Health Care Plan Change Recommendations Released to Campus for Feedback

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016



As we have been sharing in Spotlight, over the past six months, Lehigh’s medical plan design has been undergoing a thorough review. Lehigh’s current health care plan designs were introduced in 2006. While there have been small changes over time, those basic plan designs have not changed.


The university engaged consultants from Mercer to assist with the review.  In the fall, you were asked for your preferences and opinions via a survey sent to all faculty and staff. We shared the results of that survey in last month’s Spotlight.


Survey responses were considered as part of the overall review, and Lehigh received a set of recommendations from Mercer regarding potential changes to the university’s employee medical benefits. We want to share these recommendations with you here in Spotlight and ask for your feedback in the comments section.


In addition to requesting your comments here, feedback was solicited via a joint meeting of representatives of the Faculty Compensation Committee (FCC), the Faculty Financial Planning and Operations Committee (FFPOC) and the Employee Relations Advisory Council (ERAC).


Lunch and Learn Feedback Events


Additional opportunities to learn about the recommendations and share your thoughts will be coming via lunch and learn events co-sponsored by ERAC and HR.


The sessions will take place at 12:00 noon on the following dates:

Friday, April 22                      Rauch 291-293

Monday, April 25                   UC 308

Tuesday, April 26                  Iacocca - Governors Suite

Tuesday, May 3,                    Rauch 291-293


If you want to attend, please bring your own lunch. Beverages and dessert will be provided. RSVP here.



Medical Plan Design Review Recommendations


Prior to Year One:


  • Introduce Capital Blue Cross’s telemedicine solution. This is an optional service that will be available across all Lehigh employee medical plans.


Year One (2017):


  • Eliminate the Comprehensive Major Medical Plan. There are currently 94 employees participating in this plan out of a total of more than 1,730 benefits eligible faculty and staff.
  • Introduce a Consumer Driven High Deductible (CDHP) plan option with a Health Savings Account (HSA). Learn more about CDHP/HSA plans in this explainer.  
  • Increased utilization management in the prescription drug benefit through modest changes.
  • Introduce a voluntary Critical Illness Coverage plan. Learn more about such plans here.


Years Two through Five (2018-2021):

  • Modify or eliminate the PPO100 plan
  • Investigate different co-pay amounts for specialist physicians versus primary care
  • Add a third tier to the prescription drug benefit to encourage the use of drugs within the plan’s formulary
  • Review/revise deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance levels regularly to stay competitive
  • Continue to monitor new health care models that could be beneficial to Lehigh employees and their families
  • Other incremental changes based on changes to the health care and medical insurance market landscape.


A Few Words About Commenting


We encourage dialogue and invite you to leave comments that are relevant to the subject of the article in our comment section. You will need to log in using your Lehigh User ID.

When we launched Work/Life Lehigh on Facebook, we offered a few guidelines on participating in the page’s community via the comments section. The same go here on Spotlight. Specifically:

Comments or materials that are inappropriate, disrespectful or violate Lehigh policies will be deleted without notice.

These may include comments or materials that:

• promote commercial enterprises;
• sell, or solicit offers to sell, goods or services for personal gain; 
• promote a specific political candidate or political party; or
• violate policies regarding personal, proprietary or protected health information.

For more information on Lehigh's social media guidelines and computer use policy.


What Happens Next


Following the April comment period, the university’s senior officers will take the recommendations as well the feedback received from faculty and staff into consideration and will make final decisions.

Once the senior officers have completed their deliberations, we will share the results with the campus community. As Human Resources moves forward with implementing the final recommendations, we will continue to share information to help you better understand the coming changes so that you are well prepared to select your 2017 medical insurance coverage during the fall Open Enrollment period.