FAQs

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  • When is annual enrollment?

    Annual enrollment begins October 21 and ends November 22, 2013.

  • If I do not want to make changes to my coverage for 2014, do I still need to enroll?

    If you do not have any changes to your full-time benefits, there is no action required for the 2014 Full-Time Annual Enrollment.  You are required to re-enroll in the health care flexible spending account (FSA), dependent care FSA, and health savings account (HSA). Those annual pledges from 2013 will not carry over to 2014.

  • If I make changes to my benefit elections, when will those changes be effective?

    Any changes you make will be effective January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014.

  • Do I need to re-enroll in my flexible spending accounts or health savings account?

    Yes.  If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), you are required by law to re-enroll in the health care FSA, dependent care FSA, and/or HSA each year.

  • If I do not re-enroll in medical coverage, will my tobacco status carry over from 2013 to 2014?

    Yes.  If you do not re-enroll in coverage from 2013 to 2014, you will keep the same tobacco status you pledged in 2013.

  • What are my annual enrollment options?

    • Lowe’s will continue to offer at least two medical plans at each location
    • Dental
    • Vision
    • Lowe’s also offers voluntary benefits such as long-term disability, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, prepaid legal, critical illness, accident, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and discounts on auto and home insurance.
  • How are the medical plans changing this year?

    Most medical plans have been redesigned for 2014.  The Copay 500 and 750 plans will be going away in 2014 and will be replaced with new medical plans called Option 1 and Option 2.  The Option 1 and Option 2 plans will be PPO plans.  Meaning, that there is an in and out-of-network plan design, and employees will receive greater plan benefits under the in-network plan.

    The 1750 Medical Plan Option will be renamed HDHP, but the plan design will remain the same.

    HMO plans offered through Geisinger, Health Plan Nevada, Blue Care Michigan, and Coventry Health Care of Missouri (formerly Group Health Plan of Missouri) will be going away in 2014.  Employees currently enrolled in these HMOs will be offered the Option 1 and Option 2 plan.  Kaiser and HMSA will continue to be offered to employees in certain locations in 2014.

    Employees and their families should visit the My Benefits site to review the plan offerings for their location and the plan designs before electing a new plan.  My Benefits can be accessed through My Lowe’s Life or www.mylowesbenefits.com.

  • What else is new this year?

    Below are some of the changes that will occur during this year’s annual enrollment:

    • Lowe’s vision plan will be offered through VSP in 2014.  The low and high plans will be replaced with one vision plan offering.  Employees enrolled in one of the current vision plans will automatically be placed in the new vision plan offered through VSP if they do not waive coverage for 2014.
    • Cigna will be the new provider for Lowe’s disability, life, and accidental death & dismemberment products.
    • Supplemental life insurance and long-term disability benefits are open this year and you can enroll without having to submit Evidence of Insurability (EOI).
    • The critical illness benefit will also be open this year. Full-time employees who are not enrolled or wish to increase their critical illness benefit can do so without EOI up to the maximum amount of $50,000.
    • The Health Savings Account (HSA) maximum this year will be $3,300 for an individual or $6,550 for a family.  Like last year, employees over age 55 can contribute an extra $1,000 to their HSA in 2014.

    Please refer to the “What’s New” page for additional information.

  • How will the vision plan design change now that it is offered by VSP?

    VSP (Vision Service Plan) is the nation’s leading provider of vision care, with more than 59 million members. It offers the largest provider network in the nation, and will provide new benefits for Lowe’s employees.

    The new plan has a similar plan design to the current high plan, with some benefit enhancements such as the frame allowance and lenses options.

    Employees currently enrolled in the low or high vision plan will automatically roll over to the new vision plan offered through VSP unless they waive coverage during annual enrollment. Employees do not need to re-enroll in coverage unless they would like to make a change.

  • Are there changes to the dental plan?

    There are no plan design or vendor changes to the dental plan.

  • What do I need to do if I have a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA)?

    If you want to continue your FSA or HSA contributions, you’ll need to re-enroll for an FSA or HSA online during annual enrollment.  Any changes you make will be effective January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014.  The annual pledges from 2013 will not carry over to 2014.

  • How much can I contribute in 2014 to my health care FSA?

    Like last year, the maximum you can contribute to a health care FSA is $2,500 in 2014. The minimum amount you can contribute is $250.

  • Where can I learn more about all benefit options?

    Lowe’s has launched a new benefits website called, My Benefits, and it will replace the current Benefits Choices Guide on My Lowe’s Life.  For the first time ever, family members will be able to view Lowe’s benefits information.  Employees and families can access the new website on a computer, tablet, or smart phone. The website also includes an interactive guide that can aid employees and their families in making a family status change outside of annual enrollment.

    The My Benefits website will be available on the My Lowe’s Life dropdown by clicking My Benefits and on an external website, www.mylowesbenefits.com.

    My Benefits contains a plan cost estimator tool, a “What’s New” document outlining key changes, a tutorial, plan designs, rates, and benefit carriers.  When you are ready to enroll, click “Enroll Now” to see your personalized coverage options and costs.

     

  • How do I enroll in benefits?

    Like last year, you will enroll online via Lowe’s enrollment system, Empowered Benefits.  You can access our enrollment system through the “Enroll Now” link on the My Benefits website.

    Please review the Empowered Benefits tutorial on the My Benefits website or ask your HRM or Coach for assistance if you still have questions.

  • I am unsure of my current elections. Can I easily figure this out while enrolling?

    Yes.  Click on the “Enroll Now“ link on the My Benefits site and scroll down to the 2013 Benefits Summary.

  • How do I know my annual enrollment elections were accepted?

    You will receive a confirmation statement on the Empowered Benefits enrollment system immediately after you complete your enrollment and hit the submit button.  You have the option to print and/or email the confirmation statement.

  • What if I need to make changes to my coverage after annual enrollment ends?

    Based on IRS rules, you can generally make changes during the plan year only if you have a qualified change in your family or employment status. Examples include marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, moving from full-time to part-time status, or moving from part-time to full-time status.  All qualified changes must be consistent with the eligible life event. You must make qualified status changes within 31 days of the event. If you do not, you must wait until the next annual enrollment to make changes to your benefits.  All qualified status changes must be completed online through Lowe’s enrollment system, Empowered Benefits.

  • I want to maintain and/or improve my health, but need help. What resources does Lowe’s offer?

    Lowe’s offers many great programs for you and your family through My Life Track, including confidential support for work and/or life issues, a prenatal program for expectant mothers enrolled in most of Lowe’s medical plans, tobacco cessation to help quit smoking, and online tools for managing health year-round. Visit www.lowesmylifetrack.com for more information.

  • How will Health Care Reform (HCR) impact Annual Enrollment?

    Beginning in 2014, Health Care Reform, also known as the Affordable Care Act, requires most individuals in the United States (including children) to have some form of qualifying health insurance or pay a penalty.  Lowe’s offers full-time health coverage that meets the minimum value standard and is considered qualifying health insurance.

    Beginning in October 2013 you will be able to purchase individual health coverage through a public health insurance marketplace offered in each state (these are also known as “exchanges”).

    For additional information regarding Health Care Reform, please visit the following:

    • Healthcare.gov or 1-800-318-2596 for general Health Care Reform information and information on the Marketplaces.
    • IRS.gov/aca for information on health coverage and your taxes.
  • Who should I contact if I have questions about Lowe’s benefits or annual enrollment?

    If you have additional questions regarding your benefits or annual enrollment, please reach out to your HR Manager or Coach.