University Health Services (UHS) announced the SHIP medical contract has been awarded to Anthem Blue Cross for the 2016-2017 school year.
Through strong partnership with our student leaders and campus stakeholders, we were able to address the priorities identified by the ASUC, GA, and the Student Health Insurance Advisory Committee (SHIAC) in this new agreement including:
- reestablishing the voluntary plans for dependents and continuation students
- ensuring “price parity” for voluntary plans (AKA equal pricing to SHIP student premiums)
- adding additional transgender benefits
- offering more in-network provider options
- increasing dental coverage maximum
- increasing vision benefits
The campus was able to achieve these gains while maintaining the current rich benefit level, with limited cost increases, especially for our undergraduate students. Anthem was the carrier of choice preferred by members of SHIAC and the Graduate Division Dean and supported by the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. SHIP will continue to offer dental and vision coverage through current carriers, MetLife and VSP.
“This would not have been possible without the students’ strong commitment to this process and their partnership with University Health Services and the campus over the last five months,” says Associate Vice Chancellor, Finance and Chief Financial Officer (AVC-CFO) Rosemarie Rae. “I truly appreciate the time and effort students put into improving this process and voicing their opinions.”
UHS Executive Director Claudia Covello adds, “We also commend the efforts of our broker, Wells Fargo Insurance, in advocating for our campus and students to get the best rates possible for us. They were by our side during the entire process.”
The new SHIP contracts are designed with the intent of forming stable 3-5 year relationships with the carriers. Some minor disruption in services are anticipated for some students as UC Berkeley transitions to Anthem’s waiver, network, and claims processing systems. UHS and the broker are dedicated to doing everything possible to minimize the disruption. UHS is well equipped to manage the carrier transition, having navigated a carrier change in recent years. Additionally, Anthem’s more inclusive provider network should offer our students a larger variety of care options to select from.
New plan details will be posted in April, and the new waiver system is targeted for launch in mid-May. Since waiver criteria is set systemwide, no changes are expected to the waiver process. The waiver criteria for Fall 2016 are currently available on the UHS website.
UHS appreciates the partnership with Aetna Student Health during a transformative time in the health insurance marketplace, and plans to work closely with their team to make the transition as seamless as possible.
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