Purdue OKs medical benefits program for 2011, continues to explore options

October 15, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's Board of Trustees on Friday (Oct. 15) approved a medical benefits program that will split the rising costs between the university and its employees for 2011.

"Faced with rising medical insurance costs, Purdue has designed next year's plan in a way that shares the responsibility as fairly as possible while we consider other options," said Luis Lewin, vice president for human resources. "Our newly created Blue Ribbon Healthcare Committee is exploring ways we can best manage our medical benefits program and continue to provide quality health care. It will report its recommendations in March, at which time some additional measures may be incorporated."

Beginning in January, the university will increase its premium contributions overall by 6 percent and employee contributions will increase by 6 percent overall. Individual employees' increase will range from 3 percent to 9 percent, depending on the plans chosen. That means the university's contribution will total $121.5 million. Individual employee annual contributions will range from $155 to $531 for those earning under $44,000 and $515 to $977 for those earning $44,000 or more. Individuals pay higher premiums to include children and spouses.

Deductible and out-of-pocket maximums will increase for two of the three plan options. Part-time employees will pay premiums based on their full-time equivalent salary. Employees who choose non-Purdue coverage will no longer receive a credit.

The Blue Ribbon Healthcare Committee has been asked to consider several options, some of which might be implemented later in 2011. These include:

* A surcharge for spouses who have access to other insurance

* A surcharge for smokers

* Merging medical plan options

* A waiting period for eligibility for benefits

* Premiums based on additional salary tiers

The committee, with the help of a consultant, also will consider possibilities such as an on-site pharmacy and/or medical clinic, chronic care management and health improvement programs.

Writer: Jeanne Norberg, 765-494-2084, jnorberg@purdue.edu

Source: Luis Lewin, 765-494-7395, luislewin@purdue.edu