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University system employees to pay more for health coverage

Wednesday, Aug 8, 2012 1:59 PM
Last updated 11:30 PM
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ATLANTA — The Board of Regents voted Wednesday to require faculty and staff members of the University System of Georgia to pay more for their health insurance and pensions.

Board members also discussed no longer promising health coverage in retirement for new employees as a way to save money.

Most private employers do not provide full retiree coverage, as the system does, according to Associate Vice Chancellor Tom Scheer.

Before the unanimous vote, he told the board that a private consultant’s analysis shows that employee premiums for the most popular plans have not kept pace with their claims. About 25,000 employees participate in the Blue Cross health-maintenance and point-of-service plans.

“The premiums would have to increase by an amount that is unreasonable,” he said.

Scheer recommended an 8.5 percent increase, even though costs to the whole plan have risen only 5.7 percent. Boosting premiums more than costs will make progress toward closing the gap, he said.

Premiums will rise just 2.5 percent in the preferred-provider plan.

The board also raised the copay amount for all HMO services except office visits, and it decided to allow that plan to accept new enrollments, ending a one-year moratorium.

The system has 13,000 retirees older than 65 who are getting full medical coverage from the University System even though they are eligible for Medicare.

Private employers who offer coverage to their retirees typically only supplement Medicare.

Regent Robert Hatcher agreed that the savings would be worthwhile, but he had reservations about current employees and retirees.

“I don’t want to go back on any promise we have already made to anyone,” he said.

Scheer said a proposal is in the works for the board to consider.

The board also increased what workers will contribute to their optional retirement plan in 2013 from 5 percent of their pay to 6 percent.

It agreed to begin making those deductions after any furloughs to account for days not worked.

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Questioning 08/08/12 - 03:04 pm
Really? At what point are we

Really? At what point are we going to hear that the faculty and staff at GHSU/GRU are receiving a pay increase? For the past 3 years, going on 4, we have received no pay raise. However, each year our insurance rates have increased, which has increased our contribution portion. And within the past several months our contribution to our required retirement has increased. I'm not sure how the faculty and staff are expected to keep giving and giving from paychecks that are seeing no wage change. Employees in the same position as 3 years ago, are making less today...even less once these new employee contribution rates take place in January. Let's not forget that if you work for the college, you are also paying to park on a daily basis. How many other Augustans are paying to park at their place of employment? The Board of Regents is just really out of touch with the average working person at GHSU.

Thanks Board of Regents...for the new name and the increases.

jasper1 08/08/12 - 03:29 pm
Are you kidding?

Totally agree with Questioning. Haven't they done enough damage? I have worked at GHSU for over 20 years and I have never seen such a mess. No raises, higher insurance premiums, overworked, underappreciated and underpaid employees. And don't forget, it is the people behind the scenes who run that place, we all know who we are. The big dogs are just getting the credit and the money for it! Azziz needs to go back to CA. Things are "cooler" there!

bentman 08/08/12 - 03:46 pm
Our promised rate reduction

This is the reduction in premiums that B.O. said would happen as a result of his healthcare takeover.

Insider Information
Insider Information 08/08/12 - 06:21 pm
Is this a preemptive move to

Is this a preemptive move to have money on hand to cover the cost when we get sued by Regent University?

palmetto1008 08/08/12 - 08:42 pm
WOW!!! Bad news to much

WOW!!! Bad news to much worse news for faculty and staff. I find it hard that the regents can justify this in their own minds ....other than that they are collectively sadistic.

Martinez 08/09/12 - 06:23 am
Someone has to pay ...

Someone has to pay for all the new signs needed as the Regents work to rename colleges with perfectly good names already just to stroke their own egos. So much for the public (key word) university system, seeing as the public's opinion doesn't seem to matter to them anymore. They keep cutting the net salary of employees through increased costs and increasing tuition rates for students. The only ones not losing money in all of their horrible decision making is themselves and their power-trip ego partners at the top.

soapy_725 08/09/12 - 09:08 am
And they GRU and they GRU

until they could GRU no more. This is a version of the "rain tax" called the "sign tax". Private corporation periodically do logo and name changes to write of excess profits. Azziz does logo and name changes with taxpayer dollars to fund his own ego.

batya 08/09/12 - 01:04 pm

Why not also decrease the salary of King Azziz, and take away his perks, such as a house to live in, car to drive, all of his insurances paid, and the list goes on and on.....he has practically no bills and makes over half a million dollars.....source on salary:

shrimp for breakfast
shrimp for breakfast 08/09/12 - 07:28 pm

AIN"T that just the sweetest thing you ever heard?!!!

Fiat_Lux 08/09/12 - 11:22 pm
This is a really gifted bunch

of rich men deciding how to impoverish us educated great unwashed. I bet they'd lay an egg before they'd ever vote themselves less money.

I hope I never have to be polite to one of them. I might choke.

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