Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
May 24, 1996

Some insurance rates up

by Diana Pounds
ISU employees with PAT 1000 medical coverage or Preferred Blue family coverage will pay more for their health care insurance, beginning July 1.

Rising health care costs have boosted premiums, and employees will be asked to pick up a share of those costs. The university will continue to fund the largest share of the health care insurance costs.

Premiums will increase the most in Principal Mutual's PAT 1000 plan. For the first time, those with single coverage in the PAT 1000 plan will pay a portion -- $8.20 monthly -- of their medical coverage costs. Employees on the PAT 1000 family plan will pay $134 monthly, 28 percent more than their current share of the premiums.

Employees' rates for Preferred Blue's family plan also will increase by about 9 percent to $114 monthly. Iowa State will continue to pick up the full costs of coverage for those on Preferred Blue's single plan.

Preferred Blue and PAT 1000 plans are available to faculty, professional and scientific staff and supervisory merit system employees. Rate changes on health insurance plans for merit staff covered by the state bargaining contract have not yet been determined.

Flexible benefits options coming
A more flexible, "cafeteria-style" benefits plan will be implemented in January, said Johnny Pickett, assistant vice president for business and finance. The plan will allow employees to select from a variety of health and dental care, child care and insurance options. The university will continue to share the costs of the benefits.

"The new benefits plan will give individuals more control over their benefits and allow them to pay for certain benefits with untaxed dollars," Pickett said. "It also will give the university the opportunity to explore more cost- effective health care options, such as managed care plans."

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