Responsible health care consumerism leads to big rewards for 2016 benefits plans

October 9, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University faculty and staff will have no increases in medical plan premiums in 2016, and Human Resources once again credits better health care consumerism as the reason. The Purdue Board of Trustees on Friday (Oct. 9) approved the 2016 premiums and medical plans.

In addition to keeping premiums unchanged, Purdue will offer enhanced versions of the same three medical plan options with Anthem next year without changes in deductible or coinsurance.

“Purdue is dedicated to providing its employees with excellent benefits that meet their needs and those of their families,” said Eva Nodine, director of benefits in Human Resources. “In 2016, we are pleased to extend autism coverage to include applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, enhanced vision benefits as well as providing preventive dental - all without having to increase the cost to employees.”

A recap of the 2016 program changes includes:

* Autism coverage will be expanded to meet the Indiana Health Insurance Mandate for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

* Bariatric surgery will be covered if patient meets Anthem-specific minimum requirements.

* Individual out-of-pocket maximums ($6,850 for in-network and $13,700 for out-of-network) will be added for each individual within a family-level coverage on the Purdue Health Plan Plus HSA 1 and Purdue Health Plan Plus HSA 2. No one person within family-level coverage will pay more than $6,850 of the $7,000 (for HSA 1) or of the $10,000 (for HSA 2) in-network out-of-pocket maximum. For out of network, no one person within family-level coverage will pay more than $13,700 of the $14,000 (for HSA 1) or of the $20,000 (for HSA 2) out-of-pocket maximum.

* Preventive dental - two cleanings, fluoride treatment and standard X-rays up to a $500 per person maximum - through Delta Dental will be included with no premium increase for employees. Dependents covered under a Purdue medical plan also will receive this coverage automatically. Additionally, two buy-up options will be available should an employee need additional dental coverage.

* Prescription drug coverage will see several changes affecting prior authorizations, drug quantity management, preferred formulary list and specialty drugs.

* Vision coverage for frames and contact lenses will see a slight benefit increase.

“Employees shared their requests for improved benefits coverage and positive additions to the plans,” Nodine said. “Those requests were heard - and due to how much our faculty and staff have embraced and supported the plans over the last two years - we were able to make significant improvements to all three plans. Their effective decision making and dedication as informed health care consumers has made this possible.”

To help faculty and staff in their efforts to be wise consumers, Purdue will continue to offer Castlight and once again will provide the Truven Informed Enrollment tool so that employees can estimate which 2016 medical plan might be best for them.

According to Nodine, Purdue employees have done an excellent job of “shopping” for health coverage using the Castlight tool and using resources available at each campus - including the Center for Healthy Living on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus - to improve their health.

“This smart consumerism, in conjunction with the change to Anthem as our medical vendor in 2014, has saved employees money and allowed the university to maintain stable premiums for three years in a row,” she said. “We are working hard to improve employee wellness in 2016 and beyond to keep Purdue below the market trend.”

The Center for Healthy Living will continue to play a large role in employee health. The center provides numerous health management and wellness offerings throughout the year at no cost to benefits-eligible faculty, staff and their spouses/same-sex domestic partners covered on a Purdue health plan.

Wellness programs are also available at the Calumet, Fort Wayne and North Central campuses.

Open enrollment begins Oct. 26 and ends Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Human Resources will provide extensive resources to help employees through the process, including live presentations and walk-in labs. A special open enrollment issue of HR Connect will be delivered the week of Oct. 19. Open enrollment guides will be available the week of Oct. 26 via campus mail, and additional resources and communication will follow. 

Writer: Michelle Warren, 765-494-7413, 

Source: Eva Nodine, 765-496-1967, 

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