John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, today announced that through a competitive bid, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas was selected as the third-party administrator for the A&M Care Plan. This contract will result in a savings of $1.7 million annually, and an improvement of 4 percent in the network discount guarantee. BlueCross BlueShield of Texas provides access to health care providers and medical facilities across Texas and around the world.
The chancellor also announced that the A&M System will consolidate its group health insurance offerings into a single A&M Care Plan. Group health insurance is based on employees with diverse health needs; this move will avoid issues such as selection bias which can occur when multiple plans are offered. Consolidation of all employees into a single plan will ensure that employees currently enrolled in the Scott & White health plan will continue to have access to Scott & White physicians and health care facilities through the A&M Care Plan and will see a decrease in their monthly premiums.
For the current A&M Care Plan, employees’ contribution to the monthly premium for employee-only coverage will decrease 20 percent, while employees currently electing employee-only coverage with Scott & White will see their costs reduced by 41 percent. The graduate student plan and the A&M Care 65+ plan will continue to be offered.
“Health care costs in this country continue to skyrocket and that is why we took an aggressive approach to control the cost for A&M System employees,” said Sharp. “Through improved contract terms, we will be able to provide our employees with considerable cost savings without taking away their choice of providers or quality of service. All of our employees and retirees will have access to the best physicians and health facilities in the state of Texas, and will be paying less to do so.”
The A&M System will also invest additional resources into improving the health of employees through the development of a more robust wellness program.
Last month the A&M System announced the renegotiation of its pharmacy contract with Medco, which decreased cost to the A&M Care Plan by $6.5 million for the next plan year. Medco currently provides services for the 40,000 Texas A&M System employees, retirees and their dependents that are enrolled in the self-insured employee group health plan.
The new plan will be effective Sept. 1.