Open enrollment for your 2014 benefits program continues through November 15. With the significant adjustments made to healthcare benefits in recent years, now is the time to carefully study all of your options and select the best insurance coverage for yourself and your family.
The University offers three distinctly different medical plans to meet the broad and diverse needs of faculty and staff. For example, the HSA plan is most suited for people looking for the lowest premium plan today while building tax-advantaged savings to pay for healthcare costs down the road. The HSA and PPO options provide access to the same expansive network of care providers but at different costs at the time of care and when premiums are deducted. Group Health's HMO delivers care through its unique integrated network and at a cost that generally falls between the other options.
2014 is the third year of a three-year phased program to increase “Employee Only” medical rates closer to our peers. In 2014, the University expects to pay on average 85% of the premium for Employee Only medical coverage. Overall, the university will cover 79% of insurance costs. While our insurance benefit program has changed, we can confidently say that the university’s investment in your insurance protection remains very competitive with peers.
Increases to our insurance rates have moderated recently and that’s good news. On the other hand, the Affordable Care Act, while promising long-term assistance through public exchanges for the uninsured, has added to our 2014 costs through fees that help fund the exchanges and other federal research activities.
We’re also told by outside experts that underlying cost drivers have not been tamed. We can all do our part to mitigate the cost of care by actively engaging in care discussions with our doctors. Further, participating in the LiVE wellness program rewards you for taking the first few steps in building awareness of healthy habits. If you earn 1,000 wellness points by December 20, 2013, you'll be able to enroll in the 2014 medical plan at the best available price. This amounts to saving between $10-$30 per month depending on your pay level.
You have multiple resources to learn more about our 2014 faculty/staff benefits program. The best place to start is on this Open Enrollment website. You’re also encouraged to attend a campus benefits information meeting where you will be able to listen and ask questions of local health plan experts:
- Oct. 30 - Pigott Classroom 203,10:30 am
- Oct. 30 - Pigott Classroom 203,12:00 pm
- Nov. 6 - Pigott Classroom 203,12:00 pm
- Nov. 6 - Pigott Classroom 203, 2:30 pm
Vice President – Human Resources and University Services