The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Employee Benefits Trust, through its Board of Trustees and Health Plan staff, operates a self-funded health plan built on partnership.
The Board of Trustees:
- Determines the benefits.
- Sets the rates.
- Determines eligibility.
- Oversees all operations.
- Chooses the companies that provide administrative services (for example, claims payments and billing and collection).
By owning and controlling our own plan we can:
- Tailor our benefits to fit our own vision of affordable health care.
- Respond to member requests to consider changes in the plan.
- Have the flexibility to make important improvements to benefits and eligibility.
We have chosen to contract with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Pittsburgh, PA, for administrative services.
- Members have access to the services of over 720,000 doctors, hospitals, and other providers nationwide.
- Members around the country have access to a uniform benefit plan.
Benefits to a UUA-owned, self-funded plan with deep discounts on a not-for-profit basis include:
- Significant reduction in total outlays for payment of claims and administration.
- No compensation for high-level marketing people.
- No expensive occupancy costs.
- No advertising campaigns to inflate our expenses.
- Yearly rate increases lower than average market rate increases.
- Finances of the Health Plan are kept separate from the UUA's financial structure. All plan resources are dedicated to the benefit of plan members.
Congregations and other UU organizations:
- Identify their eligible staff, who complete the UUA Health Plan Enrollment Application.
- The only cost to congregations is for their share of the premiums.
- There is no cost for submitting an enrollment application.
- We use the online application to enroll people in the UUA plan, generate ID cards, and issue invoices.
Providers submit their claims to their local BCBS plan.
- Highmark approves and pays the claims.
- Members are responsible only for deductibles and coinsurance amounts, some out-of-network charges, and services not covered by the plan.
Highmark maintains a state-of-the-art website where enrollees can:
- Find a provider their area.
- Check on claims status.
- Handle many routine transactions.
- Access a broad range of health information and wellness tools.