University Benefits Committee
Meeting Minutes  - September 11, 2003
Approved November 13, 2003

Present:    Lynette Chandler, Virginia Cassidy, Abby Chemers, Dennis Davito, Michael Duffy, Ray Foster, Deborah Haliczer, Jim Lockard, Judith Malen,
                Pam Rosenberg and Jerry Zar

I.         CALL TO ORDER

            The meeting was called to order at 10:05 a.m.


            The proposed agenda was approved.


            The minutes were approved as amended.


Chair and Secretary Elections
Deb Haliczer volunteered to be the chair.  Abby Chemers volunteered to be secretary for one more year with Jerry Zar’s assistance.  Both appointments were approved unanimously.
Annual Report
Copies of last year’s annual report to the University Council were distributed.  The report is available on the University Council’s Web site.  The Committee’s approved minutes are also posted to the Web site.

SURS Board
There is still concern that there may be still be interest to pass House Bill 3511 that was introduced during Spring 2003.  House Bill 3511 contains a comprehensive restructuring of State boards and commissions, including SURS. This is a big concern as the current Board has been doing a good job and a totally new Board would offer no continuity.  Also, there is concern that such a change could impact the solvency of our retirement funds.

Premium Increases and other changes
Premium increases took effect July 1, 2003.  The monthly cost for one dependent enrolled in Quality Care went to $150 from $132 (13.6%).  The increases were consistent with past years.

OSF, the only HMO located in Ogle County, was eliminated as of July 1, 2003.  Employees that were enrolled in OSF who did not elect another plan by May 31, 2003, were automatically enrolled in the Quality Care Plan.  There has been a lot of confusion.

Magellan Bankruptcy
Magellan is still processing the State of Illinois mental health insurance claims.  Nothing has changed even though Magellan has filed for bankruptcy.


• Employees have reported that some doctors are requiring payment up front or refusing services because of how long it was taking for the state to pay them.
• CMS is processing claims in two to four weeks; earlier this year, claim processing was taking up to twenty weeks due to problems with state revenues.  Additional funds were made available when the state refinanced its insurance funds.
• NIU is reviewing potential providers of 457 tax deferred annuity plans so that employees can have several 457 plans to select from, in addition to the CMS 457 plan.
• There will be a review of the existing 403B carriers.
• Some doctors have pulled out of the HMO plans after the Benefit Choice year started.
• CMS will be reviewing all state insurance and benefit provider contracts this year.  New contracts will be implemented July 1, 2004, and will be subject to negotiation in the new AFSCME contract.
• Contraceptive coverage will be covered as a benefit on July 1, 2004, as a result of the new legislation that becomes effective January 1, 2004.
• The Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation is exploring the issue of providing benefits to domestic partners.  Last Year, NIU began to offer bereavement and Family Medical Leave to domestic partners.  This year, U of I is offering reimbursement for domestic partner’s health care premiums up to the benefit that would be provided for a spouse.  The Benefits Committee asked to be kept informed and agreed to meet with the Commission.
The meeting adjourned at 10:50 a.m.

NEXT MEETING:  November 13, 2003, Founders Library, Room 55 at 10:00 a.m.

Meetings for the Spring 2004 semester will be scheduled in January, March and May.