PAT Council Discusses Changes to Health Insurance
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
April 11, 2007
Proposed changes to prescription drug coverage that were presented for
consideration at the most recent SPPC meeting were explained to PAT council
members on Wednesday. The alternatives detailed would save USNH an estimated
$375,000 or $410,000, respectively. As suggested, the increases would be
Phil Hammond, a PAT representative to the SPPC, said the idea was being
floated as a cost-saving measure to help reduce USNH’s $42 million
health care premium.
“The only thing that is being discussed is prescription drug coverage,” Hammond
said. “It’s not going to be this gets approved and then it’s
something else. No other benefit changes are on the table except health
Also suggested was increasing co-payments for short-term physical, occupational,
speech and cardiac rehabilitation, which allows 60 visits a year, from
no co-payment to $10 per session, and adding a $10 payment for chiropractic
treatment, which currently doesn’t require a co-payment.
Sentiment was against the co-pay plans as the $50,000 savings that either
would net didn’t warrant the cost to employees, members agreed. There
was also some discussion about whether an increase in emergency room fees
would be palatable to employees.
“Would a bump in ER costs be better than p.t. (physical therapy)
at $10 for 60 visits a year, for example,” said Tracy Boyle, who
also sits on the SPPC but can’t vote.
Some members felt the one percent savings (at $410,000) wasn’t “worth
“It seems like we’re saying there aren’t enough savings
on the table to justify what this could do to somebody who utilizes these
benefits,” Boyle said.
In other news, the pair reported on a proposed change to the existing
longevity policy for OS workers. While it doesn’t impact PAT employees,
Hammond noted as a SPPC representative, he would have to vote on the proposal.
Hammond and Boyle’s two-year terms on the SPPC are coming to an
end and Boyle has said she will not run again. Hammond was undecided. Both
agreed it would be beneficial for the PAT representative who will take
Boyle’s place to attend the next SPPC meeting.
The meetings take place in Concord from 9:30 a.m. until noon.
Chairman Guy Eaton reported that commencement attendance is expected to
be about 28,000--up more than 10,000—and that everyone is being asked