Maximize Your Health Care Dollars

2020 and 2021 Plan Year Information

Consider Coverage Options

Consider which coverage option under the Medical Plan best fits your anticipated health care needs. You have three national options to choose from administered by Cigna or UnitedHealthcare.* Each coverage option provides access to the Plan administrator’s network of health care providers and services – but each is priced differently, offering you more choice and flexibility:

  • Option A has the highest paycheck contributions and the lowest annual deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.
  • Option B has moderate paycheck contributions and a moderate annual deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.
  • Option C, consumer-driven health coverage, has the lowest paycheck contributions and the highest annual deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. Unique to Option C, you can open a Health Savings Account (HSA), which has a variety of tax advantages and investment options. Funding an HSA, through payroll deductions or lump-sum contributions, can help offset the higher deductible.

* Note:

Employees in California may also choose medical coverage through Kaiser. Employees in Hawaii may elect coverage only from Kaiser or HMSA (UnitedHealthcare and Cigna are not available). Eligible US employees with international assignments may also elect coverage from the Cigna Global Health Medical Plan.

Get Preventive Care

Receive preventive care at no cost to you. When you use in-network providers, the Medical Plan pays 100% for preventive medical services including annual physicals, well-woman and well-child exams, and eligible age-specific cancer and other screenings.

Use In-Network Providers

  • In-network fees typically offer considerable savings over comparable out-of-network services.
  • Your in-network annual deductible is half the amount of your out-of-network annual deductible.
  • Once you meet your annual deductible, the Firm pays a greater percentage of the coinsurance (80% for in-network vs 60% of Reasonable and Customary rates for out-of-network), so you’ll pay less out of your own pocket for every in-network doctor visit or medical service.
  • In-network providers are responsible for completing any required preauthorization and most other paperwork, saving you time and money. (If you use an out-of-network provider, it is your responsibility to obtain preauthorization from Cigna or UnitedHealthcare before receiving care. Failure to do so could mean that you will not be reimbursed by the Medical Plan.)
  • You will also save money when using in-network providers for your dental and vision care services, and generally receive a higher level of benefits for covered services under the Dental and Vision Plans.

Save with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Contribute to a Health Care FSA and use before-tax dollars to pay for eligible health care expenses. An FSA can offer tax savings between 25% and 40%, depending on your tax bracket.

You may also want to consider enrolling in a Dependent Day Care FSA to save on eligible day care expenses for your children under age 13 or other qualifying relatives.

You can participate in a Health Care FSA whether or not you are enrolled in the Medical Plan; however, if you enroll in Option C of the Medical Plan, you cannot enroll in the Health Care FSA. You may enroll in a Limited Purpose FSA which can only be used for eligible dental and vision expenses.

Important: You must elect to contribute to an FSA during Annual Enrollment each fall – your FSA elections do not roll over from year to year. You may be eligible to enroll if you experience a qualified life event, such as getting married or having a child. New employees or newly benefits-eligible employees have 31 days after their hire or benefits eligibility date to enroll in FSA coverage.

In accordance with IRS limits, you may contribute up to the following amounts:

  • Health Care FSA: $2,600 in 2017 (or $2,650 in 2018)
  • Dependent Day Care FSA: $5,000 if single or married and file a joint tax return; $2,500 if married and file a separate tax return

Contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you elect Option C under the Medical Plan, you can contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA is similar to a Health Care FSA, but has some important differences. There is no use-it-or-lose-it feature, allowing you to save the money to pay for eligible health care costs when you need it most, whether that’s this year, a few years down the road or after you retire.

An HSA also has triple-tax savings:

  • Pre-tax contributions lower your current taxable income
  • Tax-free growth, even on investments
  • Tax-free distribution means you don’t pay taxes when you use HSA dollars to pay for eligible health care expenses

You own the money in your HSA, and it’s portable and investable (for amounts over $500). However, you cannot use your preelected HSA funds for eligible expenses until you have actually contributed the money into your HSA account. You cannot use your preelected HSA funds for eligible expenses until you have actually contributed the money into your HSA account.

And if you’re looking to further maximize your tax savings, you may open a Limited Purpose FSA for eligible dental and vision expenses (Option C participants only).

In accordance with IRS limits, you may contribute up to the following amounts:

Health Savings Account

  • Individual coverage:
    • 2017: $3,400
    • 2018: $3,450
  • Family coverage:
    • 2017: $6,750
    • 2018: $6,900
  • If you are age 55 or older, you may make an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000 annually until you become eligible for Medicare.

Limited Purpose FSA (for dental and vision expenses only): $2,600 ($2,650 in 2018)

Confirm Providers Are In-Network

Confirm that your doctors and other providers participate in your Plan administrator’s networks. If you need a new doctor, contact UnitedHealthcare or Cigna to find an in-network provider.

Use Wellness Programs

Take advantage of free wellness programs through Cigna or UnitedHealthcare. Get complimentary health coaching and a health assessment to help you manage stress, lose weight, quit smoking and more. Call or visit your Medical Plan administrator’s website for more information.

If you work in the New York Metro area, the Firm’s Onsite Health Centers also offer free health and wellness coaching.

Find Quality Care

Cigna and UnitedHealthcare distinguish in-network doctors and facilities that meet certain quality-of-care and cost-efficiency measures. To qualify for this designation doctors must be board certified in their specialty and have earned one or more quality designations from an independent rating agency such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance. These doctors are highlighted on mycigna.com or myuhc.com with specific icons, or you may obtain a complete list of qualifying physicians on your Plan administrator’s website.

Want More?

Looking for other ways to save? Review this handy guide with 10 ways to save on quality health care with your Morgan Stanley benefits.