Created: 01/31/2014 6:47 PM KAALtv.com
By: Steph Crock
(ABC 6 News) -- Mayo Clinic is making significant changes to their health insurance plans, the first big change in 15 years. Mayo officials say the big reasons for the change were to have uniform coverage for all employees while still maintaining a competitive advantage.
The information was made public Thursday and a line that stands out in their release is the one that says “employees will share a greater percentage of the costs.” "What we have done with external help is determine that these benefit plans, though there are significant changes and some of the costs transfer to employees, they still represent one of the best retirement, medical, and life insurance benefit packages in the county," said Robert Nesse M.D. Mayo Clinic.
However, hearing more costs stirred up some concern among employees that we spoke with, so we went looking for answers. "One of our major goals in addition to sustainability was to be sure that our benefits package was common for all Mayo employees in the county because they are not working side by side," said Dr. Nesse. He says making the coverage uniform for all employees across the 34 states they serve was a driving factor, meaning some employees may have to pay more, while others may fair okay.
"The minimum of the deductible for a single employee in the highest expense plan is 300 dollars a year," said Dr. Nesse. That's the lowest possible option. Each employee is of course a different case, but with the changes, are Mayo benefits still considered "top notch?" "The first was to make sure our benefits were competitive to allow us to retain and recruit the really excellent work force that we have," said Dr. Nesse.
Though some may pay more out of pocket, Dr. Nesse hopes employees look at the overall package. "Visits to primary care physicians within our system anywhere, and preventative services are covered without deductible or coinsurance," he said.
For those looking into retirement Dr. Nesse says, "They really want to look at the whole package and if they want to retire they should retire, but I don't believe this benefits change should be a reason for retirement.”
Clearly this is a very complex issue but we're told all employees should’ve received details on the changes and what options are available. The changes won't happen until January 1, 2015. Mayo officials plan to hold informational sessions about this before that time comes.