University of California Employees’ Health Care Premiums Linked to Salary
University of California employees' monthly premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance will be linked to their salary as part of a strategy to provide "affordable access" to all UC employees, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. UC implemented the program in 2003 with two levels of "salary banding" -- employees with annual incomes less than $40,000 and employees with incomes of more than $40,000 -- but next year the university will use four salary bands, according to the Business Journal. Monthly premiums for an employee with no dependants and incomes less than $40,000, for example, would be $3.50 for the least expensive plan and $83.12 for a more expensive preferred provider plan, compared with monthly premiums of $38 for the least expensive plan and $118.24 for the more expensive plan for an employee with an annual income of more than $120,000. UC spokesperson Paul Schwartz said, "What this allows us to do is spread employee contributions in a more equitable way." UC pays between 65% and 80% of total premium costs for employees in point-of-service or PPO plans and 95% of premium costs for employees in HMOs. According to the Business Journal, unions have shown support for the plan. "For our members, it's a good thing and something we've pushed the regents hard for," Deena Karagianes of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 10/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.