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Employee Benefits

Find information about 2022 benefits.

Visit HCPSS’ Staff Help Site for answers to frequently asked questions about benefits.

2023 HCPSS Annual Open Enrollment

The annual Benefits Open Enrollment period will be held October 17th through November 4th, 2022 (Open Enrollment will not be extended).

As a reminder, Open Enrollment is the annual time period in which benefit-eligible employees can make changes to their benefit elections. Employees should review their personal information, the benefits being offered by HCPSS, and the plans that they are enrolled in, to determine if they would like to make any changes.

Important – New Prescription Provider for Plan Year 2023

HCPSS will continue to offer the same comprehensive benefits program, with changes to the pharmacy benefit provider across all medical plans effective 01/01/2023. The new pharmacy benefit provider will be CVS Caremark. It is important that all employees review the Open Enrollment information below as it contains important changes that will occur in Plan Year 2023.

Details regarding Open Enrollment are posted online the HCPSS website:

As in the past year, Workday has a new layout for making benefit selections. All benefit categories have its own benefit tile, thus making it easier for employees to navigate and to enroll/make changes to benefit elections.

Beginning Monday, October 17, employees will be able to review / enroll and/or make changes on Workday by following the steps below:

  • Log in to Workday using your Active Directory user name and password
  • Go to your Workday inbox and select the Open Enrollment task
  • Click on “Let’s get Started” and follow the prompts and proceed with your enrollment

Virtual Benefits Fairs

Employees will have the opportunity to learn more about their benefit options in 2023 by attending a Virtual Benefits Fair. Carrier representatives and HCPSS Benefits Office staff will be available to virtually meet and provide information and answer any benefit questions. Please note that the chat rooms are not confidential one on one sessions, so please be mindful of disclosing any personal information.

  • Wednesday, October 19, 2022 / Time: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
  • Thursday, October 27, 2022 / Time: 10:30 am – 12:00pm and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm
  • Tuesday, November 1, 2022 / Time: 10:30 am -12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:30 pm

The Virtual Benefits Fairs will be accessible by visiting:

* PLEASE NOTE: * The chat rooms are accessible to all HCPSS active employees and their families. These are not confidential one on one sessions, so please be mindful of disclosing any personal information.

If you have any questions, please email or call the Benefits Help Desk at 410-313-7333 Option 1.

Annual Medical, Dental and Vision Costs

Medical (prescriptions included), Dental, and Vision Plan Breakdowns

Medical Plans – CareFirst and Aetna

CareFirst BlueChoice HMO Open Access

With CareFirst BlueChoice HMO Open Access, you can select your doctor from a regional network of physicians, specialists and hospitals located throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. CareFirst aims to keep you healthy by emphasizing prevention, early detection and early treatment.

Other Resources

Open Access Aetna Select HMO

There’s no requirement to select a PCP, or obtain referrals for specialty care. The network of medical providers and facilities is nationwide, offering a full range of primary care doctors and specialists. When you visit a network provider, you will pay a flat copay for your care. Network providers will handle all of the claims paperwork for you. In order to receive benefits from this plan, you must see network providers.

Aetna Open Choice PPO

You can receive care within the network and pay less for your care. Or, you can choose to receive care outside the network and still receive benefits, but at a higher cost. There are no referral requirements.

Aetna’s nationwide Open Choice PPO network includes 934,260 health care providers; 159,100 of whom are Primary Care Providers (PCPs). This makes it easy to find a network doctor or a hospital, whether you are at home, work or traveling.

Other Member Resources (Open Access Aetna Select HMO and Open Choice PPO)

New Prescription Plan – CVS Caremark will be the new prescription provider effective 01/01/2023. Prescription coverage with Express Scripts will end 12/31/2022.

Starting January 1, 2023, CVS Caremark will be managing your prescription benefits on behalf of Howard County Public School System. CVS Caremark offers affordable medication pricing, thousands of network pharmacy choices (including home delivery) and personalized support for you and your family. If you are enrolling in the Medical Plan, you will be automatically enrolled in the Pharmacy Plan administered by CVS Caremark. We will have a call center available for you and your family to address any questions related to your pharmacy needs. A separate communication will be provided with this phone line. To help with the transition of our pharmacy plan, you will be given a chance to attend one on one meetings with CVS Caremark representatives to help answer your questions after this open enrollment period. You will receive new ID cards and a welcome kit from CVS Caremark to help you navigate your new pharmacy plan.

Express Scripts (Prescription coverage with Express Scripts will end 12/31/2022)

Included in employee benefits packages, express scripts handles services related to prescriptions. They are supported by a national network of over 50,000 pharmacies and a 24-hour, 365-day-a-year Patient Care Contact Center. Home delivery is available for employee medications from express.

On or after 01/01/2020, please call Express Scripts member services at (877) 866-5859 to verify if your pharmacy will allow a 90-day fill, or for assistance in locating a SMART90 participating pharmacy. You may also log in or register at to locate SMART90 participating pharmacies in your area.

Dental Plans

Cigna PPO (Total Plan)

The Cigna PPO has a national network of dentists with no need to select a primary care dentists. Employees will have the freedom to visit any licensed dentist you wish, but selecting an “in-network” Cigna PPO provider will result in the lowest out-of-pocket costs to the employee.

Aetna DMO

Aetna DMO is a dental maintenance organization (DMO). Aetna DMO offers a list of participating dentists for your care. It is important that you review your choices of Primary Care Dentist (PCD) in your area to make sure that this is the right plan for your dental needs. A PCD selection will not be mandatory during enrollment process. However, in order to use your DMO benefits a PCD is required. Once you enroll, Aetna will send you a “Welcome Kit” in the mail The Welcome Kit will include a reminder of the mandatory PCD election and a sample ID card. Once the Welcome Kit is received, employees should call the Aetna Customer Service line at 877-238-6200 Monday through Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm or login to the member website at to select your PCD and/or for additional assistance. Once a PCD is elected from the Aetna network, employees can set-up a dentist appointment to see their provider. There is no deductible to meet, no annual dollar maximums, and no claim forms for you to file.

Your selection of PCD must be made prior to the 15th of the month, in order to take effect the first of the next month.

Vision Plan- Vision Service Plan (VSP)

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) – Navia Benefit Solutions (formerly Flex Plan Services, Inc.)


HCPSS Benefits Help Desk representatives are available to help with online enrollment and questions: Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Phone: (410) 313-7333. Inquires may always be sent to the Benefits Office via email at

Employee Well-Being Program

HCPSS employees have access to professional, free and confidential counseling and support services to manage their needs. Consider this program as your very own personal assistant who can connect you to resources to improve your finances, schedule counseling sessions, develop strategies for navigating stress, and much more.

Employees and family members can receive up to six free counseling sessions (including assessment, follow-up and referral services) per person, per episode, per year. Listed below is information regarding the program and a link to EAP Orientation video.

Machine Readable Files

In late 2020, federal agencies responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury (the Departments)—issued the Transparency in Coverage (TiC) final rule. The rule requires insurers and self-funded plans to post the following machine-readable files (MRF) to a publicly available website:

  • In-Network Rate File: Applicable in-network provider rates, including negotiated rates, derived amounts, and underlying fee schedule rates for all covered items.
  • Out-of-Network Rate File: Historical data outlining the different billed charges and allowed amounts a plan or issuer has paid for covered items or services furnished by out-of-network providers (minimum of 20 entries).

Aetna’s machine-readable files for HCPSS

Carefirst’s machine-readable files for HCPSS