January 19, 2007

elevate: Answering the Tough Questions

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Medical Center leadership answers the tough questions about what the elevate program is and what it means for the people who work at VUMC.

Question: With an institution as large as Vanderbilt, why can't we get better dental insurance?

Answer: It's a matter of money and of assigning priorities for employee benefits.

With health care costs rising in general, Vanderbilt has chosen not to pay for dental coverage, but has offered affordable voluntary plans with a choice of options.

The two current plans are: one that offers low premiums with reasonable limited coverage (the DHMO); and one that carries a higher premium and offers more flexibility (the PPO).

Dental care costs are rising.

Plans that offer rich benefits can be prohibitively expensive, particularly when offered as part of a voluntary plan, because employees with dental needs will participate and those without specific needs will resist participation, a tendency that drives up plan costs.

HR Benefits Administration has reviewed dental plans in an attempt to obtain the best options we can, at the best price we can.

Our intention is to make basic dental health affordable.

— Kevin Myatt, associate vice chancellor and chief human resource officer