UF, Shands preparing new employee health insurance plan
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida and Shands are working to create a new model for offering health and wellness insurance to provide more cost-effective, customized care and better health outcomes for employees and their dependents.
The new health plan, to be called GatorCare, is expected to be effective January 2013, with open enrollment occurring for most in fall 2012.
When implemented, pending legislative approval for UF employees, the model will result in a consolidated health insurance plan that will encompass all eligible faculty, staff, graduate assistants (on appointments), Health Science Center house staff/residents, and postdoctoral associates at the University of Florida; Shands employees (Gainesville and Jacksonville); and employees of all direct support organizations and affiliates of the university.
“The goal of GatorCare is to improve the health of our employees at lower cost by providing them with easy access to our clinical faculty and facilities, to electronic information about their health records, and to services that emphasize prevention and early intervention,” said Dr. David S. Guzick, senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System. “It’s about Gators taking care of Gators.
Our faculty value the privilege of providing health care services to the faculty and staff of the University of Florida and Shands, and wish to do so in a manner that promotes their health, reduces their episodes of illness and creates a high level of satisfaction.”
One of the most important goals of the new model is to be as responsive to employee needs as possible by seeking ways to help improve health care access, health outcomes and quality of life — while keeping health care costs as low and competitive as possible, said Paula Fussell, UF vice president for human resource services. For state employees, such efforts are also mindful of the current uncertain health care benefit landscape and the probability of changes to state employee health plans that could lead to higher costs or reduced benefits for employees, Fussell said.
The project is guided by a governing structure that includes executive sponsors, a project steering committee and various implementation work groups involving many faculty and staff. In addition, feedback was collected during the fall from focus groups involving more than 150 employees from a variety of areas within the university community.
More information, including a list of frequently asked questions, is available at http://www.healthplan.ufl.edu. Regular updates, further details and plan information will be provided as they become available.