Stable insurance rates good news for employees, Emory

In stark contrast to the rapidly rising health insurance premiums of the late '80s and early '90s, stable premiums from year to year have become the norm for Emory's health plans.

For the third year in a row, the monthly employee contribution for EmoryCare single coverage and employee/child(ren) coverage will remain the same, $46 and $134, respectively. In fact, none of the EmoryCare or PruCare HMO monthly employee contributions will increase in 1997 from 1996 levels. Employee contributions for the PruCare DMO and the Dent A Care PDO, which replaces the Traditional Dental Plan, will post increases ranging from about $1 to $4 per month over 1996 levels. (See chart)

"Data shows that employees are using EmoryCare to keep well," said Alice Miller, associate vice president for Human Resources. "That has helped keep the cost of health insurance from rising as rapidly as it has been in previous years. The savings generated by EmoryCare are being used to enhance health and other benefits."

The 1997 health insurance rates were announced in conjunction with the annual Benefits Election Period, scheduled for Oct. 14-Nov. 15. During this time, employees may enroll, cancel or make changes in health, dental and life insurance coverage and flexible spending accounts; and elect to pay for health, dental and short-term disability insurance on a before- or after-tax basis. Employees with flexible spending accounts must re-enroll for 1997 to continue the accounts; accounts of those who do not re-enroll by Dec. 31, 1996, will be terminated automatically.

Beginning Jan. 1, Emory's Supplemental and Dependent Term Life insurance programs will be replaced by Group Variable Universal Life (GVUL) insurance provided by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. Employees will have a choice of term insurance or GVUL. The GVUL plan offers not only life insurance protection, but also the opportunity to invest in two accounts, a fixed account and a separate account with six investments options,. that allow premiums to grow on a tax-deferred basis.

The Personal Accident Insurance will be replaced by a plan provided by Zurich Insurance Co. Employees who wish to enroll in, increase or decrease their current life insurance coverage must complete an enrollment form. For employees who do not elect to change the amount of their spouse's current life insurance coverage, the amount will automatically be changed to $10,000. For those who make no changes in the amount of their supplemental life insurance coverage, the amount will be rounded up to the next $10,000 increment. Life insurance coverage for children will remain the same for employees who elect not to make any changes.

Details of both the GVUL and new Personal Accident Insurance will be provided by Human Resources in a series of informational enrollment meetings to be held during the Benefits Election Period.

Human Resources is mailing enrollment packets to employees' homes this week. All enrollment forms must be received no later than Friday, Nov. 15. All elections made will take effect Jan. 1, 1997, except for employees disabled to work. For further information on the insurance programs, call 727-7613 (University employees), 727-2577 or 712-4769 (Emory Hospital employees), or 686-2535 (Crawford Long Hospital employees).

--Dan Treadaway

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