Mounting health care costs forced University of Arkansas chancellors and vice presidents to approve a new medical insurance benefits plan for employees at several UA campuses including the University of Arkansas - Monticello. Some changes became effective Nov. 1 at UAM, while others will not become effective until Jan. 1, 2005.
“UAM employees currently pay a $25 co-pay for 'preferred' and a $40 co-pay for 'non-preferred' prescription drugs,” Lassiter said. “This will increase by $5 and $10.”
According to UA Vice President for Finance and Administration Ann Kemp, the increases are necessary to maintain a quality health benefits program for all employees.
“Our health claims are rising at a rate of 28 percent a year and our pharmacy costs are close behind, increasing at a rate of 20 percent a year,” Kemp said. “We have an excellent plan, and we want to keep it financially sound and competitive without passing on premium increases to our employees.”
Lassiter maintains that this new plan remains to be one of the best in the state.
“If you look at other plans, our plan is still very good,” Lassiter said. “It is vitally important for all employees to understand that the new plan’s premiums will not cost them another penny. Medical insurance is crucial, and I would not want any of our employees to have to forgo their healthcare benefits.”
Students may also breathe a sigh of relief. Because the additional 10 percent needed for this new plan will be paid using contingency funds, students will not see a tuition increase in January as a result of such action.
Meetings to discuss the new plan and how it will effect employees will be held at the UAM College of Technology - Crossett campus Nov. 8 and at the UAM College of Technology - McGehee campus Nov. 17.
Have a comment? Please e-mail us.
© The Voice, 2004
Revised 041025 http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/2_6/insurance.htm