Important Update on L.A. City Health Benefits

Open Enrollment Extended to Nov. 15
Los Angeles city employees will receive FLEX benefits enrollment packets for the 2013 plan year within the first two weeks of October. Please review your FLEX enrollment materials to determine whether you need to make any benefit plan changes.
This year, the open enrollment period will be extended through Nov. 15.
This period allows you to select your benefits and to add or delete dependents to your medical, dental and other benefit plans. Your benefit election will be effective Jan. 1, 2013.
To enroll online, visit and click on “Enroll in Benefits or Make Changes” on the right-hand side of the home page.
What’s Happening with My Plan?
If you are covered by Kaiser, you will not experience any change to your health plan.
All city workers covered by Anthem Blue Cross’s HMO plan will experience a change. Effective Jan. 1, 2013, you will be covered by a narrow network HMO, called Select HMO.
This will eliminate certain high-cost providers from the network. Because of this change, there will be no increases in deductibles and copays. But there will be a significant reduction in premiums.
Why Are These Changes Being Made?
Earlier this year, CAO Miguel Santana threatened city workers with layoffs if the city could not secure a savings of $12 million on its employee healthcare plans in 2013.
In order to meet this demand and to prevent layoffs, the Joint Labor-Management Benefits Committee adopted a proposal by Anthem Blue Cross to implement a narrow network.
Providers not included in Anthem’s narrow network are the UCLA and Cedars-Sinai medical groups and others.
The JLMBC reviewed Anthem’s proposal and concluded it would be a better alternative to other changes promoted by city management, including increased copays and higher deductibles.
Labor’s representatives on the JLMBC wanted to ensure that city workers would not suffer increased costs or reduced benefits. 
I’m in a PPO, Will I Be Affected?
You will not be affected if you are covered by Anthem Blue Cross’s PPO plan. At the JLMBC meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2, the JLMBC voted unanimously to maintain the Anthem PPO plan at the current network level.
This means the UCLA and Cedars-Sinai medical groups and other providers will remain in-network for employees with Anthem PPO coverage.
What if I Want to Keep My Full Network Coverage?
You may elect the full network PPO, which has a higher premium and requires deductibles for medical care.
Or you can elect to join the full network HMO plan, which will be introduced on January 1, 2013. Under the full network HMO plan, you will be required to pay increased premium costs.
To avoid these costs, we urge employees covered by Anthem’s HMO plan to find out whether their medical providers are members of the Select HMO plan.
Is My Doctor in the Select HMO Network?
About 9 out of 10 doctors who are in the current network are also in the Anthem Select HMO network.
You can get more information about Anthem’s Select HMO plan in these ways:
Online: To find out if your doctor is in the Anthem Select HMO network, go here: (don’t log in as a member).
Phone: Contact Anthem by calling (800) 288-2539.
Are There Other Changes to My FLEX Benefits?
Your FLEX benefits packet has information about the full range of changes to your benefits. Here are a few notable ones:
  • Health coverage is expanding to include additional preventive services for women.
  • The amount you can set aside annually in the Healthcare Flexible Spending Account is reduced to $2,500. 
  • You can now enroll in commuter spending accounts that help save on the cost of commuting to work. The benefit covers public transportation and parking expenses. 
  • The dental PPO plan subsidy, which is the amount the city pays toward the cost of dental coverage, will be reduced effective July 1, 2013.

What If I Have More Questions?
Please call the Benefits Service Center at (800) 778-2133, or (800) 735-2922 if hearing or speech impaired.
You can also call the 721 Member Connection at (877) 721-4968.
Download an informational flyer.