What’s New for 2014

My Benefits. My Choice.

 

Click here for a print-ready PDF.

2014 Full-Time Annual Enrollment is October 21 to November 22. Review your benefits and enroll online. You are not required to re-enroll this year unless you would like to make a change. However, you are required by law to re-enroll in the healthcare flexible spending account (FSA), dependent care FSA, and health savings account (HSA). The annual pledges from 2013 will not carry over to 2014.

For 2014, Lowe’s continues our commitment to your wellness with programs and tools to help you make smart choices for your health. Our medical plans provide preventive care paid for by Lowe’s – and comprehensive coverage when you face a health challenge.

We encourage you to visit the new My Benefits website during annual enrollment and throughout the year. My Benefits contains a tutorial on this year’s annual enrollment and information on new plan designs, rates, and vendors.

  • My Benefits Website

    • Lowe’s just released a new benefits website called My Benefits, and it will replace the current Benefits Choices Guide on My Lowe’s Life.  The My Benefits website will be available on both My Lowe’s Life and an external website, www.mylowesbenefits.com.
    • You and your family will be able to access My Benefits via computer, tablet or smart phone.  A username and password are not required unless you would like to access a plan or vendor’s website through single sign-on, which will allow the vendor to recognize your personal benefit information.  My Benefits links to the health vendor’s websites and Empowered Benefits enrollment site.
    • The website also includes an interactive tool called My Life, that can aid you and your family when making a family status change outside of annual enrollment.  The My Life tool lists six of the most common family status changes, including marriage, birth of a child, and job status changes. It discusses each event, and gives guidance on what changes to make for each family status change.
  • Enrollment System

    • All enrollments will be completed online with our enrollment system, Empowered Benefits.  You can access the enrollment system through the “Enroll Now” link at the top of the page.
    • After you complete your 2014 enrollment, review your confirmation statement on the Empowered Benefits site to verify your 2014 elections.
  • Core Benefits

    Core Benefits- Medical:

    • Lowe’s reviewed all medical vendors and plans for the 2014 plan year and chose best-in-class medical vendors.  Lowe’s is excited to partner with our new vendors for the 2014 plan year.
    • In 2014, the medical plans will be offered through Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, UnitedHealthcare, Kaiser, and HMSA.
    • 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.
    • In addition to the medical vendor changes, Lowe’s has also redesigned the medical plans 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 administered by Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and UnitedHealthcare in 2014.
    • To review the plan design for Option 1 and Option 2 plans, click here.
    • The 1750 Medical Plan Option will be renamed HDHP, but the plan design will remain the same.
    • Magellan will no longer administer the behavioral health and substance abuse benefits in 2014.  These benefits will be administered by your medical vendor in 2014.  Magellan will still administer the Family Assistance Program and personal health assessment in 2014.
    • You should visit the medical page on the My Benefits site to see who will provide coverage in your area for 2014. The page has an interactive map with every state to help you see what plans are available.
    • If you are enrolled in a 2013 medical plan that is going away in 2014, Lowe’s will automatically move you to the 2014 default plan for your location unless you make a change.  Please see the list below to see what plan you will default to if you do not make a change during annual enrollment (the list below is based off of work locations for Store and Distribution Center employees only):
    2013 Medical Plan 2014 Medical Plan
    Copay 500Option 1
    Copay 750 (Non-Kaiser locations only)Option 1
    Copay 750 (Kaiser locations only)Option 2
    1750 Medical Plan OptionUHC HDHP
    Kaiser CaliforniaKaiser California
    Kaiser ColoradoKaiser Colorado
    Kaiser GeorgiaKaiser Georgia
    Kaiser of the Mid-AtlanticKaiser of the Mid-Atlantic
    Kaiser OregonKaiser Oregon
    HMSA HMOHMSA HMO
    HMSA PPOHMSA PPO
    Blue Care MichiganOption 1
    Coventry Health Care of MissouriOption 1
    Health Plan NevadaOption 1
    Geisinger Health PlanOption 1
    • The medical and dental rates will increase according to our annual trend from past claims experience.  To view the 2014 rates, please review the Rates tab on the My Benefits site.
    • If you and your family pledge to be tobacco-free, you will receive a $65.00 discount per month ($30.00 bi-weekly) off the 2014 medical premium rates.

     

    Core Benefits- Vision:

    • Starting January 1, 2014, a new vision plan offered through VSP (Vision Service Plan) will be available and will replace the current vision plan offered through UnitedHealthcare.
    • The low and high vision plans will be replaced with one vision plan offered by VSP. 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.
    • To review the plan design, click here.

    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.

  • Voluntary Benefits

    Voluntary Benefits- Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D),

    • Starting January 1, 2014, Cigna will be the life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) vendor and will replace MetLife.
    • Supplemental life insurance will be open for full-time annual enrollment. Employees that are currently not enrolled in supplemental life insurance will be able to elect one times their annual pay without submitting evidence of insurability (EOI). In addition, employees currently enrolled can increase their coverage by one times their pay up to three times (maximum of $500,000) without evidence of insurability.
    • Supplemental life insurance rates will be reduced by approximately 18%.
    • Lowe’s will provide basic life insurance for all full-time salaried employees (maximum benefit amount of $250,000) at one times base pay. For instance, if you are a salaried employee and you are currently enrolled in life insurance at four times your pay (combined basic and supplemental), you will remain enrolled for four times your base pay, but you will only pay the premiums for three times your base pay. Lowe’s will pay for the additional one times coverage.

    Voluntary Benefits- Long-Term Disability:

    • Effective September 1, 2013, Cigna became the disability insurance carrier and replaced Liberty Mutual.
    • Lowe’s will provide long-term disability for all salaried employees in 2014. The benefit will replace up to 60% of an employee’s annual base pay and target bonus (if eligible) up to a maximum of $25,000 per month.
    • Long-term disability rates for hourly employees will be reduced by approximately 10%.
    • The long-term disability insurance will be open during this year’s annual enrollment. This means if you are not enrolled and wish to enroll in long-term disability, you can do so without having to submit evidence of insurability (EOI).
    • Salaried employees will not need to enroll or re-enroll since Lowe’s will provide coverage.

    Voluntary Benefits- Critical Illness:

    • You can enroll in the critical illness benefit with a guaranteed issue amount of $50,000 during annual enrollment.

    Voluntary Benefits- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA):

    • The annual pledge maximum for the healthcare FSA will remain at $2,500 and the annual maximum for the dependent care FSA will remain at $5,000 for the 2014 plan year.
    • The health savings account annual pledge maximum is increasing in 2014.  The maximum pledge for individuals will be $3,300 and $6,550 for families.  This is only available to those enrolled in the UnitedHealthcare HDHP medical plan.
    • The limited purpose FSA will be terminated effective January 1, 2014.  The limited purpose FSA was only available to employees enrolled in the UnitedHealthcare HDHP medical plan and was only for dental and/or vision expenses.
  • Dependent Eligibility Changes: Same-Sex Spouses

    • During and after the 2014 Full-Time Annual Enrollment (10/21/2013 to 11/15/2013), employees with same-sex domestic partners can change their relationship status to spouse if they are legally married.
    • If the same-sex domestic partner adult and/or domestic partner child is currently enrolled, employees can change their relationship status from domestic partner adult to spouse and/or domestic partner child to child during or after the 2014 Full-Time Annual Enrollment.  The effective date of the new relationship status will be the date that the relationship status is completed. The 2013 benefit tiers and the relationship status will change.
    • If the same-sex domestic partner adult and/or domestic partner child is not currently enrolled, and there has been a legal marriage, employees can add them as a spouse and/or child during the 2014 Full-Time Annual Enrollment.  The effective date of the new relationship status and benefits will be January 1, 2014.  The benefits and dependent enrollments will both change under this event.
  • What’s Next?

    Visit the My Benefits site during annual enrollment and throughout the year. Remember to:

    • Use the plan cost estimator tool to estimate your medical costs and find your best plan value.  The plan cost estimator tool is available on the Empowered Benefits enrollment system through the My Benefits site.
    • Review the 2014 annual enrollment tutorial on the My Benefits site.
    • Review the My Benefits site with your family to find additional information on new plan designs, rates and vendors.
    • Click on the “Enroll Now” link on the My Benefits site when you are ready to enroll.  If you are not logged in to My Lowe’s Life, you will be prompted to enter your employee ID and password.

     

    This includes highlights of Lowe’s benefits effective January 1, 2014. A complete description of each benefit option can be found in the plans’ legal documents and contracts. In the event of a conflict between this and any other descriptions of the plans, the formal plan documents and insurance contracts will control. Lowe’s reserves the right to amend, modify, revoke or terminate the plan in whole or in part at any time. The authority to make such changes rests with Lowe’s. Neither this document nor the plans it describes constitutes a promise of continuing employment with Lowe’s. October 2013