Washington State University allows its faculty to retire and remain in the university health insurance pool, paying a nonsubsidized rate. The “buyout” offer is not enough incentive for faculty to retire if they lose their health insurance and must go to the open market.
Thank you for your suggestion. This is a very complicated issue. Part of the answer lies in funding for the health insurance benefits themselves. Washington participates in a statewide health care authority for health benefits, whereas the University of Alaska funds the benefit itself through the employee benefit rate. There is currently no funding mechanism in Alaska to extend health care benefits to non-employees. There is also pending action for Alaska’s own health care authority through last year’s SB74 (Medicaid reform legislation). The reports were issued just last month, and we are still going through them. You can find the reports and links to the webinars covering the reports here: http://doa.alaska.gov/HCA.html. Finally, there is always the question of what the Legislature will choose to do in future sessions.
— Erika Van Flein, director of benefits, UA system Human Resources