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Second Open Forum on Health Care Options Set for May 12

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
May 4, 2011

An informational meeting set for Thursday, May 12, 9 a.m. to 10:30 in the MUB Strafford Room, will give staff and nonunion faculty another chance to discuss how best to cut $2 million in medical costs annually from their benefits as mandated by USNH board of trustees earlier this year.

The change is part of a plan to reduce the USNH budget system-wide by nearly $9 million a year.

The System Personnel and Policy Committee (SPPC) has been gathering input from experts and employees through e-mails and an earlier forum, and will make a recommendation to the board of trustees on how to make the changes.

A 1 percent reduction in USNH retirement contributions goes into effect July 1. The $2 million cut to medical benefits will become effective Jan. 1, 2012 as will USNH’s self-funding of medical and prescription drug plans.  

According to a recent memo from David Proulx, interim assistant vice president of Human Resources, the UNH group working to develop a solution (UNH SPPC reps, council chairs and members of the Healthy UNH team) has investigated many of the ideas raised by the campus community and decided on one option (Option 2B) that proves feasible “while meeting the main objectives of encouraging positive consumer behavior, minimizing cost increases to all employees, and protecting employees from significant out of pocket costs on an annual basis.” 

While the group is leaning towards that option, no decisions have been made, Proulx noted.

Option B reduces the incentive to waive coverage from $800 to $550 ($173,000 savings); establishes a physical, speech, occupational therapy co-pay of either $5 or $10 ($105,000 to $210,000 savings); and adds a $50 or $100 co-pay for high tech imaging ($105,000 to $210,000 savings). It also adds a $200 deductible for individuals and $400 deductible for families, which would save $1.37 million annually.

The SPPC will make a final recommendation to trustees in May. Suggestions and questions can be sent to SPPC representatives at unh.sppc@unh.edu. Updates and reference material can be found at http://www.unh.edu/hr/total-rewards-information.htm.

Comments and questions can be sent to UNH.SPPC@unh.edu.

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