Board departs from consortium

Dr. Julio León, University President

Dr. Julio León, University President

With two members via telephone, the Missouri Southern Board of Governors held its emergency meeting, April 28.

The meeting was called to discuss the fate of Southern’s involvement with the Missouri State Universities Benefit Group.

The MSUBG has handled Southern’s, and other Missouri institutions, employee insurance for more than 15 years.

University President Julio León met with the administrative council and sent an e-mail to all employees on April 27 explaining the situation.

“Over the last few year’s, the cost of health care has gone up dramatically,” León said.

Since the Board’s April 15 meeting, Central Missouri State University and Southeast Missouri State University have announced they will pull out of this consortium after Dec. 31.

León said the administration received word on April 29 that Truman State University will also pull out at the end of the year.

This leaves only Southern, Missouri Western State College and Harris-Stowe State College left in the group. HSSC only has about 50 of its employees insured by the group.

“The consortium must unfortunately dissolve,” León said.

León said Southern has benefited from the consortium since it became a member. He said there has been increased pressure on the consortium and all its members to examine other methods of health care coverage.

The purpose of the emergency meeting was to ask the Board to grant the administration permission to draft a letter to the MSUBG announcing Southern’s withdrawal by Friday’s deadline. Board members voted to allow the motion.

Southern will remain a member of the consortium until Dec. 31.

Also, the Board was asked to grant permission for the creation of a committee to examine all possibilities for other methods of health care coverage, including hiring a consultant, receiving individual bids and looking for other health care consortiums to join. The Board also approved this motion.

Board members Jane Wyman and David Ansley will sit on the committee when it is formed.

“We’re not looking for the lowest price,” Wyman said. “We’re looking for the best package.”

The administration has decided it will have new packages to recommend to the Board by August or September. The plan is to have employees choose their package in October when they normally choose their coverage plans.