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Understanding Your 2014 Costs

Understanding costs is a critical step to making the right plan election during Annual Enrollment. Costs include both what you pay out of your paycheck and what you pay out of pocket when you receive care. The good news is that cost changes will be limited in 2014.

Changes to your Out-of-Pocket Costs

  • For Faculty and Staff, there are no changes to your medical or pharmacy deductibles, coinsurance or copays.
  • Bargaining Unit members will see some changes to deductibles, copays and out-of-pocket maximums.
  • One important improvement for all employees is due to Health Care Reform. For 2014, copays, coinsurance and deductibles will now all count toward the out-of-pocket maximum.

Changes to Your Per Paycheck Costs

  • For Faculty and Staff, your share of the costs is increasing as we move toward the cost-sharing recommendations set last year by the Benefits Advisory Committee (BAC.)
  • Like last year, Faculty and Staff health insurance premiums will be based on salary (i.e. those with lower salaries pay lower premiums).
  • Bargaining Unit members’ contributions will reflect negotiated rates.

Review these key terms to help understand your health insurance costs:

Coinsurance The percent of the total cost that you pay for health care services after you’ve met the deductible. For example, if you have a diagnostic test that costs $200 and your Plan has 20% coinsurance, you’ll pay $40.
Copay A set amount of money you pay for health care services. For example, it doesn’t matter if the bill is $200 or $100 when you go to your doctor because you will always pay $20 for the office visit.
Deductible The amount you must pay out of pocket before the Plan begins to pay benefits for medical care other than those services that have a copay.
Out-of-pocket maximum The limit to how much you will pay out of your own pocket for health care services throughout the Plan Year. Generally once you meet this amount, the Plan takes over and all covered expenses are paid at 100% of allowable charges.

Once you know the key terms, visit myChoices to see Plan details and access these useful tools:

  1. Faculty and Staff should use the Net Impact Tool to see how your 2014 premiums will compare to 2013, and across different coverage levels.
  2. All employees should use the Medical Plan Comparison Chart to get a better understanding of what plan features cost and how they vary between the plans.
  3. And use the Medical Plan Cost Estimator to get a more personalized view of what your costs may be in 2014. Keep in mind, the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will affect costs for some employees. See the DOMA article in this edition of the NewsWire.

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