Verification of health benefits saves UC $10M-plus
When UC’s family member eligibility verification project launched in March, some employees asked why the project matters and if it was worth the inconvenience.
The answer, a month after the May 17 deadline for submitting documents, is a resounding yes.
Faculty, staff and retirees voluntarily de-enrolled almost 3,000 family members as they came to better understand the eligibility rules. These voluntary de-enrollments alone will save the university more than $10 million annually. UC Human Resources expects additional de-enrollments once the verification process is finalized.
UC embarked on this project with Secova Inc., an experienced outside firm, to ensure that it provides health insurance for only those who are eligible, as part of its commitment to manage benefits responsibly.
While Secova and UC continue to work with the small percentage of faculty, staff and retirees who have not yet submitted complete documentation, the results to date demonstrate the success of the project.
As of June 15, 86.5 percent of faculty, staff and retirees with family members enrolled in UC-sponsored health plans have submitted documents and had all of their family members verified to be eligible for coverage.
Another 7.5 percent have responded to the verification mailing but need to submit additional documents to complete the process. Fewer than 4,000 individuals — about 4.4 percent — have not responded to the request for documents.
"Everyone who has responded so far should be highly commended for supporting UC," said Dwaine Duckett, vice president of human resources. "They have shown a high degree of responsibility, engagement and ownership by taking the time to help us meet our fiduciary responsibility and ensure the long-term strength and viability of our benefits plans."
Beginning July 6, UC faculty, staff and retirees who have not responded will receive letters notifying them of the impending de-enrollment of themselves and their unverified family members. In addition, those who have responded but still have unverified family members enrolled will receive letters notifying them of the impending de-enrollment of those family members. The letter will include information about the appeal process.
"While there have been hiccups along the way, we’ve made adjustments and learned from them," said Sally Philbin, manager in HR Compliance and the project lead. "We’ve also adjusted by creating an improved verification process at the time of employment. This is the first time we’ve done this massive of an effort, and it has delivered a tremendous amount back to the system so far. "
Meanwhile, a second catch-up process is underway to verify the family member eligibility of employees hired since February and any family members who were added after the first verification project began.
Every effort will be made to exclude those who have already completed the verification process, but it’s possible that a few people will receive a request for documents even though they have completed the process.
To ensure only eligible family members are enrolled from now on, UC will require new hires and current employees to submit eligibility verification documents when they enroll family members in a health plan. Both the catch-up project and the monthly verification will be administered by Secova Inc.