2017 University Health Insurance Plan Information & Update

Following the direction of and approval by the Board of Regents, EKU is restructuring its health insurance plans to lower University expenses in light of the $11.1 million budget impact the University faces. The reality is EKU’s benefits costs have steadily increased on average by 7-8 percent each year, yet we have not seen a significant shift in our benefit plans or premiums since 2005. The last 12 months alone, our claims increased by $1,120,000. This additional cost comes at a time the University also faces annual decreases in state funding, increases in pension fund contributions and the added costs of new federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements.

The University has maintained benefit plans that are no longer industry standards and are out of line with our peer institutions. We must make adjustments now to control benefit expenses and reduce the risk of further cuts to personnel, services or programs that could greatly affect our students.

The University’s health care provider network has not changed and remains with Anthem.  Employees will have three levels of coverage to choose from in 2017. It is important to note, depending on your selections during open enrollment, your premiums could increase, stay the same or even decrease. This will vary by individual. As with any major purchase or investment, healthcare requires careful research and calls for comparison if, for example, you have coverage options through a spouse/partner’s employer. These are important choices that will require extra attention and evaluation to determine the best and the most cost-effective choice for yourself and any covered dependents.

As you evaluate your plan choices, it is important to note that every plan has $0 copay for preventative care. This means annual physicals, recommended preventative screenings and well visits are fully covered by each health plan. Because the new plan options will require additional research and review, the open enrollment period has been lengthened and is scheduled for October 10-28.  All faculty and staff must complete the mandatory open enrollment process this year. Attached is summary information for 2017 health plan benefits with a breakdown of premiums and coverage options. 2017 Benefit Guides will also be mailed to employees in the weeks ahead. The University will provide educational workshops, forums and one-on-one policy review sessions to help explain the plan options.

 For assistance with your enrollment, employee forums are scheduled:

·         October 5 (9-11 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m.) & 6 (1:30-3:30 p.m.) (Location TBD)

Also, plan to visit one of the Benefits Expos at these dates and locations:

·         October 11 & 12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Perkins Quads

·         October 24 & 25, 9 a.m-4 p.m., Keen Johnson Ballroom

You will find additional information in the attached FAQs and online at HR Benefits 2017. The website will be regularly updated as plan documents are finalized.

We know healthcare options are important choices for you and your family, and we are committed as a University to provide educational workshops, forums and one-on-one policy review sessions to help you choose a plan that is the best fit for your personal budget and health needs.