October 12, 2018

Trustees OK 2019 health plan design, rates

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue trustees on Friday (Oct. 12) approved the university’s 2019 medical plans, working to balance efforts to provide high-quality benefits with the rapidly increasing cost of medical care that has risen 28 percent (or $30 million) over the past five years.

Trustees approved a multi-year strategy that for plan year 2019 will include:

• Medical premium increase of 6 percent for employees. The university will continue to cover 88 percent of total premium.

• Increased deductible and out-of-pocket expenses for employees.

• Lowered fee for employees covered on the high deductible health plans who receive care at the Center for Healthy Living, West Lafayette location.

• Spousal coverage available only for those whose spouses do not work or do not have access to medical insurance through their employer.

• Continuance of a wellness program, first implemented in 2018, that provides monetary incentives and increased contributions to health savings accounts for employees who engage in healthy activities and educational programming.

• New CVS value formulary for prescription drugs.

“As much as we would like to avoid medical premium increases, we simply cannot continue to cover the staggering increase in health care costs,” said Candace Shaffer, director of benefits.

Shaffer pointed to several factors that drive medical plan costs and, ultimately, decisions – including that Indiana hospitals charge substantially higher rates than peers in other states (hospital charges are nearly 50 percent of total plan expenditures); and 62 percent of claims are due to chronic conditions. Purdue has worked to mitigate some cost increases through initiatives such as contracting for lab services through MACL and offering imaging services at the Purdue Student Health Center, plus implementation of diabetes management programs, moving to new providers for pharmacy benefits administration and employee health savings accounts, negotiating directly with providers to lower costs, and expanding services at the Center for Healthy Living.

Employees will continue to receive information about benefits changes and enrollment through mailings to their homes, their campus addresses and via Purdue Today and online at purdue.edu/benefitsenrollment

Source: Candace Shaffer, 765-496-8621, shaffe14@purdue.edu 

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