Nov. 2-19: Open enrollment

Benefits open enrollment for UF Health Shands employees begins Nov. 2 and closes on Nov. 19. Take time to use the tools our Human Resources department provides to ensure you are enrolled in the benefits that best satisfy the health needs of you and your family.

“Benefits are a significant part of employees’ total compensation,” said Denise Huggins, UF Health Shands Human Resources benefits manager. “Open enrollment only happens once a year, and it’s important to review what’s available and what you and your family will need for the next 12 months.”

Open Enrollment

Look for the HR benefits newsletter — it outlines changes to this year’s benefit plans and guides you through the enrollment process. It will be mailed to your home the week of Oct. 19.

Resources will be posted on the Bridge under “Employee Services” and “HR Gainesville – Shands” to help you assess options and make selections online.

For employees who prefer one-on-one guidance, enrollers will be in the UF Health Shands Hospital Atrium from Nov. 5 to 19 to assist employees in person.

The UF Health Shands Human Resources Benefits department will host a Benefits Information Day on Nov. 13 at the UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital/UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital and Nov. 16-18 in the UF Health Shands Hospital Atrium.

These opportunities give employees a chance to speak with vendor representatives about different benefit plans.

“We are proud to once again offer a wide array of     benefits to our staff and will offer multiple opportunities for them to either discuss one-on-one, or read in print or online about what their options are to be sure they make informed choices,” said Janet Christie, UF Health Shands Human Resources senior vice president.

Clinical staff with hectic schedules often find it difficult to leave the unit to speak to enrollers. Managers can arrange for enrollers to come to their units during the open enrollment period by emailing

“I usually set up question-and-answer sessions for staff to talk directly with our benefits folks,” said Helen Welsh, M.S.N., R.N., NE-BC, UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital Adult Oncology Unit 8 East nurse manager. “We are very fortunate at UF Health Shands to have excellent benefits. But sometimes the options or changes may seem complex, and I believe it is important for staff to understand their options and maximize their benefits.”

One change to look out for this year relates to health insurance qualification. The Affordable Care Act employer-shared responsibility provisions are now active and may positively impact more of our employees. Non-benefits-eligible employees who worked an average of 30 hours per week over the prior 12 months may now be eligible for full-time health insurance.

Enrollment will reopen Nov. 30-Dec. 4 so staff can check selections and confirm that enrollment requests are correct.

Stay informed! Check your home mailbox and read Shands News and upcoming email announcements.

Did you know?

If you are an employee classified as .50 FTE (full-time equivalency) or greater you are eligible to participate in benefits annual open enrollment.

The following flexible spending programs do NOT roll over from year to year, and HR requires that you re-enroll each year:

  • Health care reimbursement account
  • Dependent care reimbursement account

UF Health Shands provides eligible employees with the following benefits at no cost:

  • Short-term and long-term disability
  • Employer-paid group life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Retirement savings

As a percent of pay, the value of your UF Health Shands benefits is on average 28 percent.