your deductible the plan would cover the percent listed in the Schedule of Benefits.  For more detailed information about the plan see the 2018 Summary of Benefits and Coverage.

A $30 Office Visit co-pay is applicable when receiving care from a Primary Care Physician (PCP), Family Practice, OB/GYN, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, General Practice, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy and Mental and Nervous Outpatient (Counseling Services).

 
$148.44 per month Employee payroll Contribution for the Contributory Plan (pre-tax dollars).


You MUST complete and submit a
2018 Medical Election Form even if you are selecting the same plan for 2018 as you had in 2017.  You will be defaulted into the 2000 Plan for 2018 if we do not receive an election form from you.