Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting Minutes

April 22, 2008, 9:30 – 11:00 AM


Present:   Bettina Cothran, Clint Demetriou, Chuck Donbaugh, Blair Funderburk, Barbara Henry, Matthew McDowell, Teresa Snow, Barry Sharp, John Grovenstein (Guest)

Absent:   Lee Montana


Minutes from the 4/01/08 Committee Meeting were reviewed and approved.


Update from John Grovenstein on healthcare issues:

o   Due to increases in healthcare costs and retiree benefits, the state health benefit plan has announced a strategy to reduce plan costs.

·         Plan calls for move towards consumer driven healthcare.  Member options will be streamlined from 17 to 10. Strategic pricing will also provide incentive.  There will be a 1% increase in actuarial benefit each year beginning in 2009 while HMO and PPO options will see a 2% decrease in actuarial benefit.

·         Health Insurance Advisory Task Force, made up of USG and BOR employees, is helping develop healthcare strategy.  Mission is to offer comprehensive healthcare plan focused on improving health of member through both education and support.

·         Plan should be competitive, administratively efficient, and delivered in a consumerism model with interventions based on health assessment and biometric data.  It should include incentives for healthy behaviors and management programs for targeted populations.

·         Task Force is currently reviewing options to produce both short-term and long-term trend savings.  Target is to reach agreeable resolution by early 2009.

·         Blair Funderburk asked if Task Force has gotten enough information from insurance companies to see if they can support this model.

·         John Grovenstein stated that currently all of them say they can, but a request for proposal is out.  In 2009 it is more likely that change will be more vendor related with bigger changes in 2010.

·         Bettina Cothran asked if there will be advisement for people close to retirement.  John Grovenstein responded that there probably would be, but that it was premature at the moment to comment on specifics.

·         Bettina Cothran stated that it will be best to educate current employees as soon as possible.

·         Barry asked if they looked at adding 1% or so of budget to go towards healthcare.  John Grovenstein stated that the Governor had a plan that did not get funded which called for a 3 for 1 match.

·         Clint Demetriou stated that it is up for debate as to how we’re going to pay for healthcare 10 years out.

·         Bettina Cothran asked if people who had the indemnity plan and were close to retirement would have to switch to an HSA or other option.

·         Clint Demetriou stated that the employer may have a couple of options.

·         Chuch Donbaugh commented that this is leading towards national healthcare as company contributions rise and retirees find themselves without healthcare.

·         Barbara Henry asked about privacy issues.  Who would have access to information, for example, with respect to disease management?  John Grovenstein stated that information would still be governed by HIPPA.

·         Clint Demetriou stated that this brings up a good point, though—that employees would have to be educated regarding privacy of information.


o   Action Item—Further updates in Fall ‘08.



Update from Chuck Donbaugh on childcare issue:

·         Since previous update, we’ve received additional information on study commissioned for Horizon.  It will be aimed at determining how to maximize space.

·         Currently we are looking at information & plan is to meet with Provost soon to see if proposed budget is reasonable enough.

·         Bettina Cothran commented that it would be very important to accommodate students and have drop-off service. 

·         Chuck Donbaugh stated that they need to decide who gets priority since there will only be 120 additional slots.

·         Bettina Cothran commented that we still need service for students and that perhaps GT could consider providing a space/room on campus.


o      Action Item—Further update in Fall ‘08.



Update from Clint Demetriou on 403B:

·         Currently five active vendors:  AXA, Oppenheimer, TIA-CREF, Fidelity and AIG.  Each vendor had been probed with specific questions and based on those responses had been ranked. The advisory committee concurred with the rankings.

·         With respect to models, there were 3 possibilities:  (1) Single source model with multiple investment options.  (2) Two “single sources” and you have to enroll in one or the other. (3) Hybrid model with 2 vendors but only can make loan withdrawals with one.  After much discussion, it has been decided that models 1 and 3 will be presented to the President’s committee.

·         Clint Demetriou stated that single source model get’s university into compliance.

·         Bettina Cothran asked about cost.

·         Clint Demetriou said that as complexity of plan increases, we will have to increase internal personnel to help manage.


o   Action Item—Further update in Fall ‘08.


Bettina Cothran presented an e-mail to the committee from Lee Montana who could not be present.  The e-mail was a thank you to the response received with respect to Lee’s comments made on 4/01/08 regarding the need to address personal life issues/events that occur outside of open enrollment on HR website.  The info was on the web—just a little embedded.


Chuck Donbaugh updated committee on House Bill 815—Chuck stated that the bill passed both House and Senate.  Bill’s purpose is to change the definition of persons who may opt between the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia and the Regents Retirement Plan. 

·         Chuck suggested that benefits may want to run an article in the Whistle to outline plan.  Also, it may make some people ineligible to serve on committees.  It may be advisable to get with Ron Boulander and see what options might be.

·         Clint Demetriou stated that there was a meeting scheduled next week to start brainstorming on issues and how they can be addressed.


o   Action Item—Further update in Fall ‘08.



 New Business

Bettina Cothran brought up issue of parking rates.  Parking rate increase is very large compared to salary increase. 

·         Bettina Cothran suggested that committee might like to voice disapproval.

·         Chuck Donbaugh stated that plan for parking is that it is to be self-amortizing rather than funded.

·         Barbara Henry presented minutes of Welfare and Security Committee from Oct 9, 2006 that showed concerns had been voiced at that time with respect to the equity in parking.  Committee had stated at that time that they would send a representative to talk to Bob Thompson about parking issues.


o   Action Item—Item will be placed on Fall ’08 agenda and discussed further.



Benefits Committee Adjournment for semester

Next Meeting

·         Tuesday, Sept. 9 – Location TBA