CU Health Plan rate changes minimal for most 2017-18 plans

Benefit choices may be made April 24-May 12 during Open Enrollment
By Staff

Open Enrollment: April 24-May 12

During this year’s Open Enrollment, which will begin Monday and continues through May 12, medical plan monthly premiums will increase by varying degrees. Dental rates will decrease, while vision, insurance and disability rates will remain unchanged.

The overall cost of CU’s 2017-18 benefits plans will increase with some plans experiencing a larger percentage increase than others.  

“Even with increased plan costs, the university continues to absorb a good amount of these increases, which you will see reflected in your rates,” said Michelle Martinez, director of Benefits Administration at CU Employee Services.

Medical Plans

Medical plan cost increases are primarily driven by high utilization and high-cost claims. For the upcoming plan year, CU Health Plan - Kaiser and CU Health Plan – Extended will have larger cost increases due to a higher-than-expected utilization of services and significant number of high-cost claims. The Exclusive and High Deductible plans did not have the higher-than-expected increases in either utilization or large claims; as a result, those monthly premiums did not increase significantly.

CU Health Plan – Exclusive members can expect minimal changes with a 72-cent increase for employee-only coverage, a $5.22 increase for employee-and-spouse coverage, a 4-cent increase for employee-and-children coverage and a $3.90 increase for family coverage

Monthly premium costs for CU Health Plan – High Deductible (HSA compatible) will not change, with costs remaining as low as free for an employee-only plan and $19 a month for a family plan.

As a reminder, the CU Health Plan – High Deductible plan is HSA compatible and members may opt into CU’s Health Savings Account (HSA) anytime during the plan year to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. Faculty and staff are not required to enroll in an HSA during Open Enrollment. Learn more about HSAs and how to enroll.

CU Health Plan – Kaiser will see the largest price change with the employee-only plan rate increasing by $35.60 and the family plan by $66.56.

For CU Health Plan – Extended, rates will rise by $19.16 for employee-and-child coverage and $40.76 for family coverage.

Dental Plans

Dental plans are changing names and prices. However, this is a bonus for members’ wallets. CU Health Plan – Essential Dental, which replaces CU Health Plan – EPO Dental in the new plan year, will continue to offer a zero premium cost for employee-only plan and a slight decrease for other coverage levels. The decrease varies, but monthly premium cost decreases range from 24 cents less for family plans to $3.36 less for employee-and-spouse plans.

CU Health Plan – Choice Dental, which replaces CU Health Plan – PPO Dental, will see monthly premium decreases among all plans with employee-only plans declining by $1.60 and family plans dropping 54 cents.

In addition, covered services will expand for both plans. Find out more about the changes in dental coverage.


Rates for CU Health Plan – Vision will remain the same at $6.18 a month.

Life insurance and disability

Rates for short-term and long-term disability have not changed, nor have rates for optional term life insurance, children’s optional term life insurance, or voluntary accidental death and dismemberment coverage.

Full rate details for the 2017-18 plan year can be found on the Open Enrollment website. Full plan details will be available when Open Enrollment begins at 8 a.m. Monday.

Employee Services’ benefits professionals are available to answer additional questions at 303-860-4200, option 3.