Innovative, enhanced benefits for UT Southwestern employees take effect in September, adding value to retain and recruit employees and strengthening our market position as a top North Texas workplace.
UT System’s Office of Employee Benefits (OEB) in partnership with Southwestern Health Resources launched a new option for medical coverage and amplified existing plan features – all without increasing employee-paid costs.
“UT Southwestern strives to offer high-quality, competitive benefit programs. A recent benchmark study conducted by Willis Towers Watson found our current benefit plans and programs to be No. 1 for overall value compared with other health care organizations in North Texas. We have a great menu of benefits and this proves that to be true,” said Arnim Dontes, Executive Vice President for Business Affairs.
There were no premium rate increases for UT Benefits programs. Rates were reduced for the UT SELECT Dental Basic PPO and DeltaCare Dental HMO plans, as well as for the short-term disability benefit option. A few other plans were augmented to yield more robust coverage, such as increases to frame allowances, hearing aid benefits, and the UT FLEX election amount.
The introduction of UT CONNECT provided UT System employees in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with a second choice for medical insurance coverage. As with the UT SELECT medical plan, UT CONNECT is also administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. The plan offers reduced out-of-pocket costs – including lower deductibles, copays, and monthly premiums for dependent coverage. Non-Medicare retirees living in the DFW area are also eligible to enroll in the plan.
“By adding this new benefit option, we are seeking to offer an innovative model of care for our employees and their families. This now gives them an opportunity to obtain coordinated care from our own network of providers and facilities as well as from others in the Southwestern Health Resources Network,” said Marinan Williams, Senior Executive Officer of Market Relations for Southwestern Health Resources. “We are bringing our proven model of care – demonstrated via our Medicare and commercial programs – to our employees.”
Members of UT CONNECT receive care through the Southwestern Health Resources Network, formed by UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources in 2016. The Network provides access to over 4,200 physicians (all UT Southwestern physicians, Texas Health Physicians Group, and other affiliated physicians in the DFW area), all UT Southwestern hospitals, Texas Health Resources hospitals, Children’s Health, and Cook Children’s Medical Center. Members also have access to urgent care centers and thousands of community physicians located throughout North Texas.
Annual enrollment closed July 31 and elections made take effect Sept. 1, 2018.