Oct 03, 2023
At the August 8 meeting, the Board of Regents approved the 2024 University System of Georgia (USG) healthcare plans and premiums for active employees and pre-65 retirees. The Board also approved the USG funding for the Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) for retirees 65 and older.
This year was a particularly challenging year due to a higher than normal increase in projected costs due to inflationary pressures, higher utilization of healthcare services, and the continuing increases in the cost and utilization of prescription drugs. To lower overall plan costs, there will be plan design changes in all of the USG healthcare plans, a reduction in the well-being credit from $200 to $100, changes to some of the healthcare programming, and an increase in premiums to cover the rest of the increase.
Here are a few highlights of the changes for 2024:
- Increases in deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, co-insurance, and co-pays for all of the USG offered plans.
- Customer service and healthcare support for the Anthem/BCBSGa plans (Consumer Choice HSA, Comprehensive Care, and BlueChoice HMO) will be moved from Accolade to Anthem’s Total Health, Total You program.
- Weight Loss support will be offered through Weight Watchers for employees enrolled in the USG healthcare plans (Virtual option only for the Anthem plans and virtual and in-person options for Kaiser HMO plan).
- A Well-being Credit of up to $100 will be available for healthcare enrolled employees and their enrolled spouses. The new program year will begin January 1, 2024 – Activities will now be provided through your healthcare provider (Anthem or Kaiser).
- The Livongo diabetes management and prevention programs will be sunsetting at the end of the year.
- Programs will be offered through the healthcare providers and/or through institutional based programming.
- Employee premiums increase by 6.9% in the Consumer Choice HSA and Comprehensive Care Plans, 10.9% in the BlueChoice HMO plan, and 10% in the Kaiser Permanente HMO plan.
A summary of the approved plan design changes and premiums are available on the USG benefits website.
2024 Open Enrollment will be October 23 through November 3, 2023. Active employees will begin receiving Open Enrollment information in late September by mail. Complete your 2024 enrollment elections and certifications through OneUSG Connect – Benefits no later than November 3, 2023.
As in the past, tobacco use and working spouse status certification will be required during Open Enrollment. If the certification is not completed during Open Enrollment, the surcharge will apply. Information is available on the USG website at: https://benefits.usg.edu/health-and-well-being/surcharges
You are invited to attend (institution) benefits fair on (date) for more information about the USG benefits programs. We encourage all employees to attend the fair to learn about the changes to the benefit plans for 2024 and about all the benefits USG and (Institution) has to offer.
Pre-65 retirees and pre-65 dependents will remain on the same plans as active employees. As in the past, there will be separate pre-65 retiree premium rate charts for the 2024 plan year.
Medicare-eligible retirees 65 and over and Medicare-eligible dependents age 65 and older will continue to enroll in their supplemental healthcare coverage through the Retiree Health Exchange. Medicare Part A and B will provide primary coverage. USG will also continue to provide an annual contribution into a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) for retirees and/or dependents to use towards premiums and other eligible out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.
This year, the Board of Regents approved a slight decrease to the USG HRA funding – by $8 per month - or $96 for the year. The annual contribution to the HRA for 2024 will be $2,640 per year per 65 and older Medicare-eligible retiree and 65 and older Medicare-eligible covered dependent(s). To receive the 2024 USG HRA funding, the retiree and/or dependent must purchase coverage through the Alight Retiree Health Solution. The Medicare enrollment period is October 15 through December 7, 2023, for January 1, 2024, coverage begin date.
The decision to reduce the contribution to the HRA was based on several factors, including being one of the cost savings measures to bring overall healthcare costs down, and also based on the results of a recent study showing the purchasing power of the annual HRA.
In addition, beginning on January 1, 2024, Medicare Part D will no longer have the 5% cost share requirement in the Catastrophic phase of Medicare Part D. Therefore, USG will discontinue the Catastrophic HRA in 2024 since it will no longer be needed.
As always, we encourage retirees to review their plan enrollment each year and reach out to Alight Retiree Exchange Solutions to evaluate options for the coming year. Retirees will have an opportunity to review available options, including low premium cost Medicare Advantage Plans (HMO and PPO) as well Medicare Supplement plans, during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period October 15 – December 7.