Petition Against Aetna Transition
An open letter to:
Jo Ann Rooney, President, Loyola University Chicago
Winnifred Williams, Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Chief Diversity Officer
We are writing today because, once again, we find that the institution of Loyola University Chicago has placed financial austerity above the well-being of the employees who embody its vision and carry out its mission.
We were shocked, disappointed, and frustrated at the recent announcement that Loyola University Chicago will be transitioning from its current health insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, to Aetna health. A decision that for all intents and purposes was made without any meaningful survey or contribution from the Loyola community at large.
This transition announcement, buried in the fourth paragraph of a sixteen paragraph email, assured us that we – the employees – should be grateful we are seeing no increase of premium rates this year due to the transition. However, our “access to a wide network of providers” proves inconsequential when access is not provided to our current team of practitioners who care for our health outcomes on a regular basis.
The argument soliciting our gratitude is moot when it requires greater out-of-pocket expenses for us to maintain our current care network. A burden that is increased by those of us who require specialized care because we are trans and gender-nonconforming, have a pre-existing condition, are a person with a disability, require behavioral and mental health supports, or need a safe clinic to access services because we are members of the LGBT+ community.
These changes nakedly serve the bottom-line of the university and are not in alignment with the Jesuit commitment to cura personalis (care for the whole person). Yes, “most employers in the U.S., including Loyola, experience an increase of total health care costs at a rate of approximately 5 to 6 percent per year” but an institution true to our espoused values would understand that providing premiere and consistent care to their community outweighs the desire to mitigate this inflation.
Therefore, it is the demand of all signatories to this petition that Loyola University Chicago reaffirms their commitment to the Jesuit values by either:
a) Reinstating Blue Cross Blue Shield as our insurance provider, providing the same benefits as the last enrollment period, with no premium increases passed onto employees
b) If that is not possible, all money saved – or cost mitigation achieved – by the university through this transition must be passed onto the employees in the form of meaningful premium reductions.
Loyola University Chicago community
(Please share broadly with your Loyola networks. Due to the sensitive nature of this issue and recognizing the need for discretion in the current environment at Loyola University Chicago, all signatory names will remain confidential until the petition is delivered to the Office of the President and the Department of Human Resources. Delivery of this petition is anticipated for end of day Monday, October 28th, 2019)
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