Open Enrollment for the UUA Health Plan
Open Enrollment for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Heath Plan has begun for all eligible staff and will continue through November 30. Eligible staff may join the plan effective January 1, 2013, even if they have not taken advantage of past enrollment opportunities.
For currently participating employees of Subscribing Employers or for Subscribing Individuals, there is nothing to do to continue coverage for 2013. Current participants will be carried over and be billed the 2013 rates. Participants are free to change plans (from High Deductible to Standard PPO, for example) by notifying the UUA Health Plan office.
2013 Rate And Benefit Changes
For 2013, we are increasing base rates by 4.5%. All continuing enrollees will also receive a small age adjustment, as we have done in past years. At the same time, we are improving primary care benefits and making modest adjustments to out-of pocket limits to keep pace with healthcare inflation.
The Affordable Care Act, which is scheduled to be in full effect on January 1, 2014, has added a new dimension to discussions about rates and benefits, and about how the UUA Health Plan can continue to be a powerful presence in our congregations. With over 900 employees in the Plan, plus hundreds of family members, the UUA Health Plan offers a viable alternative to commercial health insurance. The Plan’s Trustees have held the 2013 rate increase to a minimum, while continuing to improve member access to primary health care and protect the Plan from the impact of inflation from 2007 to 2013.
Specific Changes Being Made in 2013
In our Standard PPO, the plan 90% of our members use, we are:
- Lowering the office visit co-pay for primary care visits, including annual vision exams, to $15 from $20. Because all preventive and diagnostic services are provided without charge, this change and the generic prescription drug change will hold out-of-pocket expenses as low as possible for a large majority of our members.
- Lowering the co-pay for generic prescription drugs to $5 from $10. Brand drugs will see a small increase.
- Increasing the Emergency Room co-pay to $60 from $50, to reflect inflation in ER charges.
- Increasing the individual and family deductibles and out-of-pocket amounts. This is the first increase of these expenses since the plan's inception in 2007, made necessary by medical inflation over the years. The individual deductible for 2013 will be $600, with the other deductibles and out of pocket limits adjusted the same way.
In our High Deductible PPOs, we are:
- Increasing all of the deductibles and out-of pocket amounts by 20%.
- Making small adjustments to the minimum and maximum prescription drug co-pays.
- Eliminating the deductible and coinsurance from all preventive services. All preventive services will be covered at 100%.
Beyond the numbers, our commitment to justice and equity in the management of the Plan—a value the Health Plan Trustees rank first among the principles guiding Plan management—is something we all can be proud of. We offer a transgender surgery benefit. We have implemented the full range of women’s health services in the ACA, including access to free contraception, and we support a woman’s right to choose. We offer full mental health benefit parity. We have a supplementary benefit for children with learning disabilities. And we offer one of the best hearing aid benefits in the country.
For Congregations NOT Currently Participating
If your congregation is not currently participating in the UUA Health Plan, please consider enrolling your staff in your denominational health plan with outstanding benefits, consistent with Unitarian Universalist (UU) values, managed by Unitarian Universalists, and benefiting UUA-related participants and not the insurance industry. The Affordable Care Act is adding a lot of uncertainty for all employers—uncertainty about benefits, about rates, about state-based insurance exchanges. The UUA Health Plan is committed to the long haul, however the ACA plays out. As we enter our seventh year, membership continues to grow, and our reserves are strong. Over the 2012 and 2013 policy years, out net rate change has been zero. During our first six years, rates have increased only 21%, at least 30% less than the small group market average. Unlike commercial health insurance, the UUA Health Plan is here to serve ONLY the interests of our participants and their UUA-related employers.
Please consider joining the more than 300 congregations that have become part of the UUA Health Plan movement Health care with UU values managed by the UUA and benefiting UU congregations and their staff.
For more information contact healthinsurance @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
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