Seven in 10 of the institutions of higher learning told The Segal Company for its poll that administrators had instituted tiered prescription drug coverage while another 12% either planned the move for the coming year or were actively considering it. Meanwhile, 65% of the Segal respondents said they had already cost-shifted more of the health coverage expenses to both workers and retirees and another 29% either planned it or were actively pondering the move.
The list of health cost increase responses also included:
- pored over medical and drug utilization data to find drivers of increased cost – 58% done, 24% planned or considered
- banded together with similar employers to hammer out group rates with suppliers – 39% done, 35% planned or considered
- negotiated with pharmacy benefit managers for better deals – 27% done, 23% planned or considered.
Separately, several respondents indicated that they also met with employees to discuss the impact of rising health-care coverage rates and established incentives to use mail-order prescription drug suppliers.
Also, it was abundantly clear that issue is as much of a hot button on campus as it is with other employers. Some 95% of respondents said the cost hikes were either extremely or moderately important – significantly ahead in those classifying it as extremely important compared to the effects of higher education funding cutbacks and defining HRs role as a campus strategic leader.
The survey covered 61 members of the College and University Professional Association (CUPA).