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Retiree Medical Study

Overview

Stemming from the Total Rewards Ad Hoc Task Force recommendations, the University researched its retiree medical insurance offerings and the long-term sustainability of retiree health insurance benefits. The research project ran from January 2015 to July 2016, resulting in:

  • New insurance plan options for existing retirees.
  • New insurance eligbility and subsidy criteria for employees who become eligible for retirement on January 1, 2018 or later.

The goal of the Retiree Medical Study was to strive to make UM retiree insurance serve retirees, future retirees, and the University in the best ways possible. The study included an extensive Request for Proposal (RFP) process to identify and evaluate potential vendors who could deliver the same or better value medical insurance to retirees. The RFP process culminated in a July 2016 decision by the University of Missouri Board of Curators whereby UnitedHealthcare began delivering new medical insurance options on January 1, 2017. Retirees' health insurance options are explained on the retiree benefits overview webpage.

For current faculty and staff, recommendations for changing retiree insurance benefits were approved by the Board of Curators in April 2016 and are effective January 1, 2018. Learn more on the changes to retiree insurance webpage.

Efforts to date
  • January 1, 2017 - The UM System begins offering these four medical insurance options to eligible retirees and their dependents: Medicare Advantage Base Plan (Plan #13759), Medicare Advantage Enhanced Plan (Plan #13760), Healthy Savings Plan, and Retiree Health PPO Plan.
  • July 22, 2016 - The University of Missouri Board of Curators took action on the recommendation for UnitedHealthcare to deliver retiree medical insurance, effective January 1, 2017.
  • April 14, 2016 - The Board of Curators took action to change retiree insurance eligibility and subsidies for future retirees (i.e., active faculty and staff); details on the changes to retiree insurance webpage.
  • April 12, 2016 – Request for Proposals (RFP) issued, soliciting third-party vendors who can potentially offer insurance plans to current retirees that are of the same or better value as current plans; you may read the RFP by visiting the UM System procurement bids webpage (locate bid number 16 6028 JSC, "Retiree Medical Prescription Drug Plans").
  • January 29, 2016 - Recommendations released for modifying retiree insurance benefits for active faculty and staff; these recommendations do not affect current retirees.
  • January 22, 2016 - Total Rewards Advisory Committee (TRAC) meeting.
  • November 30, 2015 - Letter to retirees about the RFP process (PDF, 75KB).
  • October 19, 2015 - TRAC meeting.
  • October 1, 2015 - Betsy Rodriguez, Vice President for Human Resources, delivers an information update to the University of Missouri Board of Curators. Listen to the audio and view the presentation slides. (The previous link starts at minute 1:39 of the full video, which is the point at which the Retiree Medical Study discussion begins.)
  • September 25, 2015 - Retiree Medical Study Guiding Coalition conference call.
  • September 24, 2015 - TRAC meeting.
  • September 11, 2015 - TRAC meeting.
  • September - November, 2015 – Consultant selected to help craft the RFP soliciting third-party vendors who can potentially offer high-quality, high-value insurance plans to current retirees.
  • August 26, 2015 - TRAC meeting.
  • August 5, 2015 - Retiree Medical Study Guiding Coalition meeting.
  • July 20, 2015 - TRAC meeting.
  • June 23, 2015 - Retiree Medical Study Guiding Coalition conference call.
  • June 10, 2015 - TRAC meeting.
  • May 2015 - 11 focus groups with retirees and employees on all four campuses.
  • March 24, 2015 - Retiree Medical Study Guiding Coalition conference call.
  • March 2015 - Survey of over 2,500 active faculty and staff closest to retirement.
  • February 18, 2015 - Retiree Medical Study Guiding Coalition conference call.
  • February - March 2015 - 30 Listening Tour sessions held throughout Missouri.
  • January - June 2015 - Benchmarking to understand how the UM System compares to peer institutions.
  • January 16, 2015 - Retiree Medical Study Guiding Coalition conference call.
  • July - August 2014 - The university partnered with the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging to host workshops on Medicare basics, choices for health and prescription drug coverage, and costs. Read the workshop presentation (PDF, 4.39MB).
  • June 2014 - Letters mailed to current retirees, explaining Task Force recommendations would not impact retirees' pensions, and the university would gather input from stakeholders regarding retiree medical plans. Read the letter (PDF, 184KB).
Findings
  • Most of UM System's peers offer a more limited retiree medical insurance program than UM's 50-year-old program.
  • Some peers have already eliminated retiree medical insurance for new hires and/or increased eligibility requirements.
  • Many new, well-rated options for retiree medical insurance have become available in the past 5 to 10 years.
  • These new options offer enhanced benefits and similar value at a lower cost.
Submit your comments and questions

Reviewed May 24, 2017.