MSU-Bozeman Classified Employees Personnel Advisory Committee Minutes

December 9, 1998

I.  Old Business

II.  Jerry Coffey spoke to CEPAC today. He talked about the Choices newsletter first. This will continue 4 times a year. There is a yearly budget of $10,000.00 for this newsletter, and it comes to about 34 cents@copy. He has a local printer doing 2 colors for the price of B&W. The quality of paper could be cheaper, however, the state mandates a certain minimum standard for paper and this happens to be more expensive than is necessary but there is nothing we can do about that. It is federally mandated that any changes in medical plans like ours has to be to us within a 60 day period. Our regular benefits book only comes out once a year to once every 2 years. Therefore the newsletter has to be furnished to keep us updated on any changes to the program. Email is not an option and it is not legal to notify benefit changes in this manner.

There was a good deal of discussion about going with the state medical plan. It is not that simple. In order for us to do this we have to come up with the reserves required for our group. This amounts to approximately 81/2 million dollars which comes to $1500 per employee. At the February Interunit meeting it will be recommended NOT to join at this time. The decision will be made at this meeting. I opted not to list the reasons as these reasons will be listed in the next Choices newsletter that we should be receiving in another week or two.

The financial report on the state of our medical plan is good after 3 months. It is still too soon to know for sure tho. 6 months will be give us a better picture. In the future we will NOT lose dental coverage. There has been some talk about a modest vision plan.

Since the filing of the Unfair Labor Practice suit the Interunit restructuring has been put on hold. This was to appoint of the committee labor appointed and the other administrative appointed. This will remain on hold until the lawsuit is settled or dropped.

Jerry suggested that everyone look closely at their possible need for Long Term Care and consider the new program being initiated now thru payroll deduction. It is an open enrollment except for the unlimited care level.

The pharmacy plan is still "killing us". 55% of all prescription claims come from retirees. Unfortunately the majority of those using maintenance-type drugs are NOT using the mail order plan. The mail order plan offers incredible savings but for some reason people are not using it the way they should. Someone who would spend $600.00 using the regular pharmacy plan would only have to spend $45.00 if they had used the mail order plan. This is an incredible difference and could save our plan a tremendous amount of money. There have been big difference made in the regular pharmacy plan, however the mail order plan is still exactly the same as initially set-up and VERY CHEAP!

III.  Standing Committee Reports

IV.  New Business

With no other concerns the meeting was adjourned at 11:00 AM.

Bluette Phillips