News & Announcements

2023 State Employee Wellness Fairs

The 2023 State employee wellness fairs will be held at various State agency locations from March 13, 2023 to April 28, 2023.  At a wellness fair, you can receive your biometric screenings (blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol and glucose) and qualify for credits under the Rewards for Wellness 2023-2024 programThe Wellness Company will once again be conducting the events for the State of Rhode Island.  Financial benefit vendors will also be present at select larger agency locations.  See the 2023 State employee wellness fair schedule here and register on The Wellness Company's registration site herePre-registration is absolutely required!

Rewards for Wellness 2023-2024

The 2023-2024 Rewards for Wellness program runs from January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023, and credit incentives will be delivered to employee paychecks in the first half of 2024.

Please review the 2023-2024 State of Rhode Island Rewards for Wellness brochure and visit the 2023-2024 Rewards for Wellness page for additional details and guidance. 

Consider United Way RI Contributions in 2023

State employees come together every year to help our neighbors by giving to the RI State Employee Annual Giving Campaign. You can make a one-time gift or regular payroll deduction contributions to support the thousands of RI non-profit organizations that are working for all Rhode Islanders. Sign up for contributions with the United Way here.

2023 Health Plan Rates

Working Rates (100% full plan costs from which 15%, 20% and 25% coshares are determined)

Classified and Unclassified 26 Pay Period Employees

Classified and Unclassified 20 pay period employees

RI Troopers Association & State Police Command Staff Coshares

Non-classified union & non-union employees working in higher education should refer to their college/university website (URIRICCCRI) for their co-shares.

Change to Timing of Medical Waiver Opt-Out Payment Delivery

Historically the medical waiver opt-out payment was delivered in the last payday of November or the first payday of December each year. The timing of this payment is problematic for various reasons. Accordingly, effective immediately the medical waiver “calendar” will shift to a fiscal year and the opt-out payment will now be delivered in the first payday each August.

Because the last medical waiver opt-out payment covered a waiver period that ended with FY22 pay period #9 (the opt-out payment was made in November 2021), this means that the August 5, 2022 payment will only encompass FY22 pay periods 10 - 26. Therefore, the maximum opt-out payment for August 5, 2022 will be $654.50 (17 pay periods times $38.50 per pay period). The maximum payment will return to $1,001 for the FY23 medical waiver opt-out payment made on August 4, 2023.

A common question is “When will I get the rest of the $1,001?” Please note that employees already received payment for FY22 pay periods 1 – 9 in November 2021 and there will not be an additional opt-out payment until August 4, 2023 (covering pay periods 1 – 26 of FY23).  The August 5, 2022 payment is effectively “the rest” of the FY22 opt-out payment that potentially brings employees to a total pre-tax payment of $1,001 for FY22.

Quarterly Lunch & Learn Benefits Webinars

The Office of Employee Benefits hosts quarterly webinars on various benefits-related topics.  All webinars are held during the 12pm - 1pm lunch hour, and no registration is required - simply click on the link below to join!  If you missed one don't worry, just head over to the Communications page for the recorded webinars!

Thursday, April 20, 2023:

This webinar will provide a general overview of State of Rhode Island employee benefits, including core health benefits (medical/prescription, dental coverage, vision coverage, FSAs, and HSAs) and supplemental benefits (life insurance, legal coverage, short-term disability insurance and deferred compensation). Eligibility and enrollment rules will be discussed, we'll do a deep dive on FSA/DCSA best practices.  Ample time will be reserved for a Q & A session.

Webinar link:

COVID Test Kit Coverage

Per federal mandate, effective January 15, 2022, the RI State Employee Health Plan will provide coverage for up to eight (8) over-the-counter (“OTC” - not prescribed by a physician) at-home COVID test kits per month for each covered member (employee and dependents). As of January 28, 2022, this coverage will be available exclusively through the member’s CVS/Caremark pharmacy benefit. There will be no coverage for OTC COVID test kits under the State’s medical benefit administered by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (“BCBSRI”).* Please review CVS/Caremark’s FAQ and read on for additional information and guidance.

How does this new coverage work? As of January 28, 2022, the State employee health plan’s coverage of OTC COVID test kits will be available exclusively through the CVS/Caremark pharmacy benefit. Each covered member (employee plus any dependents covered on the employee’s plan) will be eligible for coverage for up to eight (8) OTC COVID tests covered (up to $12 maximum per text kit) each month. The coverage will occur in one of two ways:

  • Point-of-sale Adjudication: The vendor that sells you the test kits may be able to process your CVS/Caremark coverage information at the point of sale so that you don’t have to spend any money out of pocket (or if the test kits cost more than $12, your coverage will reduce each kit’s cost by that amount). If point-of-sale adjudication is not available to you, please be sure to keep your receipt so that you can submit a reimbursement claim to CVS/Caremark.
  • Reimbursement: If you have to pay out of pocket for OTC COVID test kits, please be sure to save your receipts so you can submit a reimbursement claim to CVS/Caremark. Requests for reimbursement can be submitted to CVS/Caremark either through the member’s CVS/Caremark account access online through or via paper claim form. For detailed guidance on how to request reimbursement from CVS/Caremark for OTC COVID test kits, please review the CVS/Caremark reimbursement guidance. Please note that any reimbursement requests submitted to BCBSRI for OTC COVID test kit purchases after January 27, 2022 will be denied.**

I purchased OTC COVID test kits between January 15, 2022 - January 27, 2022. I did not present my CVS/Caremark and/or BCBSRI ID cards when I purchased them nor did I use my State employee health plan coverage for the test kits at the point of sale. Can I get reimbursed for the cost of those test kits? Yes. Please follow the CVS/Caremark reimbursement guidance to request reimbursement of qualifying OTC COVID test kits purchased from January 15, 2022 to January 27, 2022. Please note that you will need your OTC COVID test kit receipt in order to receive reimbursement. Also, please note that any reimbursement requests submitted to BCBSRI for OTC COVID test kit purchases after January 27, 2022 will be denied.**

I purchased OTC COVID test kits prior to January 15, 2022. Can I get reimbursed for the cost of those test kits? The federal mandate does not have retroactive effect and only applies as of January 15, 2022 moving forward, so unfortunately this coverage is not available to reimburse/defray the costs of OTC COVID test kits purchased prior to January 15, 2022. However, please note that if you purchased those test kits because your doctor prescribed them, they could be covered 100% by your State employee health plan coverage (through either the medical benefit administered by BCBSRI or the pharmacy benefit administered by CVS/Caremark).

* There is 100% coverage under the RI State Employee Health Plan (through either the medical benefit administered by BCBSRI or the pharmacy benefit administered by CVS/Caremark) for at-home COVID test kits that have been prescribed by a doctor.

** If you had already sent reimbursement requests to BCBSRI in late January/early February for purchases prior to 1/28/2022, the reimbursement will be processed.

Pick Your Person!

The choice is yours. The benefits are theirs. How your benefits are distributed after your death is entirely up to you, but you have to make your elections. This fall, please review and confirm your current beneficiary designations to be sure your choices are still accurate and up to date. To find out more about reviewing and designating your beneficiaries, visit the Naming Your Beneficiaries page of the virtual benefits fair. Please note that the Office of Employee Benefits does not keep beneficiary information on file for employees; each separate plan maintains its own information.