In his report, Kenton says allowing OUS to find less expensive health insurance would have a real impact: In-state students pay $630 in tuition for every $1,000 OUS pays in employee health-insurance premiums.
The system costs OUS more because its employees tend to be healthier than state employees as a whole. As a result, universities (and students through their tuition) subsidize the state’s health-insurance costs.
It’s the first serious test of Kitzhaber’s commitment to giving universities more independence. But Kitzhaber believes if OUS employees got out of the state insurance pool, premiums for the remaining state employees could rise—creating long-term consequences that are bigger than higher tuition costs.