UI proposes new health-care plan for employees

The University of Iowa will seek approval from the state Board of Regents to provide a second health-plan option for employees beginning in 2020.

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UI proposes new health-care plan for employees

Kelsey Harrell, News Reporter

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The University of Iowa has requested approval from the state Board of Regents to offer a new health-plan option for employees that will include lower premium costs but higher out-of-pocket costs.

The new plan will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2020, alongside the UI Choice plan now offered to employees and their families.

The UI began a review of health benefits that focused on developing a benefits philosophy, guiding principles, and a plan that supports faculty recruitment and retention through health benefits. The process also looked at creating a plan specifically focusing on the need for a lower premium health option as well as one that is financially sustainable for the UI. The university last undertook a review from 2009 to 2010.

The Health Benefits Advisory group began meeting monthly from 2017 to 2018 to focus on the guiding principles of the review.

“Feedback from campus obtained through a health-benefit survey to all benefit-eligible faculty and staff further informed the process,” regent documents stated. “Results from the survey indicated a high satisfaction with current plan design and a desire of some employees for more than one option for health coverage.”

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The UI Choice plan is the only option now offered to employees; enrollment in the plan is approximately 18,000 employees, with 42,000 covered in total.

“The addition of a second plan option will allow employees to better tailor their health plan to individual and family needs supporting recruitment of faculty and staff,” the documents said.

UI President Bruce Harreld has reviewed and approved the recommendation of the second health plan, and officials have shared the plan with UI Staff Council, UI Faculty Senate, college deans, and vice presidents, according to the documents.

The UI anticipates a cost savings with the addition of the new plan, depending on the number of employees who choose to switch to the new option.

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