April 2006 Minutes
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Attendees: Virginia Flavin, Catherine Cox, Harvey Iglarsh, Vivian Murphy, Rachel Bridges, Karl Cerny, Catherine Cox, Eileen Fenrich, Susan Buckingham, Elliott Crooke, Maggie Little, Clint Brooks, Mary Beth Fargo
Approval of March 22, 2006 Minutes
A motion was made that the minutes be approved; the motion was seconded and carried unanimously by the committee.
STD/LTD Proposed Vendor Change
Following up to a request for additional information regarding the proposed changes within Long Term Disability and Short Term Disability benefits at the last BAC meeting, Clint Brooks (Integrated Benefits Services) presented the committee with a report outlining the rationale for change. The recommendation being that Georgetown move to a self-funded STD, a fully insured LTD, and move both plans from UNUM to Reliance Standard Life (RSL). This change would apply to staff (STD/LTD) and faculty and AAPs (LTD only).
An issue was raised concerning taking the STD claims review process out of the Provost’s office. A process for short term disability claims review and case management could be set up through an outside professional (such as RSL). This could be implemented in tandem with the other changes.
The interest in engaging a third-party stems, in part, from privacy concerns. Clint explained that although STD claims are not currently covered under HIPPA, that will likely be a part of the next HIPPA upgrade.
All BAC members in attendance were in support of moving forward with the proposed changes, as well as pursuing support from the Faculty Senate and Provost’s office.
The initial RFPs for medical, dental and vision plans have been developed in consultation with the BAC subcommittee. The RFP process (for medical, dental and vision) has multiple phases.
As part of the initial broad-based RFP phase vendors have been requested to respond to specific network questions regarding ‘required providers.’ An additional health plan would ideally include not only the ‘problem 12’ (those providers/doctors who were highly utilized under the Georgetown HealthPlan and not included in the UHC network), but also those providers who are currently most utilized under UHC. It was asked if we’ll have access to the reimbursement rates of each vendor. Georgetown will have access to that information, it will be particularly important in looking at dental vendors. UHC is comparable to other major national insurers in their reimbursement rates.
There was discussion of the primary drivers of medical inflation. CPI, ‘defensive medicine,’ and increased utilization (baby boomers) are the primary drivers. The cost of all types of medical plans (PPO, HMO) are increasing at, essentially, the same rate. It is critical that communication with the GU community convey the role of inflation in driving premium costs (14%).
The committee reviewed the current status of the benefits budget. Overall the news is good. Although currently $1.4M worse than budgeted, this includes the jump in GURP and RWBT expense of $3.4M (which had been revised based on outdated mortality tables), but still only observing $1.4M to the bottom line. Gains were made with a credit from Kaiser due to updated enrollment data.
Continuance of Tuition Benefits for Dependents
There was further discussion on the topic of continuing tuition benefits for dependents of deceased employees who had been active employees with ten year or more years of service, but who had not yet reached age 55. According to the faculty handbook this benefit is already afforded to faculty and, according to a 1996 summary plan description document, staff are also eligible for this continued benefit. There is a need for clarification and communication on this topic. The benefits staff will look into what written information is currently available to the GU community and be certain that it is accurate.
Dependents Diagnosed with Disabilities Post Age 19
A question had been raised regarding GU’s policy on covering dependents who are enrolled in the employee’s health insurance plan (in this case the PPO plan), but are not diagnosed with a disability or chronic health condition prior to age 19. (If a dependent is diagnosed prior to age 19, coverage would continue). Towers Perrin is preparing a cost analysis and will report back to the group.