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Benefits Plan Discussed

Provost: Decision Nearing on Co-Payments

By Andrew A. Green

Provost Albert Carnesale is considering two plans to cap the co-payments Harvard employees have to make for doctor visits and said in an interview yesterday that he expects a decision will be made by the end of the summer.

Under the current benefits package negotiated with the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW), employees must pay $10 every time they visit the doctor.

Because these co-payments can add up for workers who have chronic health problems or children who require frequent medical care, both the Joint Committee on Benefits and the University Benefits Committee have made proposals limiting the number of times employees would have to make these payments.

The plans are structured in different ways and range from a cap at $100 in co-payments for an individual to a cap of $500 per family, Carnesale said. He said the main difference in the plans is in how they are structured, not necessarily in how much employees would have to pay.

Carnesale said he will consult with President Neil L. Rudenstine and other appropriate authorities before making the decision.

The Harvard Corporation, the more powerful of the University's two governing boards, will be advised and consulted on the matter, but it will not make the final decision, Carnesale said.

In order to go into effect for next year's health plans, Carnesale said he will have to make a decision before the beginning of the next academic year.

"It's the same time we make decisions on health plans anyway," he said.

HUCTW and other unions staged a massive protest over benefits and other issues outside Holyoke Center last week, but the protest will not factor into the decision, Carnesale said.

"When it comes to the union, benefits changes come from collective bargaining," Carnesale said. "Demonstrations don't have a direct effect.

"It's the same time we make decisions on health plans anyway," he said.

HUCTW and other unions staged a massive protest over benefits and other issues outside Holyoke Center last week, but the protest will not factor into the decision, Carnesale said.

"When it comes to the union, benefits changes come from collective bargaining," Carnesale said. "Demonstrations don't have a direct effect.

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