Campus News

Board of Regents approves 2024 USG health care plans, premiums

(UGA File Photo)

The Board of Regents approved the 2024 University System of Georgia (USG) health care plans and premiums for active employees and pre-65 retirees at its Aug. 8 meeting. The board also approved the USG funding for the Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) for retirees aged 65 and older.

This year was a particularly challenging year due to a higher-than-normal increase in projected costs from inflationary pressures, higher utilization of health care services, and the continuing increases in the cost and use of prescription drugs. To manage overall plan costs, there will be plan design changes in all the USG health care plans, a reduction in the well-being credit from $200 to $100, changes to some of the health care programming, and increases to both the employer share and employee share of monthly premiums to cover the rest of these higher-than-normal increases in projected costs. Some specific changes of note are:

  • Deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, co-insurance and co-pays will increase for all USG-offered plans.
  • Customer service and health care support for the Anthem/BCBSGa plans (Consumer Choice HSA, Comprehensive Care, and BlueChoice HMO) will be moved from Accolade to Anthem’s Total Health, Total You program.
  • Weight Loss support will be offered through Weight Watchers for employees enrolled in the USG health care plans (Virtual option only for the Anthem plans and virtual and in-person options for the Kaiser HMO plan).
  • A well-being credit of up to $100 (previously $200) will be available for health care-enrolled employees and their enrolled spouses. The new program year will begin Jan. 1, 2024. Activities will now be provided through health care providers (Anthem or Kaiser).
  • The Livongo diabetes management and prevention programs will be sunsetting at the end of the year. Programs will be offered through the health care providers and/or through institutional-based programming.
  • Employee premiums will increase by 6.9% in the Consumer Choice HSA and Comprehensive Care Plans, 10.9% in the BlueChoice HMO plan, and 10% in the Kaiser Permanente HMO plan.
  • Employer premiums will increase between 9.4% and 10.9% in the Consumer Choice HSA, Comprehensive Care and BlueChoice HMO plans, and 5.3% in the Kaiser Permanente HMO plan.

A summary of the approved plan design changes, including increases in deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums and/or co-pays, as well as the plan premiums, are available on the USG benefits website.

There are no changes to the tobacco use or working spouse status certifications. As in the past, tobacco use and working spouse status certification will be required during Open Enrollment. If the certification is not completed during Open Enrollment, the surcharge will apply. Information is available on the USG website.

  • There will be one surcharge for all dependent children 18 and older who use tobacco.
  • The Tobacco Cessation option will continue to be available during Open Enrollment for employees and dependents who are tobacco users to provide an opportunity to take a Tobacco Cessation program, complete the program, and have the tobacco surcharge removed. Information about Tobacco Cessation options is available on the USG Well-being website under Tobacco and Smoke-Free.
  • The Working Spouse Surcharge will apply to faculty and staff who cover their working spouse under the USG plan when the spouse has an offer of coverage from their own employer.
  • Faculty and staff may change or update their surcharge status at any time during the year through OneUSG Connect – Benefits. The change will be effective on the first day of the following month.

Open Enrollment for the 2024 calendar year will be Oct. 23 through Nov. 3, 2023. Active employees will begin receiving Open Enrollment information in late September by mail. 2024 enrollment elections and certifications should be completed through OneUSG Connect – Benefits no later than Nov. 3, 2023. This is also a great time to review and update personal and emergency contact information, voluntary demographic data, W-2 consent and banking information in OneUSG Connect.

This year’s UGA Benefits Fair will take place on Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Mahler Hall at the Georgia Center. All faculty and staff are encouraged to attend to learn more about the USG benefits programs, changes to the benefit plans for 2024, and all the benefits USG and UGA have to offer. University Human Resources will host additional information sessions at the Georgia Center on Oct. 30 at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. with limited availability. Further details on these information sessions will be shared closer to the event date.

Pre-65 retirees and pre-65 dependents will remain on the same plans as active employees. As in the past, there will be separate pre-65 retiree premium rate charts for the 2024 plan year.

Medicare-eligible retirees aged 65 and over and Medicare-eligible dependents aged 65 and older will continue to enroll in supplemental health care coverage through the Retiree Health Exchange. Medicare Part A and B will provide primary coverage. USG will also continue to provide an annual contribution into a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) for retirees and/or dependents to use toward premiums and other eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses.

This year, the Board of Regents approved a slight decrease to the USG HRA funding by $8 per month (or $96 for the year). The annual contribution to the HRA for 2024 will be $2,640 per year per 65 and older Medicare-eligible retiree and 65 and older Medicare-eligible covered dependents. To receive the 2024 USG HRA funding, the retiree and/or dependent must purchase coverage through the Alight Retiree Health Solution. The Medicare enrollment period is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2023, for a Jan. 1, 2024, coverage begin date.

The decision to reduce the contribution to the HRA was based on several factors, including being one of the cost-saving measures to bring overall health care costs down and the results of a recent study showing the purchasing power of the annual HRA.

In addition, beginning Jan. 1, 2024, Medicare Part D will no longer have the 5% cost share requirement in the Catastrophic phase of Medicare Part D. Therefore, USG will discontinue the Catastrophic HRA in 2024 since it will no longer be needed.

As always, retirees are encouraged to review their plan enrollment each year and reach out to Alight Retiree Exchange Solutions to evaluate options for the coming year. Retirees will have an opportunity to review available options, including low premium cost Medicare Advantage Plans (HMO and PPO) as well as Medicare Supplement plans, during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period Oct. 15 – Dec. 7.

University Human Resources is ready and available to offer support with Open Enrollment questions. For more information, faculty and staff should visit the USG benefits website. Questions about these health plan benefits can be directed to or 706-542-2222.