Sandia LabNews

Sandia to offer new healthcare plan option during Open Enrollment

When Sandians review their benefit offerings during Open Enrollment next month, they will see big changes for 2022, including a new healthcare plan choice.

This year, all Sandians need to confirm their benefit choices during Open Enrollment, which runs Oct. 25 to Nov. 12. Because of the new option for healthcare, all staff should make a deliberate choice in what programs they want for next year.

Most of the changes are in response to employee input gathered during the August 2020 benefits preference survey, said Mary Romero Hart, senior manager for benefits.

“Employees will see several positive changes to Sandia’s already robust set of benefits options,” Mary said. “More than ever, this year we’re encouraging everyone to actively examine their benefits options now and throughout Open Enrollment, and to select what’s best for themselves and their families.”

In the survey, employees asked for more healthcare plan choices, so the Labs is offering a new medical plan option.

The Health Savings Plan premiums will cost about 25% less for most employees. Employees who choose the Health Savings Plan will contribute to the health savings account, and Sandia will contribute as well. The account is earmarked for healthcare expenses — both current and future, even after retirement. Sandians can contribute tax-free to the account, and for every dollar saved in the HSA, Sandia will match two-thirds of a dollar, up to a maximum amount. The plan offers other ways to earn additional contributions from Sandia. More information about the new plan is available at

“The Health Savings Plan is about paying less for healthcare coverage and saving more for the future,” Mary said. “It offers three things Sandians told us they wanted from a medical plan: more choice, smaller paycheck deductions and a new way to save for future healthcare expenses.”

The new Health Savings Plan has some of the same features as the traditional Sandia Total Health, now renamed the Total Health PPO Plan. These include coverage for the same healthcare services: doctor and hospital visits, prescriptions, and no-cost preventive care; choice of the same tiered Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico and UnitedHealthcare plans, with the same tiered networks of doctors and providers; and the same coinsurance rates for medical services.

The new plan is different in that it includes full-cost charges for non-preventive medical and prescription drugs and some personal healthcare services at the on-site Employee Health Services clinics, up to deductible limits of $1,400 for employee coverage and $2,800 for employee plus dependent coverage, for in-network services. Once new plan enrollees reach those deductibles, the plan begins to share costs. The annual out-of-pocket limit combines medical and prescription costs and will also be lower than the Total Health out-of-pocket limits combined.

Details will be offered in the annual Open Enrollment newsletter in the Oct. 22 edition of Lab News. Also available will be an interactive decision support tool, virtual information sessions and detailed on-demand information. Employees will receive two benefit mailers sent to their homes and informational emails from Human Resources and Corestream, Sandia’s partner in delivering the Sandia Extras discounts program.

Open Enrollment for retirees is coming soon.

Retirees, watch for more information in the Oct. 22 Lab News and in the mail.

PreMedicare Open Enrollment: Oct. 15 – Nov. 12, 2021

Medicare Open Enrollment:  Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, 2021