Health care costs continue to increase throughout the United States — a trend that has spanned several consecutive years. At Central Michigan University, employee medical and prescription health care claims exceeded $26 million during the 2016-17 fiscal year, an increase of $1.4 million.
Patty Tatham, CMU’s director of benefits and wellness, says new, lifesaving technology and medication provides us with longer, higher-quality lives yet increases the cost of care. The university works to manage the cost of coverage and keep out-of-pocket costs down for employees, while also exploring opportunities to provide excellent care.
The year-over-year increase in health care costs reflects several factors, including:
Key highlights from the 2016-17 fiscal year include:
Employees in 2016-17 paid significantly less for their medical and prescription drug coverage compared to 18 percent for single coverage and 30 percent for family coverage nationally.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation 2016 Employer Health Benefit Survey
With the help of Alex and other decision-support tools, employees have devoted time and effort to better understand benefit options and select the best plan for themselves and their families.
CMU employees are dedicated to healthy lifestyles, and it’s paying off.
The employee wellness program continues to expand, with a couple of new programs this year. These include:
Enrollment in the Virgin Pulse wellness rewards program is at 66 percent of all employees and eligible spouses/other eligible individuals. Of those, 64 percent are engaged in earning rewards. In FY 2017, nearly 85 percent of participants became healthier or maintained their healthy state.
Since CMU’s Virgin Pulse wellness rewards program launched in 2014, many employees have taken charge of their health. A recent study of the first two years of the rewards program has found:
You have options when it comes to choosing medical care. Save time and money with emergency room alternatives such as the CMU Primary and Specialty Services Clinic and BCBSM Online Healthcare Visit.
Learn about the performance of the Central Care Plan — CMU’s
self-funded medical and dental health plan — throughout the
year with the electronic and easy-to-understand Central Care
Checkup. Look for the link to quarterly updates in CMU Today.