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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Health Care Costs Continue to Escalate

October 16, 2006

Eighty-one percent of colleges reported that they faced increased health care costs during 2005, according to an annual study conducted by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR)—similar to the 78 percent reporting an increase in the 2004 study.  The median percent increase in total average costs of health and dental insurance among the 423 participating institutions was nine percent for the year, with the median cost of an institution’s medical and dental plans per employee (including both institution and employee costs) reaching $5,652.    

Other highlights of the study include the following:

  • Eleven percent of colleges reported that some health care benefits were reduced during the year.

  • The percent of institutions offering health care benefits for non-Medicare and Medicare-eligible retirees are 58 percent and 49 percent, respectively.

  • The percent of institutions offering health care benefits for same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners are approximately 40 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

  • Almost half of the institutions in the study offer long-term care programs to their employees.

  • Thirteen percent of institutions use a salary-based tiered system to determine employee health care premiums.

The full report is available for sale on the CUPA-HR Web site. For more information on human resource issues, consider subscribing to NACUBO's HR Horizons. This new quarterly publication is delivered electronically and explores human resource issues of strategic importance to higher education chief business officers and the impact of these concerns to institutional decision making and financial health.