UC Berkeley Faculty Association

Join the BFA

Important Changes to Health Plans in 2014

Dear BFA Members,

This is an email to alert you to an issue that will affect all members of the UCB faculty and staff.  As you may have seen in the email from Jeannine Raymond on September 6, UCOP has shifted the health insurance structures for all UC employees.  While these changes are part of a cost-reduction scheme, some of the details of the plans may well leave employees in complicated circumstances as some insurance plans are dropped or current providers no longer covered at the same level.  For an initial look at the planned changes, please see

While the At Your Service website will have increased details of the upcoming plans as of September 16, many of these will not be released until mid- to late-October. At that time, the campus will hold Town Hall-style meetings to try inform employees of the details of coverage in time for the November Open Enrollment period.  However, this will not leave anyone with much time to discover all the information necessary to make sound decisions on this crucial issue.  The BFA Board is making the following recommendations to members to try to ensure that as many employees as possible receive the information they need in time for Open Enrollment:

  • request that department chairs publicize the fact of the upcoming changes in insurance policy at full faculty and department meetings
  • at these meetings, suggest that all employees attend the town hall meetings held by the campus
  • prior to the town halls, employees should think about what their likely individual or family health care needs will be for the next five years, and come to the town halls with questions about which plans will best suit those needs.  Your doctor might have specific recommendations on this point, so you might consider asking for a wellness visit in advance of open enrollment to discover these needs
  • if you or someone you know has particularly complicated health care needs that may be imperiled by a shift in insurer or provider, please email BFA co-chairs Colleen Lye and James Vernon so that those needs may be communicated to Senate Leadership.  The more details UCOP has about the potential impact of the new insurance scheme, the better the chances that we can try to get everyone’s needs met.  The Academic Senate is working hard to pressure UCOP to structure the new insurance scheme in ways that meet the needs of as many faculty as possible, but it needs as much information as possible for that to happen.

In short, please inform yourself as deeply and as far in advance as possible as to the impact of the upcoming changes, and try to use departmental channels to ensure that your colleagues and staff do as well.

The BFA is deeply concerned that faculty have been so poorly and lately informed of these changes that could have major implications for their healthcare.  The task now is to ensure that its members are alerted to these changes and that Senate leaders are informed of the difficulties they may generate for faculty.

Sincerely, James Vernon and Colleen Lye BFA co-chairs


Comments are closed.