Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Update on Same Sex Benefits at Area University

Acting to clean up a mistake, or being thoroughly institutional: you decide.

Read below.

"Thanks for your follow up regarding the attached concern. Per our brief
discussion, Aetna made a decision to discontinue selling Long Term Care
plans so Duke had to make a decision regarding a new administrator. We
considered several administrators. Some of the key factors we looked at

Stability of Company
Comparability of Plan Design Options
Impact on Premiums

Prudential was a leader in most of the key areas.

Long Term Care Plans are regulated by the Department of Insurance and plan
designs and/or plan design changes have to be approved by the Department
of Insurance. We were aware of the differences in the way the plans were
filed with the Department of Insurance in regard to the discount for
married persons vs. Married/Same Sex Spousal Equivalents. Aetna's plan
had been more recently filed and included a provision for a discount for
Same Sex Spousal Equivalents (when both are enrolled in the plan).
Prudential's plan did not specify Same Sex Spousal Equivalents but rather
only specified "married persons". We discussed this issue with both Aetna
and Prudential and was able to negotiate an agreement that would enable
those who currently have the discount with Aetna to keep the discount with
Prudential. In regard to new faculty and staff enrolling in the plan, we
asked Prudential to re-file their product with the Department of Insurance
to include the discount for Same Sex Spousal Equivalents. Unfortunately
it takes a while to get the filing approved and it has not yet been
formally approved but we are confident that it will be approved by
September 1. We could not formally communicate this in our communication
materials until the change has been officially approved by the Department
of Insurance. However, we don't anticipate any problems getting this
provision approved.

I am following this very closely and will keep you posted and let you know
when this change has been finalized. Ensuring that benefit plans offer
equal provisions to same sex spousal equivalents is a very important goal
in Human Resources. Please let me know if you have any questions or would
like to discuss further.

Again, thanks for your follow up. Regards,"

Peace, B

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