Boston College announced today that it will not raise health or dental insurance premiums for BC employees for the second consecutive year, bucking a trend of rising costs at for- and non-profit organizations nationwide.
David Trainor, vice president for human resources, cited two factors that enabled the University to avoid raising premiums: healthier faculty and staff, and the successful management of BC’s health and wellness plans by BC’s Human Resources and Finance staff. Nationally, health insurance rates rose by an average of 4.7 percent in 2018, according to Willis Towers, a leading global human resources consulting firm. During the past five years, costs have risen by an average of 8 percent.
“We were able to keep rates constant for a second year because our faculty and staff have been healthier, hopefully as a result of efforts to eat better, exercise, and take care of their physical, emotional, and spiritual health,” said Trainor. “Through popular HEALTHY YOU events such as Walk Across Campus, yoga and Zumba classes in the Flynn Recreation Complex, and increased wellness programs that help our employees with issues ranging from financial preparedness to assistance with aging parents, we are helping to reduce stress and improve healthy lifestyles that benefit all BC employees.”
In addition, Trainor cited BC’s success in managing its insurance carriers as a major factor in avoiding insurance cost increases these past two years.
“As a self-insured entity, Boston College pays the majority of health and dental costs for its employees,” said Trainor. “We have made efforts to ensure that what we spend on healthcare benefits our employees and not our carriers’ profits—particularly in the areas of prescription drugs. We are pleased that we have been able to keep our premium rates constant because it benefits all members of our community, especially our lowest paid employees.”
Trainor also stated that the University will offer a new vision plan in 2019 through EyeMed, which will provide assistance to faculty and staff in the purchase of eye glasses and contact lenses.
Routine eye examinations will still be covered by Harvard Pilgrim PPO and HMO plans, with a $25 co-pay, Trainor noted, but the EyeMed Vision Plan will cover an annual eye examination with no co-pay through participating providers.
“This new eye care benefit will be fully employee-paid, but with 3,500 employees and the relative health of our workforce, we were able to secure very favorable rates for our community,” said Trainor. “I believe people will be excited about this enhancement and the value of the benefit for all members of the BC community. I also hope that all BC employees will continue to take care of their overall health, in the hope that we can continue to achieve these cost containment successes in the years to come.”
Jack Dunn | University Communications | November 15, 2018