September 20, 2007
I am pleased to tell you about a number of changes to our benefit plans and, most importantly, to introduce our health care insurance options for 2008. Our plans were developed following feedback from faculty and staff—through focus groups and an online survey that more than 3,000 of you completed, as well as discussions with the newly formed Employee Benefits Advisory Council.
We are grouping benefits under a new heading—UMatter—that will grow in importance in the years to come. UMatter is meant to signify three things:
- It’s the faculty and staff that enable the University to achieve its mission.
- Benefits play an important role in the lives of you and your family.
- By working together, we can build and maintain benefits programs that we can all be proud of.
Below is a summary of some of the changes and enhancements to UMatter Health, Wellness, and Retirement benefits. As always, I welcome your feedback.
You have already heard about many of the changes in next year’s health care plans. We have moved from five to four plans—two HMOs, a PPO, and a CoverageFirst plan. The HMOs do not require a referral from the primary care physician to see a specialist. That’s a change we will test this year. Coinsurance in the HMO2 plan has been replaced by copays. Wellness programs have been enhanced. Discounts are available in all plans when you use a UM provider.
Click on links below to view:
This information is also available at www.miami.edu/benefits.
Open Enrollment will run from October 15 through midnight November 2. Look for your 2008 Open Enrollment Guide and Humana SmartSuite Toolkit, which will arrive at the end of September via interoffice mail. These guides are an important resource and have all of the information needed to make the best decision for you and your family.
Click on the links below to view:
As you make your benefits choices, keep in mind how our medical plans work. The University self-insures, which means that our costs reflect the health and health care usage of our employees and their dependents. Next year, our total health care costs are projected to reach $80 million with the University absorbing more than 75 percent of the cost.
The 2008 plan premiums reflect last year’s actual experience. For example, PPO plan claims have been running significantly higher than projected; therefore, the PPO plan has the highest premium increase for 2008. This is due to higher overall utilization and out-of-network usage by PPO members. The two plans with the lowest monthly premiums—HMO2 and CoverageFirst 1500—have both been enhanced. Be sure to understand the specifics of these plans and whether or not they will meet your needs.
There are many ways we can work together to manage increasing health care costs. One way is for all of us to become better informed health care consumers by learning about our health plans, choosing a plan according to our needs, and making educated health care decisions throughout the year. Another way is to live healthier lives and practice wellness.
UMatter Wellness Programs
A major focus in 2008 will be in partnering with you to promote good health through UMatter Wellness Programs. Our Wellness Centers are developing a variety of programs to better meet the needs of faculty and staff. In addition, we will offer health fairs throughout the year that focus on health and wellness issues. The UMatter preventive care benefits will continue to offer in-network preventive care at no cost to you.
I urge you to become engaged in your health and wellness by taking advantage of what the University has to offer. Look for further information about UMatter Wellness Programs throughout the year.
In addition to our health and wellness programs, the University has added a new retirement planning and investment advice program called LTSave.
The LTSave program will make it simpler to create and sustain a retirement planning strategy based on your individual needs and financial outlook. For more information about this new UMatter Retirement benefit, I encourage you to attend an LTSave information session. For more information on LTSave, click here.
Finally, the decisions you make concerning benefits for you and your families are personal and important. Your interests and those of the University overlap. You want to be healthy. You care about planning for your retirement. The University wants to provide the best programs and tools to help you do so. It’s a partnership.
So read the materials, attend an information session and the benefits fair, and ask questions. For a schedule of Open Enrollment events, click here. Your continued feedback is important. Please send your comments and suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Vice President for Business and Finance
and Chief Financial Officer