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CHEIBA Trustees approve premium holiday

Employees participating in the University’s benefits plan will not have medical or dental premiums deducted from their Dec. 31 paycheck.

By George Middlemist

December 10, 2018

Auraria campus in winterFaculty and administrators participating in the Metropolitan State University of Denver Benefits Plan will begin 2019 with a little extra pep in their paychecks. The Board of Trustees for the University’s health-insurance program, Colorado Higher Education Insurance Benefits Alliance Trust, approved a 50 percent premium holiday for medical and dental insurance for the first month of the 2019 plan year for participating employees. As MSU Denver will contribute the remaining 50 percent of premiums, employees will not have any medical or dental premiums deducted from their Dec. 31 paycheck. However, vision, life insurance and other premiums will still be deducted.

A premium holiday is evaluated each year based on activity within the plan and the financial status of the CHEIBA Trust; it is not automatic. MSU Denver has been fortunate that the CHEIBA Trust has been able to grant a premium holiday for several years, but each year there is discussion about the plan’s ability to support any type of premium holiday. Many employees have become accustomed to this premium holiday in December, but everyone should remember that it is not guaranteed year to year.

The good news is that the University’s benefits plan is financially sound and able to support the premium holiday again this year. The additional good news is that the ability to provide a premium holiday is partly controlled by the employees and their dependents on the plan. The CHEIBA Trustees consider the plan funding and the claims experience to determine whether funding is available for a full or partial premium holiday. If plan participants are thoughtful about how they use the plan and claims costs are low, it is more likely the Trustees will be able to approve a premium holiday and keep co-pays and other fees down in years to come.

If you have any questions regarding benefits, please contact Amanda Berry, benefits manager, at 303-605-5321 or

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