Oberlin College & Conservatory

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Upcoming Dependent Eligibility Audit

Oct. 5, 2011

As you know, Oberlin College is facing the same health care cost challenges as other U.S. employers. Over the past few years, we’ve taken a number of measures to help manage costs.

In further efforts to keep costs in check, we wanted to make you aware of an important new initiative we’ll be undertaking: an audit to review eligibility for all spouse and child dependents covered under our health plans. We have retained Aon Hewitt, to assist us in this process beginning this month.

There are several reasons why we’ve decided to move in this direction. Oberlin College has a legal obligation to protect the integrity of the plans and to ensure that they remain financially sound. Requiring employees to provide written proof of each covered dependent’s eligibility (i.e., marriage certificate, birth certificate, adoption paperwork, etc.) will help ensure that our health plans cover only those who are eligible. And, based on the experiences of other employers who have conducted similar audits, we expect cost savings as we’re able to identify and remove any ineligible dependents from our plans.

Employees will have the opportunity to voluntarily drop ineligible dependents from the plans at any time during the audit.

Be assured that it is not our intention to eliminate coverage for children and spouses who meet our plans eligibility requirements; however, we will begin asking for proof of eligibility for each covered dependent going forward—during the new hire process and during the annual open enrollment period for any new dependents being added to coverage.

We feel that the audit process is in the best interest of all covered employees and will help reduce costs to the plan and to employees. Employees will most likely view the audit as an inconvenience, but we are asking that we all emphasize the benefits gained by this audit: if employees are allowed to continue covering ineligible dependents, we all share in the higher costs of health care coverage. We ask for your support and cooperation as we move forward with this important project. If you have any questions about the audit, feel free to contact the Department of Human Resources.