Emory Report
October 3, 2005
Volume 58, Number 6


Emory Report homepage  

October 3 , 2005
Health premiums show small increase for 2006

Katherine Hinson is director of communications for Human Resources.

Nationally over the past three years, employers have experienced annual increases of 11–13 percent in medical plan costs. The costs of Emory’s medical plans have risen about 11 percent per year, and we have tried to keep our employee premium increases to a minimum (averaging less than
3 percent annually).

Traditionally, Emory has absorbed approximately 75 percent of the cost, but this year the University’s share has risen to 80 percent as the 2006 medical plan’s total cost is projected to increase by 15 percent (approximately an additional $8 million).

While co-pays and deductibles are not changing, employees will see an increase in their premiums. For single coverage, premiums will increase from $2–$6 per month; for family coverage, they will increase $11–$28 per month, depending on the plan. All employees now should have received a letter detailing the rate increases, as well as the other benefit changes for 2006.

This week, employees also should receive at their homes the Open Enrollment Guide, which gives an overview of all the benefits that are open for employees, including medical, dental, flexible spending accounts, life insurance and disability. There are several changes for 2006, so employees should read the guide carefully before beginning the enrollment process.

Open Enrollment is Oct. 17–31. Employees are encouraged to review their current benefit elections and make all necessary changes online at www.leo.cc.emory.edu. This is the fastest, most secure way to enroll in the benefit plans. Employees also are invited to attend one of the informational meetings held across campus to answer questions regarding any of the benefits or how to use the online system.

Benefit Meetings Schedule
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 9:30–11 a.m.
Rita Anne Rollins Room, School of Public Health
Wednesday, Oct. 12, 1–4 p.m
Seney Conference Room , Oxford
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m–noon & 1–3 p.m.
Winship Ballroom, Dobbs Center
Thursday, Oct. 20, 3–5 p.m.
101 Grady Hospital Faculty & Staff Office Building
Monday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m.–noon
101 Grady Hospital Faculty & Staff Office Building
Wednesday, Oct. 26, noon–2 p.m.
Dobbs Center, Harland Cinema
Friday, Oct. 28, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Online Enrollment, Finance Training Room

In addition to the printed materials, employees are encouraged to find more information regarding the plans and the providers by visiting the vendor websites:
• EmoryCare Direct POS and HealthChoice PPO:
www.bcbsga.com www.bcbsga.com
• EmoryChoice POS, Dental Choice and the traditional dental plans: www.aetna.com
• Dental Access: www.compbenefits.com
• Flexible savings accounts: www.ebsbenefits.com
• Prescription drug coverage: www.caremark.com
• Behavioral health: www.liveandworkwell.com
• Supplemental term life: www.ING-USA.com
• Group legal: www.metlife.com/mybenefits
• Long-term disability/COLA: www.unumprovident.com

Employees may view benefits information and access
the online enrollment system by visiting http://emory.hr.emory.edu.

Tips on cutting your health care costs
• Open a flexible spending account (FSA). These accounts enable employees to deduct savings for medical costs directly from their paychecks on a pre-tax basis. Employees must
re-enroll for FSAs every year during Open Enrollment.
• Fill prescriptions through mail order. Employees enrolled in one of the three medical plans have prescription coverage through Caremark and can order a 90-day supply of maintenance drugs at only twice the retail co-pay of a 30-day supply.
• When prescribed a brand-name medication, ask if there is an appropriate generic equivalent.
• Exercise preventive health care. Identifying health problems early—or preventing them altogether—saves medical expenses in the long run.
• When choosing a health care plan, think carefully about the kind of coverage you and your family need. The Emory physician network (the core network) has lower co-pays and deductibles compared to other in-network and out-of-network options. (To assist employees in determining which plan is best for them and their families, Human Resources offers an online tool that allows employees to compare costs associated with each plan. It is available at http://hr.emory.hr.edu/calculator.)