March 2006 Minutes

Benefits Advisory Committee Meeting

Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Philodemic Room

Attendees:  Virginia Flavin, Catherine Cox, Eugene Ford, Harvey Iglarsh, Vivian Murphy, Mary Anne Mahin,  Jo Ann Moran Cruz, Rachel Bridges, Karl Cerny, Catherine Cox, Bob Robinson, Eileen Fenrich, Richard Bates, William Droms, Susan Buckingham, Elliott Crooke, Rosemary Kilkenny

Elliott Crooke called the meeting to order at 3:08 p.m.

Approval of February 22, 2006 Minutes

A number of small amendments to the minutes were requested.  A motion was made that the minutes, as amended, be approved; the motion was seconded and carried unanimously by the committee.

Elliott Crooke informed the group that Larry Fields has left Georgetown and, therefore, will no longer be serving on the BAC.

Benefits Calendar

Last week an email was distributed to the committee requesting volunteers to serve on a subcommittee which would participate in the process of recommending plan changes for 2007, and in the subsequent RFP development and vendor selection activities.  Although this will be driven, in large part, by Integrated Benefits Services, this group will work closely with Clint Brooks and Vivian Murphy, representing the concerns of the greater GU community and the BAC for this accelerated process. 

The subcommittee would be comprised of the following BAC members:

Karl Cerny
Harvey Iglarsh
Rosemary Kilkenny
Robert Robinson
Jo Ann Moran Cruz
Mary Anne Mahin
Eileen Fenrich
Rachel Bridges (staff)

The goal will be to present an RFP to the BAC and the President’s Executive Committee in May, looking to finalize changes and new vendor selection by early August.  One of the key tasks for the subcommittee will be to help examine/review criteria for required vs. desired providers for a possible third health plan and new dental plans.

Proposed Plan Changes for 2007


Vivian Murphy led the BAC through a document created by Integrated Benefits Services outlining proposed next steps for 2007 plan changes.  A document, prepared by Integrated Benefits Services, outlining proposed next steps for 2007 changes, suggested that Georgetown needs to clarify its current philosophy concerning cost sharing, and articulate any shifts in that philosophy moving forward.

There are four key areas that surfaced during the focus groups and survey:

  1. Cost of Benefits
  2. Provider Access
  3. Options Offered
  4. Communication

The four areas targeted for review/change are:

  1. Medical
  2. Dental
  3. Prescription Drugs
  4. LTD/STD


A recommendation was made (by IBS) that GU examine the number of plans offered and enrollment structure.  The process of evaluation will focus on:

  • Network Providers
  • Plan Design


As if January 1, 2007 both Carefirst and AETNA dental plans will be restructured.  Therefore the current plans will no longer be available to GU employees.  Based on employee feedback new dental plans should reflect lower cost options, higher annual maximum options, and sensitivity to provider access concerns. It was recommended that plan design alternatives include the following:

  • A DMO with Aetna with lower premiums
  • Alternative networks to Carefirst that offer improved network access

Prescriptions Drugs

It was recommended that there be a financial evaluation of a 3-tier prescription option to reduce cost and maximize available rebates from UHC.  It was further recommended that there be a restructuring of the mail order option in order to incent utilization.


A proposal was distributed to the committee seeking to change disability vendors – from UNUM to Reliance Standard Life.  It was stated that there would be no impact on coverage to employees (terms would remain the same) and requested that the committee endorsement the plan in order to facilitate a mid-year transition.   For STD, GU would move from a fully-funded to a self-funded plan.

It was asked what GU’s exposure would be in moving to a self-funded plan. There was also some concern expressed regarding the consistency of claims denials, particularly related to mental health claims.

The following information was requested:

  • Historical data re: claims volatility
  • Statistics regarding denial rates
  • Ratings of both UNUM and RSL

If possible, and as long as there are no objections by those BAC members who were not present at today’s meeting, the committee will then vote on whether or not to endorse the proposal by an email vote.

Other Issues to be Addressed

  • Continuing tuition benefits for dependent children of active employees who die prior to age 55, but after having completed 10 years of service.
  • Revisiting the life insurance max

GURP – Next Steps

The committee still needs to review total compensation data as well as the cost of options to GURP.  It was also suggested that another member of the committee step into the role of shepherd to this process in Larry’s absence.

The meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.