Health insurance costs for University employees to increase substantially in 2012

I would like to draw University of Minnesota employeesâÄô attention to several upcoming health and dental benefit changes for 2012. Open enrollment for health and dental plans began Nov. 1, 2011.

In response to ongoing funding constraints, the administration decided to shift $12 million of health care costs to University employees by increasing the employee share of the bi-weekly premium. This shift will substantially increase University employeesâÄô health care costs and reduce their take home pay in 2012 and in subsequent years.

The Benefits Advisory Committee voted to send two resolutions, one to former President Bob Bruininks in April and the second to both Bruininks and President Eric Kaler in June 2011, voicing its strong objection to this cost shift.

In addition to the BACâÄôs strong objections to the cost shifts, it worked with Employee Benefits to try to minimize the impact on employees. Details of those discussions can be found at

We encourage University employees to take extra care in addressing their UPlan choices for 2012. In general, most employees will see a 34.6 percent increase in health premiums next year.

Also beginning in 2012, Medica will be the sole administrator for the UPlan. While all HealthPartners clinics will still be available in 2012 through the UPlan, HealthPartners will no longer be a plan administrator. If University employees want to continue going to a HealthPartners clinic, they will have to choose a Medica plan that includes the providers they want to see. HealthPartnersâÄô Como and Riverside clinics will only be available through the âÄúInsights by MedicaâÄù plan. Other HealthPartners clinics may be available through other Medica plans.

University employees should review Employee BenefitsâÄô September and October newsletters, âÄúU & Your BenefitsâÄù carefully. The Employee Benefits website is also an excellent source for frequently asked questions and other important information.