Minutes of HCSC Meeting: May 17, 2005


Present: Frank Werdann (presiding), Accordino, Avery, Beyer, Brunetta, Falduto, Freeland, Huneke, Janitz, Losie, Pelligra, and Wycoff

1. The meeting was called to order by Chair Werdann at 11:32 am.

2. The topic of discussion is the health insurance renewal and options.

  • Our last health and dental benefits were done on an annual basis 7/1/04 – 6/30/05.
  • The proposed new option for health and dental rates includes an approximate 10 to 10½ % increase.
  • P.P.O. plan—we have some control as this plan is based on our claims experience.
  • Bassett Plus HMO is community rated—we have no control or negotiating power.
  • We have an abnormally high incidents of claims for prescription drugs purchases (30%); normal is usually around  15%.
  • Designer drug costs vs. generics (with designer drugs costing at least twice as much as generics).
  • Hartwick had a very small expenditure ($274) for out of network costs last year.
  • What options do we have to mitigate increased cost for 2005-06?
    • Increase co-pay for prescriptions—we are low in comparison to other colleges and universities.
    • Have higher deductibles.
    • We could go to Excellus EPO as an exclusive provider organization---it is a PPO without out of network option.
    • Question was raised as to why we can't join with other colleges and universities to purchase group insurance.  The answer is that New York State insurance regulations prohibit the purchase of consortia group health insurance.
    • A longer term solution may be viable as we are in conversation with others discussing the possibility of establishing a consortia.
    • The best thing we can do is to go back to a concept of approximately 15 years ago, the original basis for HMOs,  where we manage wellness with education.  Promote health care "consumerism"—educate employees on tools to aid in making medical decisions.  For example, there are three tiers of prescription drugs, a whole concept of wellness and step-up the program whereby it will take each of making smart choices for ourselves. 
    • Should we offer an EPO program?  A motion was made, seconded and approved to include EPO Plan G as an offering.

3. Prescription co-pays:  A discussion ensued that included review of higher co-pays vs higher monthly insurance premiums resulted in consensus that due to a lack of savings even if co-pays were increased, a motion was made and  seconded that we leave prescription co-pays as is.  It passed unanimously.

4. Members of staff council agree that HR counterparts should band together from private schools to lobby to CICU for the opportunity to form a private consortia which would enable us to consider collective insurance and prescription drug purchasing arrangements (requires changes in NY State insurance law).

5. The meeting was adjourned at 12:20 p.m..

Respectfully submitted,

Donna Avery