||Faculty Welfare Committee
The principal work of the Faculty Welfare Committee this year was
designing, administering, and evaluating the campus-wide survey of
UT employees' satisfaction with the health care benefits currently
offered at UT Austin. The results of this survey were presented to
the Faculty Council on March 18, 2002. The full text of the report
can be found at http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/2001-2002/reports/welfare_cmte_rpt.html
The purpose of the survey was to compare the relative satisfaction
that all faculty, staff, and graduate assistants have with their current
UT health benefits. The committee was especially interested in the
demographic profile of faculty, staff, and graduate assistant categories,
an overall analysis of each category, an assessment of the relative
satisfaction of different coverages by each category, a comparison
of relative satisfaction, and a comparison across the whole sample
of use, preferences, and needs.
The survey was designed to develop an overall analysis of health benefit
variables of UT Austin employees and to compare and contrast the individual
demographic samples against each other. The demographic information
used includes sex, age, residential location, health plan, and whether
the person is faculty, staff or a graduate assistant. The discursive
comments included by some of the respondents were still being analyzed
as of May 2002.
The Faculty Welfare Committee would like to thank the thousands of
UT faculty, staff, and graduate assistants who responded. The committee
gratefully acknowledges the substantial assistance received from the
UT Office of the President, Associate Vice President Kyle Cavanaugh
and his colleagues in the Office of Human Resources, UT System official
Dan Stewart, and, especially Mike Adams, Seth Hachmeister, Farhan
Iftikhar, Kim Tills, and Steven Fargo, from Professor Mark Alpert's
Special Projects in Marketing class.
The recommendations were that
In addition to the survey, the Faculty Welfare Committee
also has addressed two other matters this year:
||The Faculty Welfare Committee should use the
information that is provided in this report to assist them in
finding a health plan that is satisfactory to all UT employees.
The overall ranking of health plan features
should be used to guide decision-making during negotiations
with health care providers. The overall rankings are as follows:
||Keep out-of-pocket costs low.
||Keep the prescription co-pay as low as
||Maintain the lowest possible employee
||Keep preventive care (physical exams/immunizations)
out-of-pocket costs as low as possible.
||Keep the deductible as low as possible.
||Keep in-patient (hospitalization)
out-of-pocket costs as low as possible.
||Do not add a lifetime maximum in the
health care plan (current plan does not have one).
||Increase the number of physicians available
||Try to avoid switching health plans every year.
Once a health plan is selected it should be continued.
||There are many employees who do not fully understand
the current health plan that they are enrolled in. Providing
better information or informational meetings would improve the
knowledge of each health plan and could create a more positive
attitude toward the benefits of each plan.
||Long-term care has the lowest level of satisfaction.
An improvement in this category would improve the overall satisfaction
of the employees.
||Everyone has different attitudes toward health
plans. There are many employees who are dissatisfied because
the two current health plans do not cover what they are interested
in. If it is possible, The University of Texas should provide
additional health plans from which employees may choose. The
plans selected should address different preferences regarding
the trade-off between the cost to employee and the flexibility
and physician selection provided by the plan.
||Satisfaction surveys should be conducted on
an annual basis in the future to evaluate satisfaction and to
obtain employee input into desired health benefits. We recommend
that a statistical sample be used for efficiency in future surveys.
The last benefits survey was conducted in 1993 and cannot serve
as a good basis for comparison with the 2001 survey.
|| Exploratory questions pertaining to mental
health care coverage to determine employee satisfaction with
this feature of the health plans should be added.
||When the health plans remain the same from
one year to the next, future surveys should include questions
about problems with the health plans and evaluate how well plan
administrators have responded to the problems.
After a year of particularly intensive work, the chair would
like to thank the members of the Welfare Committee for their extraordinary
generosity with time, energy, and expertise. The members of the committee
this year were: Mark Alpert (vice-chair), Katherine Arens, Rebecca Baltzer,
Brian Bremen, Diana DiNitto, Mark Gergen, Nell Gottlieb, Sharon Horner,
and Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (chair).
||The Welfare Committee has been working with Patricia
Ohlendorf, and the Office of the Vice President for Institutional
Relations & Legal Affairs, to recast "The Policy on Teaching
Continuity and Restructured Faculty Workload Upon the Birth or
Adoption of a Child," so that its rejection will be reconsidered
by the Office of General Counsel of The University of Texas System
for inclusion in the Handbook of Operating Procedures. (D 938-940
can be viewed on the Faculty Council Web site at http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/2000-2001/legislation/teaching_cont.html.)
||The Welfare Committee has been working jointly with
the newly-formed Staff Council, particularly with the Insurance
Working Committee of the Staff Council, since January on shared
concerns, especially concrete possibilities for addressing some
of the recommendations of the benefit survey, such as the overwhelmingly
favorable response (75% responding "yes" or "definitely
yes") to the exploratory question: "If the UT System
were allowed to offer domestic partner benefits, would employees
favor it?" The Welfare Committee looks forward to continued
work and collaboration with the Staff Council Insurance Working
||Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, chair
This document was posted on the Faculty Council Web site, www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/
on July 29, 2002. Paper copies are available on request from the Office
of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.