MYTH: University System employees will automatically receive better insurance benefits by joining with the State of Montana insurance program.
FACT: A benefits consultant retained by both the University System and the State of Montana is analyzing the viability of merging the two autonomous self-insured medical insurance plans. There is no guarantee that University System employees maintain current benefit levels if a merger occurs (e.g. the State currently offers no long-term disability insurance plan) nor is there a guarantee that employee premium rates for University System employees will be the same as premium rates applicable to State of Montana employees.
Historically, the level of the employer contribution to the medical insurance plan ($270 per employee per month as of 07/01/1998) has been negotiated between MPEA and the State of Montana as a reflection of the funding level required to maintain the State's group insurance plan. Once again, the Legislature acts upon this negotiated recommendation prior to negotiations between MPEA and the Montana University System. Once enacted in statute, the University System cannot deviate from this level of employer contribution.