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Effective July 1, 2011 Employee Premium Contributions for EUTF Health Plans Increased

1.  The employee’s portion of their health premiums were increased as a result of the negotiated agreement by HGEA for its bargaining units which lowered the employer’s percentage from 60% to 50%.

2.  UHPA’s agreement requires parity with all other bargaining units and specifies that employer’s contribution for faculty members shall be at the highest rate agreed to for any other bargaining unit.

3.  The HGEA agreement also shifted the plan coverage that would be used to determine the employer/employee split of 50/50 in premiums.  In the past, the employer’s percentage was based on the “predominant” plan which normally would have been the higher premium 90/10 fee for service plan, whether HMA or HMSA.  This amount would then be applied to the employee’s choice of health insurance coverage, even if selection cost less.  Consequently,  the change to the employee paying 50% of the premium of the insurance selected led to an astronomical increase in the employee’s contribution to EUTF’s high deductible medical plan (>153%). 

4.  Up until July 1, 2011, the employer paid the entire administration cost of the EUTF, referred to as the administrative fee.  Now public employees pay 50% of the administrative fee which also caused an additional increase in the amount deducted from each person’s paycheck. 

5.  The increase in premium rates, the reduction in the employer contribution to 50%, and the employees paying 50% of the administrative fee all took place on July 1, 2011.  Public employees enrolled in the high deductible or Kaiser Basic plan were given an opportunity to switch medical plans during a special open enrollment period during July, but those selecting other plans were not allowed to change coverage.  The next open enrollment period for all public employees will occur in the fall and changes will be effective January 1, 2012. 

6.  Under the state law that created EUTF, the union’s cannot bargain the premium levels or coverage of specific medical or insurance plans.  Those decisions are the exclusive province of the EUTF Trustees. 

7.  UHPA has vigorously objected to the increases in employees’ cost of health insurance coverage, especially without giving public employees an opportunity to change their plan selection.  UHPA has also objected to the employer shifting a portion of the cost of the administration of the EUTF from the employer to the employee.   

8.  To assist in understanding the change in premium, UHPA has prepared a chart which shows the costs and the increases for each of the medical plans.

9.  For more information, go to the EUTF website by clicking on the following links below:

Employee notice distributed to employees either by email or printed and attached to pay statements.

Frequently Asked Questions with Answers.  If you have any questions that are not addressed on the FAQs, please email the question to the EUTF (eutf@hawaii.gov).

Rates showing old and new employee amounts. The increase will appear on the employees’ mid-July pay statements.