TALLAHASSEE – (CBSMiami) Everybody is trying to cut skyrocketing health care costs, including the University of Florida. In a first for the state, President Bernie Machen wants to opt-out of the State health insurance program for employees, and run one just for the University.
Machen wants to convince the Legislature next year to let the school run it’s own self-insurance program. For employees of the University of Florida and the university-operated Shands hospital system, it could mean saving money and lower premiums.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Police Department Honors Fallen Law Enforcement Officers
Good news for them, but not so good for other state workers. By removing a portion of the total 376,324 employees and dependents currently enrolled in the state’s health insurance plan, it could have an impact on how much other state workers pay for health insurance.
The University of Florida would need legislative approval to go forward with the plan.READ MORE: Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Warns Company Could Take Ships Out Of Florida Over Vaccine Proof Ban
The state has cut funding for state universities by more than 30 percent over the last four years, leaving each university president scrambling to devise ways to offset those losses, from increasing online classes, and enrolling more out-of-state students, to boosting fundraising and leaning more heavily on tuition increases.
UF’s idea of carving out its own health insurance program, essentially “self-insuring” doesn’t necessarily mean the school would invent its own health insurance plan, but rather UF would take on the risk that normally an outside insurer would assume.MORE NEWS: Federal Appeals Court Orders New Trial For Former US Rep. Corrine Brown
The state is also moving toward self-insurance for its Health Management Organization (HMO) participants and the state already self-insures for its Paid Provider Organization (PPO) participants. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the state’s shift toward self-insurance would have any impact on UF’s lobbying for its own self-insurance.