Chancellor’s Update on UHS Steering Committee

To the Campus Community:

I am writing today to provide an update on the university’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). At my request, a special committee is exploring possible modifications to SHIP as it develops competitive bid specifications for coverage in fiscal 2013.

Associate Chancellor Susan Pearson is chairing this broad-based panel, which will review the current coverage and discuss different mixes of policy benefits and corresponding costs, including premiums, co-pays and co-insurance. It will analyze bids submitted by vendors and recommend a vendor in April.

Insurance changes implemented this year were driven by the need to treat students equitably, regardless of their choice of insurance, and to develop a financial plan that puts University Health Services (UHS) on a sound financial footing, enabling the planning of a new health services facility for patients that meets 21st century needs. Eliminating the subsidy for SHIP subscribers that resulted from differing billing practices for different insurance plans is a fair and financially sound practice, and the committee will evaluate options with that policy in place. As the committee proceeds with its work, the administration will be mindful of its bargaining obligations and will consult with the Graduate Employee Organization when appropriate.

Members of the committee are:

  • Susan Pearson, chair, associate chancellor
  • Bernette Daly, executive director of UHS
  • Donna Yezierski, associate director, UHS
  • Phil Marquis, associate treasurer, UMass president’s office
  • Andrew Russell, director of risk management, UMass president’s office
  • Matthew Wamback, senior insurance analyst, UMass president’s office
  • Andrew Mangels, budget director
  • Yevin Roh, Student Government Association president
  • Thomas Herndon, Graduate Student Senate

Providing assistance to the committee will be HBC consultants Steve Beckley and Doreen Hodgkins.

The university and individual members of our community are grappling with surging healthcare costs. This committee is representative of the campus and includes experts in healthcare and finance. We face another year of difficult choices, and we will benefit from broad input as we identify and weigh our options.

The committee will shortly announce a vehicle for input from SHIP subscribers.

Robert C. Holub Chancellor

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