March 11, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (AP)— The University of Virginia expects to save $1.8 million annually by removing ineligible people from its health plan.
A pilot audit of 10 percent of the university's employees found that 6 percent of dependents were not eligible for coverage.
If the 6 percent rate continues for the remaining employees to be checked, more than 850 people could be removed from the plan.
About 28,000 people, including about 14,000 employees, are covered by the plan, which costs U.Va. about $135 million a year. The university already has recovered the cost of the $120,000 third-party audit by removing 90 people found to be ineligible during the pilot examination.
"It's a pretty high return on investment," Susan Carkeek, chief human resources officer, told The Daily Progress (http://bit.ly/ZePFym ).
The university would not have detected the ineligible dependents during the normal course of business, she said.
Many ineligible dependents are ex-spouses or children who have exceeded the plan's age limit of 26.
"With all of the details and the trauma of a divorce, you might forget to drop someone off the plan," Carkeek said.
Employees have until April 16 to produce verification of dependents' eligibility, such as birth or marriage certificates.
The Faculty Senate is aware of the verification process for dependents' eligibility but has not yet discussed it, Chairman George Cohen said.
Carkeek said this is the first audit of U.Va.'s health plan.
The pilot audit went "very, very smoothly,' said Natalie Edwards, a U.Va. staff member, who said she was in the pilot group.
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