Eastern Kentucky University’s Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly this week to reject a new health insurance plan, The Richmond Register reported. Some 83 percent of the senate symbolically opposed the plan, which they said would raise premiums for faculty and staff members between 200 to 400 percent. A single employee on the standard plan, for example, would see a monthly increase from $41 to $170. A family plan would jump from $472 to $963, according to the resolution.
The faculty statement says those who earn least would be most adversely affected by the changes, which represent “a grievous moral and ethical lapse, particularly for a public university that has defined itself as a champion of first-generation college students who come from lower-income backgrounds.” Sarah Pitt, the university’s chief human resources officer, addressed the senate, saying that meetings to explain the changes to employees are scheduled, according to the Register. The university is facing state funding cuts of 4.5 percent for each year of the current two-year budget and expects the new plan will result in health care cost savings.
Kristi Middleton, university spokesperson, said via email that the Faculty Senate "correctly referenced the increase in insurance premiums if employees choose to keep the same deductibles, copays etc. of the former standard plan. With three tiers of plans offered by [the university], the change in premium rates varies based on each employee’s current and future benefit choices. [The university] is working with individual policyholders to find the best option to meet their medical needs and family budget." (Note: This story has been updated from an earlier version, in which Middleton said that the Faculty Senate misrepresented the scope of changes to health care premiums.)
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