February 2006 Minutes

Benefits Advisory Committee Meeting

Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Philodemic Room

Attendees:  Virginia Flavin, Catherine Cox, Jean Daly, Eugene Ford, Harvey Iglarsh, Vivian Murphy, Mary Anne Mahin,  Jo Ann Moran Cruz, Rachel Bridges, Larry Fields, Clint Brooks, Dana May, Karl Cerny, Catherine Cox, Jean Daly, Bob Robinson, Eileen Fenrich, Richard Bates, Louis Dubrow

William Droms, acting chair, called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.

Approval of January 25 Minutes

A motion was made that the minutes be approved; the motion was seconded and carried unanimously by the committee.

Mercer Follow Up

A memo was distributed to the committee outlining outstanding issues from the Mercer presentation at the January meeting.  Mercer accepted the corrective data and found that it had no impact on the original findings/rankings. 

Health Plan Survey Findings

Clint Brooks from Integrated Benefits Services (IBS) presented the findings of the recently completed Health Plan survey.  


It was suggested that the committee focus on the following for 2007:

  • A flexible HMO for a higher cost
  • Catostrophic plan with lower payments
  • NCPPO network for increased cost
  • Revisit the prescription benefit

Clint Brooks stated that offering more options will help.  Whether it’s one or two more, it makes sense to target something that is between the two current options (HMO and PPO).  GU could contact those desired doctors that are not in network and find out what plans they do participate in and design something from that as a starting point.

IBS recommends that GU focus on the following:

1. 3rd Medical Vendor

  • Addresses UHC network and alternative to Kaiser (this would address two of the major concerns expressed)

2. Expand to 4-tier contribution structure:

  • Single
  • Employee/Spouse (LDA)
  • Parent/Children
  • Family

3. Develop a long-term cost sharing strategy

  • Predictability
  • Relief from escalating contributions
  • Proven cost efficiencies
  • Benchmark to peer group

4. Dental

5. Vision

6. Communication

It was asked if the results of the health plan survey will be shared with the community. It was suggested that there be a meeting within the next couple weeks to identify opportunities for communicating and to put forward suggested next steps.

GURP Discussion

It was reiterated that it’s important the BAC identify the primary problem(s) with GURP.  What problem are we trying to solve:  recruitment, economic, legal, moral?

It was proposed that it’s a question of equity.  It was stated that the classification of staff and AAP’s may be one of the core issues. 

The HR staff had expressed, in an email sent to the BAC Chair, that there are individuals who they were not able to recruit because of the GURP plan.  Other considerations are moral and legal.


  • AAPs vs staff
  • Vesting
  • DC – 13%
  • GURP – 3.5%
  • Interest Credit (5 – 10%) – see document
  • Start of Contributions – immediately w/ DC, after a year of service in GURP
  • Investment Choice
  • Portability


Spreadsheets looking at difference b/t DC and GURP (at 5 and 8% rates of return)

Total compensation is one parameter – how does this translate into the wage/benefit ratio?  Do we need to adjust salaries and put that, instead, toward retirement?  It was suggested that the Mercer report could be helpful in guiding this discussion. 

It was suggested that there is a fairly large percentage of our population that will not be served by moving to a DC plan that requires a matching contribution (lower paid hourly employees for whom this matching contribution may be a hardship).  It was commented that there were plans where Georgetown contributes a base amount as a default option.  It was discussed that there are inevitably people who will choose not to participate in a voluntary plan. It is possible that we could default them in and then they can ‘opt’ out.

Towers Perrin would need to perform a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact.

The committee requires the following information to move forward –

Total Comp Data
Cost of Options

The meeting was adjourned at 5:01 p.m.