Medical Insurance

Each employee's needs are different. OU offers two different medical plans to meet those needs and provide flexibility to you and your family.

Insurance Changes in 2017

Beginning January 1, Cigna will replace BlueCross as the administrator of the university's medical insurance plans. You can look forward to personalized, concierge service to help navigate serious health conditions, modernized online and app technology and improved transparency showing the costs of medical care and quality ratings for providers. Check out the Top 10 Questions about transitioning to Cigna.

  • Enrollment Action Required: All employees must make a medical and dental insurance selection during the enrollment period. Enrollments cannot be transferred from 2016. Employees who do not select a plan will be automatically enrolled in the PPO Plan with Employee Only coverage and will automatically waive dental insurance. 
  • PPO & HSA Changes: Most plan features for the PPO & HSA will remain the same with minor differences in copays and deductibles because of network consolidation. 
    • PPO participants have the option to separately enroll in a healthcare Flexible Spending Account. If Employee Self-Service indicates the HSA option for PPO participants, they should opt out of it. 
    • HSA participants will automatically be enrolled in the Health Savings Account when they select this plan. These participants cannot participate in a healthcare Flexible Spending Account.
  • HMO Changes: As announced in 2015, the HMO plan is being discontinued in 2017.
  • Prescriptions: Cigna will honor all current pre-authorizations for prescription drugs. There may be some changes in copays due to differences in Cigna's prescription drug tiers. Cigna's network includes thousands of pharmacies and home delivery options.
  • Tobacco-Use Surcharge: Tobacco users will pay a surcharge for medical insurance in 2017. 
  • View the year-to-year rate comparisions.
  • The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to provide the Health Insurance Marketplace for 2017. Find information about how the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace may affect OU employees here.


  • Retirees under age 65 - Same medical insurance options as active employees. See changes above.
  • Find rates and other information for retiree medical insurance for 2017 here.


This open access plan features an extensive network of physicians and health care providers. Participants have access to any provider that is part of the networks without the need to select a primary care physician when enrolling. Any specialist within the plan networks can be seen without getting a referral from a primary care physician. The out-of-network benefit offers even more flexibility when selecting a provider. The Cigna PPO plan has a deductible and co-insurance amounts.

There are no pre-existing condition limitations in this plan.

The Choice Fund PPO HSA plan is a high deductible PPO plan with a health savings account that employees can contribute to. The funds in the HSA can be used to pay for eligible medical expenses and gives members control over how their medical care dollars are spent. Reimbursement for eligible medical expenses are tax-free and unused funds roll over from year to year.

At the start of the year, the university allocates a fund to help the participant pay for medical expenses covered by the plan. The employee can also contribute to this fund through payroll deduction. The fund is used to pay for eligible medical care expenses up to the health savings account fund amount. Preventive care, such as routine physicals and immunizations, is covered at 100% and is not counted against the member’s fund. Fund money left at the end of the year is added to the next year’s fund balance. This allows members to plan for future expenses as long as they remain in the plan. Although this plan has a lower monthly premium, it does have a higher deductible and higher out-of-pocket expenses and may be best suited for individuals without a large amount of medical expense. 

The Choice Fund PPO HSA plan features an extensive national network of physicians and health care providers. A primary care physician does not have to be selected. Any specialist within the plan network can be seen without a referral. 

There are no pre-existing condition limitations in this plan.

What should I consider when choosing between the PPO and HSA plan options? Premium rates are not the only things to consider when choosing a medical plan. Review the details below to understand the differences between the plans and how to be a wise healthcare consumer.

1. How to Choose a Plan

What should I consider when choosing between the PPO Plan and HSA Plan options? 
Premiums (rates) are not the only thing to consider when choosing a medical plan. The two medical plan options available in 2017 work in different ways – you should make your final enrollment decision based on your (and your family’s) needs. It’s important to have an understanding of how each plan works rather than making a decision based on cost alone.  We want you to be well informed and confident through the medical carrier transition.  Here are some helpful tips:
  • Reach out to the Cigna OneGuide (pre-enrollment line) customer service representatives – they are there for you and can explain the differences between the PPO and HSA plans as well as help with any additional questions you might have.  
  • Check the PPO Provider Network – See if your doctor(s) or hospital(s) are in the network. Remember, out-of-network equals higher costs. Be proactive and help yourself stay healthy with preventive care services – covered at 100% on either plan option!
  • Budget Accordingly – Anticipate costs for the coming year.  If you are considering the HSA, contact the One Guide Pre-enrollment hotline to speak with a Cigna representative about cost estimates for doctors, hospitals and procedures. When budgeting, remember to compare your current premium costs to the 2017 premium cost. There could be a savings there and if so, you might be able to set aside the savings in your HSA.  
  • Choose Convenience – If you have a non-emergency common illness, utilize MDLive telehealth.  If you have non-emergency injuries, use an in-network urgent care rather than an emergency room.

2. Plan Design

Cigna Choice Fund HSA: 
Cigna Choice Fund HSA is a plan that features higher deductibles than traditional insurance. This plan is combined with a Health Savings Account to allow you to pay for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses on a pre-tax basis. The Cigna Health Savings Account (HSA) combines a health care plan with a tax-advantaged health savings account set up on your behalf when you enroll. Use the money in your account to pay for eligible health care expenses for you and your eligible dependents, or save it for future health costs.

How your plan and HSA work: 
Here is a basic summary of how an HSA works:

  • As part of enrolling in the Cigna Choice Fund® HSA, you open a health savings account
  • You and/or your employer can contribute pre-tax dollars to your account
  • You can use the money in your HSA to pay for qualified health care expenses (including your deductible and coinsurance) for yourself and your eligible dependents. You can also use it to pay for qualified medical expenses that may not be covered under your medical plan, including dental and vision expenses
  • The HSA dollars you use go toward paying your annual deductible. Dollars you don’t use remain in your account
    and earn interest

If you leave your health plan, change jobs or retire, you take your HSA with you. Learn more about a Cigna HSA and  other account-based plans. Watch Videos

Please refer to your plan documents, including specific information on your HSA, or contact your employer for more information on what’s covered and not covered by your plan. 

HSA contributions and earnings are not subject to federal taxes and not subject to state taxes in most states. A few states do not allow pretax treatment of contributions or earnings. Contact a tax professional for information about your state.

Cigna Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan

Cigna’s Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan gives you important choices. Each time you need care, you can choose your doctors, health care professionals and hospitals from our network, or you can choose to receive care and services from health care professionals outside of the network.

How the PPO plan works:
Here's a basic summary of how the PPO plan works and how to arrange for care:

  • Primary care physician (PCP): You don’t need to select a PCP. Cigna will work closely with you and your doctors to help coordinate your care.
  • In-network: Choose to see in-network doctors or other health care professionals to keep your costs lower and eliminate paperwork.
  • No-referral specialist care: If you need to see a specialist, you do not need a referral—just make the appointment and go. Pre-certification may be necessary for hospitalizations and some types of outpatient care.
  • Out-of-network: You also have the freedom to visit doctors or use hospitals that are not part of the Cigna network, but your costs will be higher, and you may need to file a claim.
  • Emergency and urgent care:  When you need care, you have coverage, 24 hours a day, worldwide.
  • With the plan, you’ll pay an annual amount (deductible) before your health plan begins to pay for covered health care costs. Once you meet your deductible, you pay a set amount (copay) or percentage of the cost (coinsurance) for your covered health care costs, and the health plan pays the rest.

3. Price & Cost Comparisons: Become a Smart Consumer

4. Out-of-State Coverage

PPO and HSA members have nationwide access to contracting providers when you or your covered family members live, work, or travel anywhere in the country. 

5. Pre-existing Conditions

OU's medical insurance plans do not have pre-existing condition restrictions.

Ask Cigna

Cigna is here with answers to questions like these:

  • What's the difference between the PPO and HSA?
  • I was on the HMO. Now what?
  • Differences from Blue Cross?
  • Is my doctor in-network?
  • What's the copay for my Rx?
  • Plus more. Give them a try.

Find a Provider

  • Doc Finder (PDF)
  • OU Goddard Clinic and providers are in-network. 
  • Cigna is actively seeking participation from providers used by OU employees. If your provider is not in network, please let us know.

Things to Consider

Protect Your SSN with Health ID

Because keeping your personal identity safe is a top priority at the university, you will use your Health ID instead of your Social Security number for all medical and dental transactions at the doctor's office and with insurance providers. Click here to learn more about your Health ID Number.

Spouses Working at OU

Medical yearly deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums can be linked for families that have children and two spouses who both work at OU. Employees can do this after the plan year begins by contacting Cigna.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Did you know that health care and dependent care reimbursement accounts can decrease the amount of taxes you pay on your income? OU and ConnectYourCare offer a debit card with the healthcare reimbursement Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Get more information on the Flexible Spending Accounts page.