Announcements & Features:
Early notice — Priority health plan to be eliminated in 2012
The following letter was mailed to current members of the Priority Health plan on August 9, 2010.
Dear Priority Health Plan Member:
As we monitor our medical plans from year to year, we’ve seen a steady decline in enrollment in the Priority Health plan as an increasing number of members choose other U-M medical plans. This is a contributing factor to the increasing cost of the plan, which is now our most expensive plan for U-M faculty, staff, and retirees.
Therefore, Priority Health will be eliminated from the U-M medical plan options in 2012. Because you are currently enrolled in Priority Health, we wanted to contact you very early with this news. No immediate action is needed because the plan will continue through Dec. 31, 2011. However, if you wish to change plans sooner, you can do so during the upcoming Open Enrollment period, Oct. 25 – Nov. 5.
This allows more than a full year for you to review all of the U-M medical insurance options and to determine the other plans in which your health care provider may participate.
By the time of our Fall 2011 Open Enrollment period, however, you should be prepared to select a different university-sponsored medical plan for coverage beginning in 2012.
Why make this change?
Monthly premiums for our Priority Health members are the highest of our plans across all of the plan tiers, and our total enrollment is low. Only about 1,700 of the approximately 36,000 faculty and staff members with university benefits choose Priority Health, and enrollments in the plan have been in steady decline, with more than 50 percent of members choosing more cost-effective U-M plans over the last five years.
Benefits-eligible faculty, staff and retirees will be able to choose from among U-M Premier Care, Comprehensive Major Medical (CMM), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Community Blue PPO and Health Alliance Plan (HAP). The PPO, for instance, includes more than 90 percent of physicians nationwide, including specialists, and at a monthly premium that is lower than Priority Health. Choosing any of these plans will provide you with a lower premium.
Information on all U-M medical insurance plans, including access to provider directories for each plan, is found on the Benefits Office website at: benefits.umich.edu/plans/medical/index.html
Your medical coverage is important so we encourage you to carefully consider your new plan choice for 2012, and use the coming year to evaluate the best option for you and your family. Before switching to any medical plan, we strongly recommend that you check the plan’s current provider directory to ensure that your preferred health care provider is in the plan’s network.
If you need more information, we have prepared a list of questions and answers about this change that is available on the Benefits Office website at: benefits.umich.edu/announcements/priorityhealth.html
Or, you can speak with a benefits representative in the HR/Payroll Service Center by calling 734-615-2000 (local calling) or 866-647-7657 (toll-free long-distance), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To your good health,
Associate Vice President for Human Resources