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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

Bureau of Human Resources

Knowledgeable | Helpful | Responsive

Phone: 503-823-3572

Benefits Line: 503-823-6031

1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 987, Portland, OR 97204

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Open Enrollment FAQs

Open Enrollment (2020-2021)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is annual open enrollment?

It's a designated period during the year in which you make changes to your benefit plans, for example switch health plans or add dependents.

  • When is annual open enrollment?

May 15, 2020 through June 5, 2020 for the benefits plan year of July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.

  • Do I need to do anything if I don’t want to make changes?

For the most part, no - you do not make any changes during open enrollment unless you want to. Your prior benefit elections including medical/dental/vison plans will carry over to the new plan year.

The exception to this rule is the flexible spending accounts (Healthcare FSA and Dependent Care FSA). You must re-elect these plans each plan year if you want to continue with a new annual goal.

  • May I make changes outside of the annual open enrollment period?

Changes are normally not allowed outside of the open enrollment period. However, if you experience a life event (birth/adoption of child, marriage, divorce and loss/gain of other coverage, etc), you have a chance to make changes mid-year. Qualified life events must be reported to the Health & Financial Benefits Office within 60 days of the event date.

  • How do I make changes to my benefit plans?

Log into your benefits online account at or download the BenefitFocus Mobile App onto your smartphone ( NOTE: Enrollment changes outside of the designated time period will not be processed, so make sure you are entering your changes during open enrollment (May 15th through June 5th 2020).

  • May I enroll my spouse, domestic partner, or children if they are currently not enrolled?

Yes. A spouse, domestic partner, and children up to age 26 can be added to your benefit plans during open enrollment.

The following documentation is required when adding dependents: a marriage certificate to add a spouse, a domestic partner affidavit or State registration to add a domestic partner, and a birth certificate or adoption papers to add a child.

  • How much do I have to pay for healthcare?

Full-Time employees pay 5% of the monthly premium if they participate in the Preventive Care Initiative by receiving a physical/wellness exam/checkup at least once every two calendar years.  Full-time employees who do not participate in the Preventive Care Initiative will expect to pay 10% of the monthly premium or they can elect the City’s High Deductible Health Plan which does not require any employee contribution.  Part-Time employees pay a prorated amount depending on scheduled work hours. You may sign-in to your benefits online account or read your open enrollment materials carefully for cost information.

  • May I sign-up for a Healthcare and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account?

Yes, you may elect to participate in the Flexible Spending Accounts – Healthcare FSA (formerly MERP) and the Dependent Care FSA (formerly DCAP). If you have been participating in either of these accounts during the prior plan year, you will need to re-elect to continue participation for the new plan year; if no election is made, your account will end on June 30th. Unreimbursed funds between $50 and $500 will be available to you for the new plan year. For account details, you may contact the plan administrator WageWorks at: 877-924-3967.

  • I heard about the Basic and Buy-Up Short Term Disability policies... Do I need to enroll during open enrollment?

The City offers Short-Term Disability to all benefits eligible employees, with the exception of Portland Police Association (PPA) members. Enrollment in the Basic Short-Term Disability plan is automatic. You may choose to enroll in the optional Buy-Up Short Term Disability plan. You do not need to enroll in this plan during Open Enrollment.

  • If I still have questions, how can I get them answered?

 Email your specific question to or call the benefits line at 503-823-6031

Note: Due to a high volume of emails/calls during open enrollment, please allow a response within 24 hours.