May 4, 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: Why are health insurance premiums so high, even though we work for the region's dominant health care provider?

Answer: As health care costs continue to rise faster than the U.S. inflation rate, employees across the country find themselves paying higher premiums and spending more for health care. Vanderbilt is as exposed as any of its competitors to the growing cost of employee health benefits.

We continue to strive to offer highly competitive health benefits, but the University possesses no magic shield that would render employees exempt from the general effects of mounting health costs on the American consumer.

A review of competitor Web sites reveals that health care plans similar to our BlueCross Advantage P option cost from $41 to $147 per month for employee-only coverage (our rate is $57) and from $226 to $402 per month for family coverage (our rate is $245). Academic medical centers were reviewed, including Emory, Duke, Medical College of Georgia and Wake Forest. Employees at another Nashville hospital pay approximately $45 per month for employee-only coverage and, on average, just over $250 per month for family coverage.

As a member of Vanderbilt Group Health Care Plan, both you and your covered dependents save when you use Vanderbilt's health care services, through lower deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance.

— Kevin Myatt, chief human resource officer