CU Health Plans rates to increase modestly, with university contributions remaining high

The University of Colorado is increasing its investment in quality health care across the system, and faculty and staff will see only modest increases on most monthly CU Health Plan premiums. These increases will begin with the 2022-23 plan year on July 1.

While absolute premium costs will increase across the board, the university will continue to minimize the effect by paying the dominant share of the cost increases. The university, on average across all medical and dental benefits, pays approximately 90% of all costs.

Cost increases come in response to several factors. Medical and prescription usage among CU’s covered members increased over the past year, and the COVID-19 pandemic continued to drive an increase in covered services such as testing, vaccination and in-patient care.

Another area where plan providers saw a marked increase in health care spending is in mental health services — undoubtedly a concurrent trend with other pandemic health care costs.

“It’s good to see CU Health Plan members and their families actively seek the care and support they need,” said CU Health Plan Chief Administrator, Tony DeCrosta. “We’re dedicated to the health and wellness of CU’s faculty, staff and the university community.”

While the university’s four medical plans will not undergo significant changes this year, they will add several requested services, including expanded mental health coverage on all plans and select fertility treatments coverage on Anthem-administered plans.

“These services enhance the quality of life of our employees,” DeCrosta said. “We continue to invest in comprehensive coverage for CU’s faculty and staff.”

The CU Health Plan has managed the university’s self-funded medical plans to provide faculty and staff the best possible health plans with the most flexible choice and prices. Since its inception, it has saved CU and its employees over $75 million compared to the university’s previous insurance model.

More about plan rates

All plans emphasize preventative care by providing those services at no cost to covered members.

Monthly premium increases will vary by plan and coverage level. For individual coverage, monthly premiums for the High Deductible medical plan and the Essential dental plan will remain $0. The High Deductible plan carries the added benefit of the ability to enroll in a Health Savings Account (HSA) — a tool which allows employees to save pre-tax money which can be spent on qualified medical expenses and invested to earn interest tax-free.

Coverage for additional dependents on the High Deductible plan will range between $5 and $10 a month, while Exclusive premiums will increase by $5.50 for individual coverage and $3.50 for family coverage.

The Extended and Kaiser medical plans will see the highest premium increases — up to $41.50 per month depending on the plan and coverage level (single, employee and spouse, full family, etc.). This larger increase is driven, in part, by higher-than-expected service utilization compared to CU’s other medical plans.

Vision plans will increase by less than a dollar, and dental, life insurance and disability insurance monthly premiums will not change.

Please visit www.cu.edu/rates to view the rate sheets for the current plan year and next. Here, you can see how much your current plan premiums will increase and compare them to the rates for other plans.

How well is your current medical plan working for you?

The university’s annual Open Enrollment is your opportunity to consider your health plan options and choose plans for the coming year. This year, eligible employees can change plans, enroll for the first time or update their coverage and health savings levels anytime between April 18 and May 6.

As an employee covered under a medical CU Health Plan, you have options: CU offers four health plans to meet the needs of its diverse faculty and staff population.

The Basics of CU Health Plans and Pretax Savings on-demand course, available in both English and Spanish, can help you evaluate your plan options and learn how to lower your health care cost through pretax savings plans. Consider your annual health care costs and how you use your health benefits year-to-year to help determine which CU Health Plan would best serve your needs.

Start exploring your options today to make informed decisions during Open Enrollment. Visit the Open Enrollment website, attend live webinars with our health plan vendors from April 25-29, stop by the virtual fair for digital resources, then pick the best plans for your needs.

Employee Services’ benefits professionals are available to answer additional questions at 303-860-4200, option 3, or [email protected].