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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

UCR Faculty Association Letter to Colleagues on UC Care and Riverside (Hint: It is a lot like Santa Barbara)

Dear Colleagues,

The recent changes to the health care insurance plans available to UC faculty and staff have resulted in a radical reduction in both choices and quality of our insurance options.  In particular, UC Care, a new “self-funded” PPO medical insurance plan that replaces Blue Cross Plus and Blue Cross PPO, does not provide equivalent coverage for campuses that do not have a medical center, such as UCR. The UC Select (Tier 1) network of providers and facilities is grossly inadequate, excluding many of the best doctors and hospitals that were covered under the Blue Cross plans.

For example, Riverside Community Hospital, a partner with UCR's new medical school, and Loma Linda University Medical Center are NOT included in the UC Select network.  The nearest UC Select hospital, Parkview Community Hospital, does not have a trauma center and has twice almost gone bankrupt.  This leaves UCR faculty and staff with the poor choice of paying 20% co-payments for care at the best  facilities, using the facilities in the UC Select network or choosing another health insurance plan.

The Riverside Faculty Association endorses the Riverside Division Senate resolution protesting the paucity of choices available to Riverside faculty and staff in the UC-Care option:
The Riverside Division writes to register its outrage at both the health benefit options available to its faculty for the 2014-calendar year and the process by which these options were determined.  In particular, UC Care, which replaces multiple Anthem plans, leads to serious inequities between faculty and staff on those campuses with medical centers and faculty on those campuses without them.  As a whole, moreover, the new benefits raise concerns about recruiting and retaining faculty and staff. Therefore, we insist on an expanded set of tier 1 options under UC Care so that campuses without medical centers can provide the same level of care as those with medical centers.  We also insist on a more consultative process with regard to all future changes. Both the process and the result of changing our health care options are unworthy of the University of California.

In addition we demand that the Riverside Community Hospital and the Loma Linda University Medical Center be added to the Tier 1 option in the UC Care plan immediately. Otherwise many faculty and staff will migrate to Kaiser or other plans.  Adding these hospitals to UC Select must be done and announced before the closing of the open enrollment period on November 26, 2013.

The Board of the UC Riverside Faculty Association

This statement from the systemwide Academic Council outlines the inequities and problems with UC Care http://senate.universityofcalifornia.edu/reports/BJ_JN_UCCare_FINAL.pdf


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