Hovde Hall

A controversial change to Purdue's health insurance plans is being sidelined for now.

An email sent to faculty and staff by William Sullivan, chief financial officer and treasurer of Purdue, this morning announced that the University would be delaying the plan to eliminate spousal coverage. At the most recent Board of Trustees meeting, officials claimed the change would save the University a significant amount of money in an area that has seen inflating costs over the past five years.

After receiving pushback, Purdue has decided "not to institute the change to our spousal coverage policy at this time," the email states.

The policy will be reviewed over the next six months to allow faculty and staff time to assess alternative options. Purdue administrators will be doing the same during that time.

"We intend to review this policy in detail over the next six months to review outright elimination of the coverage, or merely requiring a surcharge for continued coverage," the email reads.

That idea is similar to one floated at a recent University Senate meeting, according to the Journal and Courier.

Healthcare costs for the University increased by $30 million in that time, according to the email. University officials have argued the cost reduces the amount of money available to distribute to faculty and staff in the form of salary increases.

Purdue estimated that spousal coverage costs the University over $4 million per year.

University officials claim premiums of plans offered are on average $1,500 lower than other local employers, with lower deductibles to match.

In the coming year, Purdue plans to examine other cost-cutting measures, including negotiating directly with providers, collaborating with the College of Pharmacy to assess its prescription-drug plan, developing a tiered network of primary-care providers and determining whether it should expand the Center for Healthy Living's services and facilities.

Recommended for you