It’s that time of year again – the Office of Human Resources Development (HRD) is ramping up for this year’s annual open enrollment for medical, dental, vision and optional life insurance elections. As a self-insured institution, the University and its employees pay 100% of the medical and prescription drug claims incurred by our employees and their enrolled dependents. The anticipated annual cost of our calendar year 2018 claims stands close to $12 million, with an overall increase of 4.5% projected for 2019.
In order to keep comprehensive insurance coverage affordable for our faculty and staff as well as within a range that is sustainable for the University, our Benefits Task Force (BTF) undertook a complete marketing exercise late this past summer for all of our insurance plans. The results of this comprehensive exercise culminated into several recommended changes in long-standing carrier relationships, which have been endorsed by President Woodward. A quick update for calendar year 2019 is noted below.
- The same High Deductible-Based Plan (HDBP), the Deductible-Based Plan (DBP) and Point-of-Service (POS) plans will be offered but will move from United Healthcare to Aetna, with a very modest overall rate increase.
- The definition of an eligible spouse will remain the same as this year.
- Health Savings Account (and Health Reimbursement Account) contributions and deposit schedules will remain the same as this year but the banking arrangement will move from Optum to PayFlex.
- Flexible Spending Account banking arrangements will move from Optum to PayFlex.
- We will no longer be offering an incentive-based wellness program via an insurance carrier; however, other HRD-initiated campus wellness programs will remain in place.
- Dental insurance will remain with Aetna with a very modest increase in premium; the PPO plan will no longer have a deductible or co-insurance for in-network class one preventative services; co-insurance for out-of-network class one preventative services will also have no deductible and the co-insurance (plan paid cost) will increase from 80% to 90%.
- Vision insurance will stay with United Healthcare with no increase in premium.
- Short and long-term disability and life insurance options will remain the same as this year but will move from The Hartford (formerly Aetna) to Reliance.
This year’s open enrollment window will be October 29 – November 16, 2018. HRD is planning to distribute information packets by Friday, October 26th. Town hall meetings and one-on-ones will be scheduled for early November. We are sensitive to the complexity of insurance coverage today, and encourage you to make informed decisions after attending an upcoming enrollment information session. Dates, times and locations of the informational sessions will be included in open enrollment materials.
I would like to personally thank the members of the BTF for working so hard this summer on behalf of all faculty and staff to deliver plan options with the best value at the best cost possible. This is a difficult and complicated process and I am grateful for their dedication to this effort.