Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Loyola set to increase spousal fee

Tanesha Taylor
Data collected by an employee affected by the spousal fee increase.

Editor’s note: This story was updated from the original version following further clarification on when the fee would go into effect.

Some low paid Loyola faculty may see a decrease in their paychecks beginning next semester.

The university is set to increase the spousal fee from $100 to $350 a month starting in January. This fee goes to the 52 married, benefit-eligible employees whose spouses have health insurance from their employers yet they choose to use Loyola’s insurance.

According to research done by one employee affected by this change, Loyola University New Orleans is the only Jesuit university in the United States with a fee this high. The school closest to the price is Xavier University, who charges $200 monthly for these employees.

Most Jesuit universities, however, don’t have a spousal fee at all.

University spokesperson Rachel Hoormann said Loyola expects a 19% increase in health insurance cost this year, totaling a $1.3 million increase of the total university budget. This was due to increased inflation and health insurance costs rising each year.

The increase of this fee was a decision made by the university after it was proposed by the Fringe Benefits Committee to help subsidize the effects it has on the budget, according to Hoormann.

Although Hoormann said this decision was made because it was the solution that impacted the fewest employees, most of the faculty paying the fee make less than $50,000, according to one affected employee.

Blake Johnson, an alias for one of these affected employees, wrote a letter saying this action proved Loyola only cares about social justice when it comes to students, but not faculty.

“The lowest paid are being charged a very hefty fee if we have the gall to insure our spouse. Does this sound like social justice or any other of the Jesuit values we claim to live out on campus?” Johnson wrote.

Johnson did point out that the fee would only be applied to employees whose spouses are on Loyola’s insurance rather than their own employer-provided one. However, they also pointed out the cost of health insurance from some faculty spouses’ employers makes the option to be on theirs impossible.

Now, Johnson said it’s nearly impossible for some employees to afford either insurance.

Hoormann said the university expects the employees affected will re-evaluate covering their spouses on Loyola’s medical insurance.

According to Loyola’s Benefits Guide, the cheapest plan an employee can enroll in is the Preferred Provider Network Core option, which costs $752.79 monthly and only applies for the employee. To add a spouse to the plan, without the spousal fee, is $1,628.96 a month.
Johnson also mentioned this increase comes at a time when inflation is increasing but salaries are stagnant. In the past, Loyola has given employees inflation raises, though those have not been provided in the past 5-10 years, depending on the employee.

“At some point shouldn’t our humanity kick in and make us stop looking at the bottom line? This is a severely negative action Loyola is taking against loyal employees who have not had salary increases in many years,” they wrote.

In total, this fee will equal to $218,400 paid annually by the 52 employees.

Hoormann said projections for another possible increase in the coming years is unknown, though she did point out that health insurance prices rise each year.

Johnson ended their letter begging for university president Xaiver Cole to remove this fee so they and other employees affected can “afford to live.”

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About the Contributors
Kloe Witt
Kloe Witt, Managing Editor for Digital
Kloe Witt currently serves as The Maroon's Managing Editor for Digital. Kloe is a sophomore double majoring in journalism and environmental studies, though is interested in pursuing a career in media services for recreational therapy camps. In their free time, Kloe is usually watching Criminal Minds, listening to Taylor Swift, or reading new books. Kloe can be reached [email protected].
Tanesha Taylor
Tanesha Taylor, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer
Tanesha Taylor is currently the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at The Maroon. She is a third year graphic design major and works as an Office Assistant for Loyola's Residential Life. In her free time, she enjoys fermenting rice wine and trying foods from different cultures. Tanesha can be reached at [email protected].

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