Medical, Dental Rates Announced For 1996-97

By Sandra Howe
Staff Writer

Employees enrolled in health insurance plans offered by Boston College will see dental and individual medical rates rise slightly, and family medical rates decline during the coming year, according to figures released by the Benefits Office this week.

During the University's open enrollment period, which began last week and ends April 30, employees may switch from one plan to another, enroll in a medical or dental plan for the first time, or make changes in their membership plans. The new rates take effect May 1.

Individuals' monthly contributions for Harvard Community Health Plan members will rise slightly over 1995-96 rates, from $27 to $27.60; but family plan contributions will decrease from $123 to $112.92.

The decrease is occurring despite rises in HCHP's total premiums, from $179.50 to $183.99 for individuals and from $489.62 to $501.86 for families, according Benefits Manager John R. Burke. The University will absorb the difference, he added.

Pilgrim Advantage members will see a $5.28 monthly increase for individuals - from $28 to $33.28 - while the family plan employee cost will drop from $127 to $121.64.

Pilgrim's total premiums have dropped this year, from $231.53 to $221.93 for individuals and from $625.10 to $599.23 for families. But even with the decrease, the program remains more expensive than Harvard, Burke noted, and Pilgrim's higher monthly costs reflect that.

Burke said that while Harvard Community Health Plan and Pilgrim Health Care officially merged last year, the two plans offered by the University will continue to operate as separate entities for at least one more year, as the companies integrate their products gradually.

"We don't yet know what the impact will be when the programs combine," Burke said, "but there is a lot of pressure on the health care industry to keep costs down, so I anticipate that we will continue to benefit from the current climate."

Delta Dental Plan subscribers will see slight increases in their monthly premiums. Employees' individual plan contributions will edge up from $7.88 to $8.36; family plan premiums will rise from $26.69 to $28.40. Employees will enjoy expanded Delta Dental benefits, however, with the addition of coverage for Delta implant procedures. Delta will pay 50 percent of implant costs, Burke explained, with a lifetime maximum of $1,000 for each member.

The Benefits Office plans to distribute information about the 1996-97 medical and dental plans to all employees this week. Application forms and information are available at the Benefits Office, More Hall 330, ext. 3329.

Return to April 11 menu

Return to Chronicle Home Page