[October 16, 2008]

The annual Open Enrollment period is approaching -- the time of year for retirees to reassess their health and welfare benefits. The following provides an overview about retiree health insurance rates for next year, and what the University has done to help preserve good retiree health benefits and control costs.

UC is employing a multi-pronged approach to its 2009 health insurance programs designed to help shield retirees from escalating health care costs. In addition, retiree out-of-pocket costs (e.g., co-pays, deductibles) will not increase except for some prescription costs for some retirees enrolled in Medicare plans due to Medicare Part D plan changes. Retiree dental benefits will continue to be fully paid by UC in 2009, unless the retiree's benefits are subject to graduated eligibility.

"We recognize how important good health benefits are for our employees, retirees and their families, especially our lower-paid employees who are hit hardest by escalating health care costs, and we continue to work very hard to ensure they have access to quality health benefits," said UC President Mark Yudof. "In addition to continuing to pay the majority of employee and retiree health insurance premium costs, as further protection for our employees we are also defraying a portion of employees' and retirees' increased share."

Highlights of next year's medical plan costs include the following:

                   .   UC to continue to pay most of the cost: UC will continue to pay the overwhelming majority of the cost of medical coverage in 2009, including much of the cost of your dependent coverage. This includes the effect of a special one-time subsidy, which will further offset retiree rate increases by more than $1 million.

                   .   Cost decreases for some retirees: Retirees not eligible for Medicare currently enrolled in Anthem Blue Cross PLUS or PPO will see decreased net premiums for 2009 if they remain in their current medical plans. This will affect over 4,000 of the 33,000 retirees covered by UC medical plans.

                   .   2009 retiree rates are available online.

Like employers nationwide, UC continues to see its medical insurance costs rise substantially. UC pays more than $1 billion in employee and retiree medical benefits annually. While many employers are attempting to control costs by cutting benefits, UC's 2009 benefits remain unchanged from 2008, including programs for retiree wellness, behavioral health and preventive care that were expanded in 2008. Retirees enrolled in Medicare plans may see some minor changes due to mandatory Medicare Part D changes.

Please mark your calendar: Open Enrollment for UC employees and retirees begins at 8 a.m., Thursday, October 30, and ends at midnight on Tuesday, November 25.

UC 2009 medical plans








                   .   The information presented in these news archive articles may no longer be current. Please note the date when the article was first published.






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Last Modified Thu, 16 Oct 2008 21:50:21 GMT