• 2023 – 2024 Benefit Annual Enrollment

    For the 2023 - 2024 benefit year, the GIC is again hosting its annual enrollment using the MyGICLink Member Benefits Portal. All benefit eligible employees have from April 5 until May 3 2023 to finalize benefit elections for July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024. 

    The new plan year marks the beginning of the new health insurance contract cycle, and because of this, and the merger of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care into Point32 Health, there are changes to several benefits for the plan year beginning July 1, 2023. The GIC encourages all members to actively shop and evaluate their health coverage options during annual enrollment. Please carefully review the GIC benefit guide, as well as detailed benefit information for each insurance carrier to assist you in making informed decisions about your coverage.

    Information about the GICs changes in plans is outlined in the 2023 - 2024 Benefit Decision Guide. Be sure to review the health insurance plan placement options page on pages 4 -5 of this guide to see if the health plan you are currently enrolled in is changing. It is important to evaluate your options and select a health insurance plan that meets your needs. After evaluating your options, if you do not want to select a different plan during annual enrollment, no further action is needed. However, if you wish to select a different plan, be sure to submit your changes to the GIC no later than May 3, 2023. 

    All plans will become effective July 1, 2023, with deductions beginning in June. As a reminder, you must re-enroll if you wish to participate in a health care or dependent care Flexible Spending Account.


    MyGICLink Benefits Portal

    In order to prepare for this year’s electronic annual enrollment, the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) has provided the following links to help navigate the online enrollment process using the MyGICLink Benefits Portal. This portal will allow eligible employees the ability to review and make changes to current elections, submit documentation for any changes, and/or track the status of changes.

    1. MyGICLink Benefits Portal Registration: please click on this hyperlink if you have not already registered for an account with the GIC.

    2. MyGICLink Benefits Portal Login: please click on this hyperlink if you have already created and/or registered for an account.  


    Health Insurance - you may enroll in GIC health benefits and/or change your health benefit election at this time. For 2023 - 2024, the following health plan offerings are available to benefit eligible employees:

    Dental/Vision Insurance - you may enroll in GIC dental/vision benefits and/or change your dental product election. The plan rates for dental/vision coverage include both dental AND vision coverage:

    Life Insurance: Basic Life, Optional Life, and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) -  basic and optional life insurances and AD&D insurance help provide for your beneficiary’s well-being in the event of a serious accident or death. This benefit is paid to your designated beneficiary(ies).

    Long Term Disability: MetLife - All eligible employees can apply for LTD coverage during Annual Enrollment, or at any time during the year. You must provide proof of good health for MetLife’s approval to enter the plan. LTD coverage can be canceled throughout the year. Enrollment and cancellation effective dates are determined by the GIC. Upon receipt of your completed form, the GIC will notify MetLife of your application and MetLife will send you a medical form to complete and return. If approved by MetLife, the GIC will notify you of your effective date.

    Mass4YOU: Optum Live and Work Well - The GIC offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for all employees who are benefit eligible regardless of whether you have elected to take Valley benefits (access code mass4you). Members can call (844)263-1982 or visit the hyperlink above. Some of the benefits included in our EAP are:

    • Speaking privately with trained specialist 24/7

    • Three in-person or tele-EAP counseling sessions covered 100 percent

    • One 30-minute legal or mediation consultation, by phone or in-person

    • Up to three (3) financial consultations per year

    • Referrals to providers, such as child and elder care support, financial or legal concerns, and dependency issues like alcohol, drugs, gambling


    Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA): There are two types of FSA plans available to eligible GIC members, a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), which is used to pay for medical expenses for you and your eligible dependents; and a Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), which can be used to pay for childcare or assistance with disabled adult dependents. Both of these plans lower your income tax liability by the amount of your deductions. In exchange for the tax savings that these programs offer, the IRS imposes a use-it-or-lose-it rule. This means that you must use all the money in your account by the end of the plan year, or you lose that money, subject to the grace period. 

    Active state employees who are eligible for GIC benefits may enroll in a Health Care and/or Dependent Care FSA for the upcoming plan year (July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024) during Annual Enrollment. Even if you are enrolled in one or both FSAs this year, you must re-enroll if you wish to participate in Fiscal Year 2024 (July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024).

    TASC will be your new administrator of FSA benefits beginning with our upcoming plan year, and the grace and runout period for the current plan year (ending 6/30/23) will also be administered by TASC. TASC will work closely with Benefit Strategies to transfer any balances you have remaining as of 6/30/23 from Benefit Strategies, your current FSA administrator, to TASC. There will be a period of time after the current plan year ends when your funds will not be available. This blackout period will start at midnight on 6/30/2023 and will last until approximately 7/18/23, and is necessary to allow your FSA plans to be finalized by Benefit Strategies and your balance information to be sent to TASC for upload into your new TASC account. This does not mean that you cannot incur expenses during this time. For any expenses incurred during this time, please pay for the expenses personally then submit your claim to TASC via the online participant portal, the mobile app, or fax, once your grace/runout plan is active. We apologize for any inconvenience caused during this time. The last day the Benefit Strategies claim card will be functioning for HCSA is 6/30/23. All eligible manual claims received at Benefit Strategies on 6/30/23 will be processed and paid. Please plan accordingly as claims received after this time will not be accepted by Benefit Strategies and you will be required to resubmit them to TASC. Your new TASC Card® will be mailed out and is expected to be functioning beginning 7/1/23 for the start of the upcoming plan year, but any balances from your current plan year will not be available until approximately 7/18/23. Valley Collaborative will continue to pay the monthly administrative fee ($1.00/month) for any employee who enrolls in one or both FSAs.  

    The GIC’s FSA plans have a 2.5 month grace period, with an additional month allowed for claim submissions. This means that you will have until September 15 to incur claims (based on date of service) for a plan year that ended on June 30. You will then have until October 15 to submit those claims for reimbursement. During the grace period from a previous year, if there is also an election for the current year, any available funds from the previous year will be used first to pay for qualifying claims on both FSA plans. Members may still add, change, or stop participation in either or both FSA plans in response to a qualifying life event, such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, change in employment, or (DCAP only) change in childcare provider. You can enroll in a Health Care FSA for as little as $250 or as much as $3,050/year. You can enroll in a Dependent Care FSA for as little as $250 and as much as $5,000/year (or $2,500 if married and filing separate tax returns). 

    To enroll for the first time, or to re-enroll in a Flexible Spending Account(s), please go to the TASC Open Enrollment tab. You will need to enter the following information into the enrollment form with your elections:

    • Employee ID Number = Social Security Number

    • Agency Type = Other

    • Other Agency Name = 9990111 Valley Collaborative

    • Number of Payrolls: 24

      • Health Care Spending Account (HCSA): Your total annual Health Care FSA contribution is available to you immediately. You can enroll in a Health Care FSA for as little as $250 or as much as $3,050/year. 

      • Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP): Your Dependent Care FSA contributions are available to you as you contribute them to your account. You can enroll in a Dependent Care FSA for as little as $250 or as much as $5,000/year (or $2,500 if married and filing separate tax returns). 


    Health Insurance Buy-out

    Members with access to non-GIC health insurance through a spouse or another employer sponsored plan that meets IRS "minimum value" criteria and with basic life insurance. Under the GIC Health Insurance Buy-out Plan, eligible members receive 25% of the full-cost monthly premium in lieu of health insurance benefits for one 12-month period. If the member was insured with the GIC on January 1, 2023 or before and continue coverage through June 30, 2023, he/she may using the MyGICLink Benefits Portal during Annual Enrollment to buy out health plan coverage effective July 1, 2023.

    Short Term Disability Insurance (Non-GIC Benefit)

    In addition to GIC benefits, Valley also offers Short Term Disability insurance through The Hartford Insurance Company. This benefit is 100% employee paid. If you are electing this benefit for the first time, your payroll deduction will start upon approval from The Hartford Insurance Company. The following documents are hyperlinked below and can also be found in the Forms folder under the Human Resources tab from Valley Collaborative’s website:

    1. The Hartford Short Term Disability Benefit Highlights - please review as an overview of benefit details 

    2. Short Term Disability Enrollment Form and Evidence of Insurability –

      • If you are electing this benefit for the first time, complete this form and select: “Elect Coverage”

      • Note:  You must also complete the Evidence of Insurability, either MA, RI or NH, based on residency (pages 2 thru 5).

      • If you are canceling coverage this year, complete form and select:  “Decline Coverage”

      • If you currently have this benefit and wish to continue coverage for the 2022 - 2023 school year, you do not need to complete any paperwork at this time.

      • Please note: if you have changed into a new age band, your premiums will be increasing or decreasing based on the formula noted on the STD Enrollment Form.

    1. Premium Worksheet - if electing this benefit, please use this worksheet to complete the Enrollment Form

    Please complete the forms and email them to: hr@valleycollaborative.org. 


    Frequently Asked Questions

    If I want to keep my current medical and dental/vision coverage, making NO changes to my current plans, what do I need to do during Annual Enrollment?

    In the event that you do not wish to change your medical and/or dental/vision coverages during the Annual Enrollment period, you do not need to do anything to continue with your current coverage.



    What benefits must I re-enroll every year?

    Flexible Spending coverage, offered through TASC for HCSA and DCAP, must be re-enrolled every year. Please visit TASC to set up your 2023 - 2024 elections and see the enrollment section above for specific information you will need to complete your enrollment.


    What documents do I need to provide when adding family members to my GIC Health/Dental Vision policy?

    The GIC has published a Qualifying Status Change Events Chart of personal and/or family changes to help navigate the process of updating your insurance plans to match your new needs. Some of the most common changes include adding a spouse to your health and dental/vision coverage, which will require a copy of your marriage license. Another common scenario is adding dependents to your plans, which will require you to provide copies of birth certificates in addition to the completion of the GIC Form 1/1DV. 


    How do I cancel my Short Term Disability insurance during open enrollment?

    To unenroll in STD insurance, you need to complete The Hartford Short Term Disability enrollment form and check the “decline coverage” box.


    How do I cancel my GIC health insurance during Open Enrollment?

    To unenroll in GIC health insurance, you must complete a GIC Employment/ Change Form (Form-1) and check the box “decline GIC Health Insurance”. 


    How do I cancel my GIC dental/vision insurance during Open Enrollment?

    To unenroll GIC dental insurance, you must complete the GIC Dental/Vision Enrollment/Change Form-DV and check the box “Cancel GIC Dental/Vision Coverage”.


    Can I cancel my GIC coverage mid-year, or outside of Annual Enrollment?

    To cancel coverage mid-year you need to have a “Qualifying Life Event” or “Qualifying Status Change”. 

     What qualifies as a “Qualifying Life Event”?

    • Marriage

    • Birth/Adoption

    • Divorce/Legal Separation

    • Change in Dependent Eligibility Status

    • Gain of Other Coverage

    • Involuntary Loss of Other Coverage

    • Death of spouse/dependent

    • Spouse's Annual Enrollment