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UC Plans to Contract with New Vendor, Anthem, for Administration of Medical Benefits

The Board of Trustees voted to allow the university to finalize a contract with Anthem to administer medical and pharmacy programs. This change will allow the university to reduce expenses related to claims and plan administration. It will also add to ongoing voluntary wellness initiatives.

Date: 8/26/2014 11:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824

UC ingot   The Board of Trustees today voted to allow a proposed contract for administration of University of Cincinnati employee medical benefits to be finalized.

The new agreement will mean that, as of Jan. 1, 2015, the new administrator of UC’s self-funded medical and prescription drug plans will be Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Humana is the current vendor.

The benefits offered via UC’s High Deductible Health Plan (with its Health Savings Account option) and Point of Service Plan will remain substantially the same in 2015, with Anthem providing administrative services that include payment of claims, network access, an online portal, and disease and case management. The university’s HMO and First 1000 plans will not be available in 2015. The POS Plan for AAUP (American Association of University Professors) represented faculty and ONA (Ohio Nurses Association) employees will change in 2015 per their respective collective bargaining agreements.

  • Access to in-network physicians, hospitals and pharmacies will remain substantially the same to the in-network access provided by Humana. According to Elizabeth Aumann, UC director of benefits, “We were able to determine that nearly 100 percent of providers used by our plans’ members are in network for both Anthem and Humana. This means that virtually all our employees are already using health-care providers who are in the Anthem network.”
  • The online portal provided by Anthem will function much as the current Humana portal does; however, UC will implement an informative online tool, called Castlight, to provide UC faculty and staff opportunity to compare price and quality metrics for tests and procedures offered by providers.
“The goal of the vendor change is to continue to offer benefit plans that provide support to our employees and their families with quality benefits that are sustainable. To that end, this new contract for administration represents how we regularly assess our offerings and opportunities to benefit the UC community,” according to Aumann.

The new three-year contract with Anthem was competitively bid and will allow the university to avoid an estimated $4 million in expected costs had the current contract with Humana been extended another three years. The new contract with Anthem is renewable for up to three one-year periods after 2017.

The contract will come with performance guarantees from Anthem. In addition, it includes Anthem’s offer to make an annual $100,000 investment in the university’s voluntary wellness initiatives.

More information related to the vendor change will be posted to the Human Resources website in coming months.

Employees will receive new medical plan membership cards in late December 2014, after the annual enrollment period from Nov. 1-30. Employees will receive additional information related to the vendor change prior to and during the annual enrollment period.

Any employee with questions about the change in administration of medical and pharmacy programs should contact Human Resources at