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March 30, 1995

Letter from the chancellor

Letter from the chancellor March 27, 1995

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues:

As you know, issues relating to the health care benefits of faculty and staff at the University of Pittsburgh have been intensely reviewed and discussed in recent months. After carefully considering input from various University constituencies, I have decided to eliminate HealthAmerica as a medical insurance option available to employees. This change will be effective July 1, 1995.

I realize that this decision bears consequences for some of you, and I regret any inconvenience that may result. The priority over the next several months is to make a smooth transition from HealthAmerica. I am cognizant that the transition of care is a major concern, and I assure you that the University will do everything possible to allow for the continuity of care as necessary. The Office of Human Resources will provide all HealthAmerica participants with detailed information on the transition of care accommodations that will be available.

This course of action will produce significant benefits for the University, including a savings of at least $5 million over the next three years. I could not, in good conscience, ignore my responsibility to exercise sound fiduciary judgment in this matter. Also contributing to this decision is my confidence that, in the absence of HealthAmerica, we will continue to provide excellent health insurance options to meet the diverse needs of the University community. Blue Cross already provides coverage for more than 70 percent of Pitt's faculty and staff. In addition, Blue Cross offers a health maintenance organization (HMO) alternative for those who prefer that format of care. Finally, by endorsing Blue Cross, we are supporting the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Blue Cross allows subscribers to use UPMC facilities. Further, the University Health Network, a Pitt product, is a Blue Cross affiliate and, therefore, an option available to all faculty and staff.

The Office of Human Resources will be distributing an enrollment packet and other materials to all subscribers by mid-April. Human Resources staff will be available to discuss options and facilitate the transition to a new provider. Any change you make to your medical plan will become effective July 1, 1995, and will remain in effect through June 30, 1996.

In closing, I would like to thank the many people who helped to assimilate information on this issue, and I ask for the support of the entire campus community as we make this change.


J. Dennis O'Connor

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