A costly challenge
As the cost of higher education increasingly comes under the microscope, colleges and universities are challenged to keep operating costs down. For the benefits department at the University of Arkansas System, that means getting a handle on rising health care costs.
The university was looking for effective ways to manage health care costs without compromising or reducing employee benefits. Recognizing how much it could be spending on health coverage for ineligible dependents, the university decided to conduct a comprehensive dependent eligibility verification audit of the 19,000 dependents enrolled in its health plan.
From the beginning, the university understood the need for a seasoned and accomplished dependent verification partner with deep expertise in higher-education settings. Steve Wood, Associate Vice President for Benefits and Risk Management, explained, “We wanted a partner who was very aware of our unique environment.” He found that in Alight Solutions.
On average, Alight has found 5 to 7 percent of covered dependents are ineligible for employer-sponsored health benefits. With dependents costing an average of $4,100 annually, significant and lasting savings can be achieved quickly by removing ineligible individuals from the plan. That kind of savings would prove invaluable for the University of Arkansas System, which had over 36,000 overall members participating in its self-funded health plan.