During the past year, much has been done to continue to offer a competitive, affordable and fiscally-responsible benefits package to UNM employees. The Division of Human Resources conducted a dependent eligibility audit last fall estimated to save the UNM medical plan $243,880 in the first year and $975,000 over five years.

A retiree health care task force was convened to develop recommendations for reducing UNM's unfunded retiree benefit liability while continuing to provide a comprehensive package of retiree benefits. UNM's application was approved to receive temporary financial relief through the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program enacted under health care reform legislation.

HR is also completing its second year of self-funding the UNM medical plan. Self-funding has played a major role in minimizing cost increases. By self-funding the UNM medical plan, HR is able to keep administrative costs very low. Health care reform requires insured plans to have administrative costs no greater than 15 percent. Current UNM medical plan administrative costs are six percent of the total plan costs. The remaining 94 percent of premiums shared by UNM and UNM employees goes directly toward funding claims costs.

While the programs and processes HR has implemented over the past year have been successful in maintaining UNM medical plan costs, we must ensure solvency of the UNM medical plan for the future in the face of rising costs of health care services. We also must be prepared for the cost of implementing regulatory demands required by health care reform.

For fiscal year 2012, we will implement changes that align with three strategic initiatives:

  1. Realign premium structure to reflect expense utilization.

  2. Move away from an HMO model to a consumerism model.

  3. Promote consumerism and value-based decision making.


Read about specific plan changes at hr.unm.edu.

Story by Helen Gonzales, vice president, Human Resources