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PEBP benefits changes for 2018-2019

06 Dec 2017 4:05 PM | Deleted user

Kent Ervin, NFA Legislative Liaison, provides the following update regarding PEBP benefits changes for 2018-2019:

A summary of the Public Employees’ Benefits Program Board actions from the November board meeting is available on the PEBP website.  The Board accepted most all of Executive Officer Damon Haycock's recommendations for plan year 2019 changes, effective July 1, 2018.  That includes (1) replacing the northern HMO with an Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) with similar features and using over $10M of excess reserves generated by the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to cover the associated increased risks for self-funding the EPO; and (2) not approving a $1 or $2/month per year of service additional employer contribution to the HRA (Health Reimbursement Account) for retirees on the Medicare Exchange. These two items were linked in the staff recommendation to the board because the extra reserves allocated for the EPO did not leave enough funds for increasing the HRA contribution for Medicare retirees.  Also, the board expanded PEBP's subrogation powers via regulation (although with coverage of the participant's out-of-pocket costs from any recovery). Several minor enhancements to the HDHP were approved as outlined in the summary. Additional requirements were added for “earning” the supplemental $200/year HSA/HRA contribution for HDHP participants. Other proposed HDHP plan benefits or increased HSA/HRA contributions were rejected, also because of potential costs of the EPO.

NFA’s positions on these issues are available in our public comments to the PEBP Board posted at In particular, NFA spoke against using excess reserves generated by the HDHP program and participants to establish the new EPO plan.

The northern HMO/EPO decision is essentially irrevocable because the northern HMO contract will be terminated in January effective June 30, 2018.  The other decisions are not quite set in stone because the final rates and plan features will be addressed at the January and March board meetings.  NFA recommends that you review the plan design changes and make your opinions known:

Dr. Chris Cochran (southern NSHE representative on PEBP Board)

Dr. John Packham (northern NSHE representative on PEBP Board)

Patrick Cates (PEBP Board Chair)

Damon Haycock (PEBP Executive Officer)

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