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CUPA-HR News

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2010

 

Contact Information:
Missy Kline
Editor
mkline@cupahr.org
(865) 862-2846

Healthcare Costs in the Higher Education Workplace Increase 7 Percent Over Last Year

The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) recently released the findings of its 2010 Comprehensive Survey of College and University Benefits Programs. Survey results indicate that the percentage increase in the median annual cost of healthcare was substantially higher this year than last. For the 424 institutions completing this year’s survey, the median total premium costs for the three most common plan types (PPO, HMO and POS) increased 6.7% for employee-only coverage and 7.0% for employee + family coverage; comparable increases last year were 3.7% and 5.7% respectively.

Employee premiums were particularly greater this year than last for employee + family coverage ($15,248 this year compared to $13,996 in 2009). For some plans, the median annual deductible went up, as did the out-of-pocket maximum, while in- and out-of-network coinsurance percentages went down.

In other healthcare-related findings, the percentage of responding institutions offering healthcare benefits for both same sex and opposite sex partners increased this year, as it has for the past four years; a majority of responding institutions continue to provide healthcare benefits for retirees; 31% of responding institutions conducted an audit in the last year of dependents enrolled in their benefits program; the percentage of institutions paying the entire monthly premium for employee + family coverage continues to decrease; and consumer-driven health plans are now offered by 21% of this year’s respondents (up from just 11% two years ago).

In addition to health benefits, this year’s survey also collected data on a number of non-healthcare benefits. Among those findings: almost all responding institutions provide basic life insurance, long-term disability, paid time off, tuition assistance and retirement benefits; sixty-four percent of responding institutions offer short-term disability and the majority requires the employee to pay the entire premium; and the median number of paid holidays each year is 12, as is the median number of sick days.

“It is unfortunate that many institutions have had to shift additional benefits costs to employees,” says CUPA-HR President and CEO Andy Brantley. “We know that institutions are struggling to meet all budgetary obligations while continuing to provide a comprehensive benefits package to employees. I hope that institutions are actively managing their healthcare programs by reviewing usage data and the trends that are driving up the costs of their specific healthcare plans. I also hope that more institutions will offer discounts and incentives to those employees who participate in campus wellness programs and to those employees who demonstrate their commitment to a healthy lifestyle.”

To access the Benefits Survey fact sheet or to purchase survey results, visit http://www.cupahr.org/surveys/results.asp.

About the Survey

This year’s Benefits Survey, sponsored by Aetna, included both healthcare and non-healthcare benefits. The healthcare component covered PPO, HMO, POS and consumer-driven health plans, as well as prescription drug and dental plans. Detailed data were collected on premiums, deductibles, maximums, co-insurance, services covered, co-pay amounts, and annual and lifetime limits. The survey also collected some general data, including the use of wellness programs. The non-healthcare component of the survey collected data on basic life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, paid time off, tuition assistance and defined contribution retirement plans (403(b), 457(b), 401(a), 401(k)).

About the Survey Respondents

The healthcare component of survey was completed by 424 institutions, including 17 systems reporting in the aggregate for all of their campuses. Survey data for healthcare benefits represents 559 institutions in total. Sixty-seven percent of the respondents (282) were from private institutions and 33% (142) were from public institutions. If the aggregate submissions of the 17 systems are considered, about 48% of the data come from public institutions and 52% from private institutions. Roughly 33% of respondents are from master’s institutions, 24% are from bachelor’s institutions and 21% are from doctorate-granting institutions. Associate’s and special focus institutions comprise about 13% and 10% of respondents, respectively.

The non-healthcare component of survey was completed by 340 institutions, including 15 systems reporting in the aggregate for all of their campuses. Survey data for non-healthcare benefits represents 470 institutions in total. Sixy-seven percent of the respondents (229) were from private institutions and 33% (111) were from public institutions. If institutions included in the aggregate submissions of the 15 public systems are counted, data are equally split between publics and privates. Roughly 35% of respondents are from master’s institutions, 24% are from bachelor’s institutions and 20% are from doctorate-granting institutions. Associate’s and special focus institutions comprise about 12% and 9% of the respondents, respectively.

About CUPA-HR

Founded in 1946, CUPA-HR provides global leadership to the higher education human resource profession and the higher education community by offering essential knowledge, resources and connections to enhance individual and institutional capacity and competitiveness. Our membership is institution-based and includes 90 percent of all U.S. doctoral institutions, 70 percent of all master’s institutions, 50 percent of all bachelor’s institutions and 500 community colleges and specialized institutions. We also serve other organizations that are affiliated with higher education. We provide vital resources to more than 12,000 higher education HR professionals at close to 1,700 institutions.