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Switching insurers could save U of Nebraska system $12.3M

May 16, 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — University of Nebraska officials say switching health insurance companies would save the school around $12.3 million next year.

A proposal headed to the Board of Regents for its consideration next month would move the coverage in 2019 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska to UMR, a United Healthcare company.

The university would move dental insurance from Blue Cross to Ameritas and keep CVS Health for pharmacy insurance, the Lincoln Journal Star reported .

A Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska spokeswoman declined comment.

Changing insurance carriers will keep premiums from increasing next year, according to Bruce Currin, the university system’s associate vice president for human resources. The premiums rose 5 percent for 2018.

The move comes as university administrators are conducting several budget cuts.

University officials requested proposals from several insurers after reviewing its programs and expenses last year, said Currin. The review sought to close a $46 million budget gap, which was created through increasing salaries, health insurance premiums, utility costs and a loss of state aid last year.

UMR and Ameritas will look into adding new health care providers to their networks in order to “minimize the changes of any employee having to find a new doctor or dentist,” Currin said.

Nearly 96 percent of providers used by employees and their families through the university’s current insurance plan are covered under UMR’s network. About two-thirds of employees were in the Ameritas network.

The Board of Regents will consider the proposed change in insurance carriers on June 28.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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