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To: Faculty and Staff
From: President Ashish Vaidya
Date:  9/30/21
Subject: Medical Premium Freeze for 2022

Dear Colleagues:

Over the past few years, our campus community has been challenged in unprecedented ways. Together, we have navigated every challenge to continue to serve our students and the community. We know you - our dedicated faculty and staff - are committed to making NKU a student-ready, dynamic and inclusive campus.

And we are committed to investing in you. We continue to make efforts to attract and retain the best talent. Some examples initiated in FY21 and FY22 include: 

  • Soft Freeze Exit from the KERS Pension: NKU selected the Soft Freeze option to allow our Tier 1 & 2 employees to remain in the pension system while Tier 3 and new employees participate in the TIAA 403b plan. 
  • Merit Increase: All eligible employees who are meeting performance expectations received an across-the-board 1.5% increase for the fiscal year.
  • Performance Bonus: Employees will be eligible for a $1 million performance bonus pool in January 2022. 
  • Multi-Year Compensation Review: This review helps ensure our salaries are consistent with market and external labor market conditions. The first phase was to increase NKU’s staff compensation structure. The next phase will be to review all staff pay for possible pay adjustments based on the new compensation structure. Over time, this revised compensation structure will strengthen the competitive salary levels of our employees.

Despite the many challenges that still prevail, we are dedicated to investing in our most important resource – our people. Therefore, I am pleased to announce an additional initiative for 2022:

  • A Medical Premium Freeze for 2022. For the upcoming year, there will be no increase in medical premiums.

NKU’s healthcare costs mirrored the national trend of an increase of 5.3% from 2019 to 2020.  This continues a two decade trend in healthcare premium increases for employer-sponsored plans. On average, US employers cover between 66% -78% of the total cost of medical premiums.  NKU covers approximately 86% of the total medical premiums. For 2022, with the medical premium freeze NKU will be covering closer to 90% of the total medical premiums. 

While the medical premium freeze is not sustainable long term, we have made some changes to our existing benefits plans to help curb future costs, including eliminating the HDHP 1500 plan. This plan was introduced in 2018 as a temporary option to help those in our POS and HMO plans ease into a consumer driven health plan. We are also increasing the coinsurance for the HDHP 2500 plan from 10% to 15%.

You can help control the healthcare costs for both you and the university by taking advantage of the benefits programs already offered.

Other ways to keep all of our claims low include:

  • Get your Covid-19 vaccine and Influenza vaccine. They are free and will protect you and your loved ones from Covid-19 and the flu. Both vaccines are available on campus just by scheduling an appointment with Health Services
  • Schedule preventative care check-ups. These yearly visits are at no cost to you or your dependents and allow your doctor to monitor preventative care options.
  • Take advantage of Livongo. This is a free program for employees and their dependents diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension to manage these conditions. Humana also offers clinical programs to help manage chronic conditions.
  • Use Know Your Rx. This platform can help you manage your pharmacy costs.
  • Utilize University Wellness support. These resources aim to promote health literacy, educate on preventive measures for health and well-being, as well as provide resources and tools to put healthy lifestyle behaviors into action.

We have accomplished so much thanks to your efforts, and I want to share my gratitude for your outstanding work serving our students each day. You are an integral part of our university that allows us to focus on realizing our vision of becoming a regionally engaged, student ready university. Thank you.