The results of the University of St. Thomas’ Dependent Eligibility Verification Audit are in.

ContinuousHealth, the company contracted by the University St. Thomas to conduct the audit of the university’s medical plan, found that 56, or 4.42 percent, of the 1,211 active dependents enrolled in the plan to be ineligible for benefits.

This number falls just below the national average of 5 to 12 percent.

Of the 56 ineligible participants uncovered in the review process, 32 did not respond to the verification request, nine were ruled “incomplete” for lack of documentation and 15 were removed at the request of the employee when offered amnesty.

The total cost of the project was $26,444, with a projected first-year savings of $229,600.

The audit was conducted June 7 through Aug. 13, with an appeal phase July 19 through the last day of the audit. Ineligible spouses and dependents were removed from St. Thomas’ medical plans effective Oct. 1.

Other colleges and universities that have conducted a dependent-eligibility audit include: Seton Hall University, Washington University at St. Louis, Rutgers University, Purdue University, Stanford University, University of Minnesota, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan − Ann Arbor, Ithaca College, University of North Carolina, University of Kentucky, University of Colorado – Boulder and the University of Georgia system.

Last May St. Thomas’ Human Resources Department announced in Bulletin Today that senior administration authorized an audit of dependents’ eligibility under the university’s health care plan to identify and remove from coverage any employees’ ineligible spouses and dependents who were receiving benefits.

Edna Comedy, associate vice president of human resources at St. Thomas, said “the audit helped to ensure that St. Thomas continues to administer its medical benefits in a proper and legal manner.”

Bulletin Today also ran a story in June that answered questions about the audit shortly after it commenced.

Employees with questions about the audit should contact Human Resources, (651) 962-6510.