Kansas Board of Regents approves student health rates, facilities studies

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The Kansas Board of Regents met Wednesday to discuss several proposals from state universities.

One major item approved was the student health insurance benefits for the 2021-22 school year.

Doug Ball, Pittsburg State Chief Financial Officer, says United HealthCare presented two options. The first was commit to renew now at an increase of nine percent to lock in the premium rates for the next academic year. The second option was commit to a future renewal with a guarantee that the rates for next year will not exceed 12-percent. Both options also guaranteed no changes to the benefits. The KBOR approved to move forward with the commit to renew now plan. Ball says there are several benefits to this option.

“The opportunity to establish this renewal now, including the establishment of rates now, will yield some benefits for us as we plan for the future,” says Ball.

Ball adds that the early renewal could positively impact enrollment numbers as well. Ball mentions that the benefits offered through the plan to students continue to be among the best.

“The committee also looked at other options available to our students and confirmed that our plan continues to be a good value for our students and that its rates are well below those that are available to many of them via the federal exchange,” he says.

The board also moved forward with two previous studies done at Kansas State facilities.

In April, the Board of Regents approved funding to cover the cost of a facilities’ condition assessment study and a space utilization study at Kansas State. Those studies are set to be complete by the end of the month. To better understand and utilize the studies, a proposal was made to combine the two data sets into one. A distribution of the Education Building Fund has been approved by the Kansas Board of Regents to move forward with the proposal. Chad Bristow, Director of Facilities, spoke about the benefits of combining the studies.

“The overall result of this effort will be to have a dynamic data model that incorporates university facilities information consistently and features a range of analytic variables, that if utilized and maintained will serve indefinitely to satisfy statutory reporting requirements as well as function to inform ongoing strategic decision making,” says Bristow.

Bristow added that the cost for the additional services represents an additional five percent of the initial investment.

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