Civilian employees prepare for benefits enrollment season with health fair

6 Nov 2014 | Cpl. Jackeline M. Perez Rivera Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

A health fair held at the Workforce Learning Center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune gave civilian federal employees aboard the installation the opportunity to enroll with health, vision and dental insurance carriers, Nov. 5.

The 2015 Open Season Benefit and Wellness Fair was a way for eligible employees to see the resources available to them and interact with industry representatives who could assist personnel with managing their health care needs.

Organizers created the fair so participants could receive information imperative to their health and wellness in one place, said Vivian Molina, a human resources assistant with Employee Benefits Programs at Civilian Human Resources Office-East aboard Camp Lejeune.

"Due to busy, tight schedules, we feel it’s important to bring the information to our employees here on base," Molina, a New York City native added. "Sometimes it’s hard to pick up the phone and make these phone calls due to the waiting time. Also, they get to see the variety of vendors and make the right decision in choosing a medical and dental provider for themselves and their family."

The open season for benefits falls between Nov. 10 and December; it is a period where personnel are able to enroll, as well as make changes to their benefits, such as adding or removing dependents and changing their health care providers, said Molina.

Rwegasira Rugumamu, a general engineer with Installations & Environment attended the fair to learn his health care options prior to the enrollment period.

"I wanted to see what they have going on now versus what they had before," said Rugumamu, a native of Durham, North Carolina. "I got more information than I bargained for. Now I get to go back and analyze it with my family."

Participants could weigh whether the options they selected in the past were still the best option for them, and see if any new options could provide them with better care, Rugumamu added.

"We bring different options and information needed to make important changes to medical and dental benefits and a wealth of knowledge for preventive health risks and diseases," said Molina.

Representatives attended from on-base resources, such as Semper Fit, and local county assets, like Onslow Memorial Hospital and the Onslow County Department of Health.

"It’s important to come out and see what they have to offer," said Rugumamu. "It’s a great program."

The groups participating were not only there to care for visitors’ physical health, financial planners were also on hand to care for people’s fiscal health.

"I want our employees to know we are providing them with the experts who have answers to the questions which sometimes are difficult to understand," said Molina.