Health, Dental Plans' Costs Announced

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

The University's premiums for the Delta Dental plan will rise again slightly this year, as will costs for individual medical plans, according to figures released by the Benefits Office this month. But employees enrolled in the Harvard Community Health Plan family program will pay less per month than last year.

During the University's open enrollment period, which began last week and ends tomorrow, April 25, 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.

Delta Dental premiums are increasing by 3 percent over last year's levels, said Benefits Manager John R. Burke. The individual employee cost for Delta will be $8.64, and family premiums will be $29.24, up from $8.36 and $28.40, respectively. The University's contribution to Delta is $12.91 for individual plans, $43.86 for family plans.

Both the Harvard Community Health and Pilgrim Advantage plans will rise by 5 percent from 1996-97 levels, Burke said. Individuals' monthly contributions for HCHP members will be $29, compared to last year's rate of $27.60. Pilgrim Advantage members will pay $35 for individual premiums and $126 for family plans, up from $33.28 and $121.64, respectively.

However, HCHP family contributions will continue their recent decline, Burke noted, from $112.92 last year to $106 this year.

Boston College contributes $198.03 for Pilgrim individual plans and $503.19 for family plans. For HCHP members, the University contribution is $164.18 for individuals, $420.93 for families.

"Over the past two years, since HCHP and Pilgrim merged," Burke said, "we have sought to make both plans proportionally consistent in terms of employees' contribution."

Burke said employees with unmarried dependent children should review policies on family medical and dental plan memberships. If they are enrolled as full-time students, he noted, dependent children may continue receiving coverage under a family medical plan membership until their 25th birthday, and in the Delta Dental plan until their 23rd birthday. Students under age 25 graduating this spring will be covered by Pilgrim or HCHP through Aug. 31; Delta's coverage ends at graduation.

However, Burke added, employees must notify the Benefits Office within 60 days whenever a child is losing dependent status under one of the University's plans.

Application forms and information concerning University medical and dental plans are available at the Benefits Office, More Hall 330, ext. 2-3329.

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