Health, Dental Plan Rates and Changes Announced

Health, Dental Plan Rates and Changes Announced

By Stephen Gawlik
Staff Writer

The Benefits Office has announced an addition to the University's employee dental care plan, as well as changes to health plan coverage for prescription drugs.

In its annual notice sent to all employees last week, the office also announced rate increases of about 16 percent for both the University's Harvard Pilgrim health plans and a 6 percent hike in dental plan premiums.

Employees who wish to subscribe to a health or dental insurance plan, or change health plans must do so by the end of today, April 27.

Benefits Director Jack Burke said BC had decided to retain Harvard Pilgrim despite its widely reported financial difficulties. Several factors contributed to the decision, he said, including favorable reviews of Harvard Pilgrim's turnaround plan by government agencies and several accounting firms as well as discussions with Harvard Pilgrim representatives.

"We believe we have made the best decision for Boston College and its employees at this time," said Burke. "Nevertheless, we will continue to monitor the situation closely over the coming year."

Discussing the health and dental plan premiums for 2000-01, Burke said, "Like most employer groups this year we received significant rate increases. Though it will be little comfort, I would point out that other carriers who reviewed our claims data and submitted proposals to us quoted rates that were even higher than Harvard Pilgrim's."

The monthly employee cost for the Harvard Pilgrim PPO Plan will be $43.04 for individual coverage, $154.92 for a family plan. In the Harvard Pilgrim HMO Plan, the monthly employee contribution will be $38.68 for individuals, $139.28 for families.

Beginning June 1, Burke said, the University will offer employees a new, lower-cost Delta Dental option, DeltaCare, a managed-care plan. Under DeltaCare, employees would pay a total monthly premium of $8.64 for individual coverage and $21.32 for a family plan, compared with the DeltaPremier Plan's monthly cost of $10.40 for individuals and $35.20 for families.

Subscribers to the new plan, however, must use a dentist who is part of the DeltaCare network. Delta has made available a directory of providers at its World Wide Web site.

The deadline for enrollment in DeltaCare is May 12.

Effective May 1, Boston College will shift from a two-tier to three-tier prescription drug benefit structure, the office announced. Tier 1 ($5 co-payment) will cover generic drugs, Tier 2 ($10 co-payment) covers brand name and formulary drugs and Tier 3 ($25 co-payment) brand name and non-formulary drugs.

A list of formulary drugs covered by the plan is available on-line.

Also beginning May 1 will be a mail service prescription drug option that will make it possible to order a 90-day supply of maintenance medications.

Information about health and dental plans is available outside the Benefits Office in More Hall.


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