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LSU To Offer A Defined-Contribution Health Plan

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NU Online News Service, April 10, 3:06 p.m. – Definity Health Corp., Minneapolis, has won a contract to provide an optional defined-contribution health plan for Louisiana State University’s 28,000 employees.

Enrollment begins July 1.

Employers who use the Definity program buy high-deductible health insurance for employees and also contribute a set amount of cash to “personal care accounts” for participating employees. Employees can use the cash in the accounts to pay routine medical expenses.

Employees who hold down their medical expenses can keep the cash in the accounts for use in later years.

Even with the personal care accounts, employees who have high medical expenses may pay more out of pocket than they would if they were enrolled in a conventional managed care plan.

Critics worry that defined-contribution health programs might hurt the sick. Supporters say sick employees benefit, too, by gaining more flexibility to use the doctors and hospitals of their choice.