From Kevin’s Desk: The Benefits of Being Blue (05/25/18)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

So much of what we do in Business & Finance is about stewardship of the university’s resources. Strong stewardship of our U-M benefit plans is one way we take care of our people and the university’s financial resources. Many of you have told me that our great benefit programs are but one important reason you work here – I agree! Much goes on behind the scenes to make sure that these benefits are high quality, affordable and financially sustainable. Because of the good work by our Benefits Office and prudent utilization by all of us, I am pleased to share some good news: our employee Health and Dental rates will not increase next year! You will hear more about this during Open Enrollment in the fall.

Did you know that prescription drugs account for about $1 out of every $5 spent on health benefits?  It’s an area that has seen huge cost increases nationally over the past several years. Fortunately, we have an incredible team running our drug plan. The team includes members from the U-M Benefits Office and experts from the College of Pharmacy and Michigan Medicine. The team’s skillful approach to management of the drug plan has saved an estimated $50 million over the past 15 years, which translates to helping keep costs down for the university and all of us! Recently the Benefits Office began a post-graduate residency program to train new pharmacists in how to run a large, complex drug plan. The program reached a major milestone of formal accreditation this spring. Please join me in thanking our entire U-M benefits team for the incredible work they do – you guys ROCK!

I hope all of you have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend with your families. Memorial Day is the official start of summer.  I am headed to Austin to spend some quality time with my family. I am sure that Betty will have a few things for me to fix around the house, too! As someone who grew up as a military kid, Memorial Day is also a time when I am reminded of all the men and women who have given their lives in service to our country. I want to extend a special thank you to all of you and your loved ones who have served our country. And let’s not forget the spouses and families of those who serve because they sacrifice for all of us too!

With much appreciation and gratitude,


P.S., Please post for staff who don’t have regular access to email.