This year, open enrollment elections will be made on the new MIT Benefits Self-Service System using a telephone or computer with access to the Web via Netscape. Information regarding the Web application will be available shortly on the Benefits Office home page.
In past years, the Benefits Office has used a telephone enrollment system to allow employees to listen to a review of their benefits and to record benefit changes. The information captured on this system was then loaded into the Personnel/Benefits information system and confirmation statements were mailed to employees. This system helped Benefits provide improved service by dramatically decreasing the amount of staff time devoted to processing benefit changes and increasing the time available for Benefits staff to counsel employees about the various options available to them.
The Benefits Office has now developed electronic data transfer capabilities with some of the Institute's insurance carriers. Plan enrollments, changes and cancellations are now reported by a weekly file transfer to the Blue Cross plans, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Delta Dental. This process eliminates the need for Benefits Office data entry and allows the plans to update membership information, issue ID cards and deliver services more efficiently. Over the coming months, this model will be expanded to include all of MIT's health plans.
The new MIT Benefits Self-Service System, developed over the past year, further enhances service capabilities by allowing employees to enroll in benefits on the phone or via the Web. The Benefits Office invites feedback on the system as it continues to develop modules that will capture enrollment information for new employees and changes in benefits that result from events such as marriage or birth of a child.
Employees may contact Benefits by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org> or by phone at x3-0500.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 29, 1997.