8/21/19 Health Plan, Candace Shaffer

Director of Benefits Candace Shaffer breaks down the faculty health plan going into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

The Purdue Board of Trustees approved the new 2020 health plan, which aims to mitigate the rising cost of medical care.

Faculty health plans are updated for the new year with a few changes. The new plan will be effective Jan. 1.

In a discussion at the last Purdue Board of Trustees meeting, there will be no increase to base premiums, saving employees approximately $1 million, said trustee Tom Spurgeon.

A few changes to the 2020 plan include increasing the current $44,000 salary tier to $45,500 to ensure that employees don’t jump tiers due to merit salary increase, according to a press release.

Director of Benefits Candace Shaffer said for years, individuals who made less than $44,000 a year for their annual salary paid less for the plan. Now, the figure is $45,500.

In the future, the tier is will be adjusted to increase by a percentage equal to the University’s merit salary increase policy, according to a press release.

Working spouses are still covered in the 2020 health plan. If the working spouse pays over half of the premium through their employer but still wants to be on Purdue’s health plan, there will be an additional premium to pay.

“That helps us narrow the gap between what we pull in premium from spouses and what we pay out in expenses,” Shaffer said.

There is also a creation of two concierge programs, one for prescription drugs and one for cancer treatment.

“One of the number one issues that we hear from our employee population is the cost of drugs that keep going up,” Shaffer said.

The prescription concierge works with the Purdue prescription plan to find cheaper medicine and treatment.

Healthcare is a “complicated system” and has many parts to consider, Shaffer said.

“What’s the benefit? What’s the value at?” said trustee Cheryl Cooky at the meeting. “Making it explicit to faculty and staff on board, I think is really important.”

Shaffer said it’s a responsibility to communicate to employees what their benefits are.

“Our challenge has always been how do we help folks understand it well enough and navigate it well,” Shaffer said. “The complexity in healthcare — I don’t think it’s going away.”

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