When it comes to our health care coverage (both on a national and local scale), the only constant may be change. In April, New Mexico Public Schools Insurance Authority (NMPSIA), of which SFCC is a member, announced increases in copays and premiums (read my original announcement). I have heard your concerns about the rising health care insurance costs and I am writing to update you on some ways that we are responding to these concerns. I am also asking for your input and participation on how the college can proceed in this matter.
We want to ensure that the college is receiving the highest quality medical and prescription drug insurance benefit coverages at the most affordable price available. Under this backdrop of rising medical and health insurance costs, the Purchasing and Human Resources Offices explored options for ensuring that SFCC employees have the best medical and prescription drug insurance plans possible at the most affordable price. To increase potential savings, we partnered with CNM, which has a very large employee population – a major factor in calculating costs.
We are hoping to benefit from an economy of scale (approximately 300 SFCC employees receive health insurance through the college vs. thousands at CNM). Together, the colleges have been working with outside consultant Gallagher Benefit Services to help navigate the process and recently issued a cooperative Request for Proposal solicitation (in accordance with New Mexico Statutes Annotated 13-1-13) to compare current NMPSIA services with others available on the market.
We also need your input. Representatives from Gallagher Benefit Services will be on campus to host information sessions on Monday, July 17, 10-11:15 a.m. and 1 to 2:15 p.m. in the West Wing Lecture Hall, Room 216. All those who are currently covered or who plan to enroll in health insurance coverage through the college are encouraged to attend. We are asking those who attend these sessions to then provide feedback at this link no later than Monday, July 24. We are also planning to capture video of the session and make it available on JACK.
Should the best option be to change vendors, due to our commitment with NMPSIA, we may have to make a decision this summer. Therefore, your participation in the presentations and hearing from you no later than Monday, July 24 is essential. We could lose the opportunity to minimize increases in health insurance rates if we do not act soon.
Thank you for your participation in this important issue. I also want to thank the Purchasing Office for their due diligence in addressing your health insurance cost issues and for the in-depth analysis they have provided.
Randy W. Grissom