UNLV HR Benefits manager attended the Dec 15 PEBP Board meeting on behalf of the NSHE Task Force on health coverage and filed this report:
The Public Employees Benefits Program (PEBP) met on Thursday, December 15 for their regular board meeting. NSHE and Nevada Faculty Alliance representatives made public comment regarding the difficulties experienced by employees related to the Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP) as well as comments on the proposed plan changes. These included:
- That the majority of our employees would prefer PEBP contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) be made at the beginning of the plan year rather than semi-annually;
- Support was expressed for the PEBP Staff recommendation that no limits are set for roll over amounts within the HRA;
- Major concerns regarding the high cost of prescriptions and the need for a richer prescription benefit plan were shared; and
- Support for a middle tier plan with more predictable out of pocket costs, but with a reasonable premium, was emphasized.
PEBP Board members acknowledged the financial difficulties that employees are experiencing with the new plan, especially with the cost of prescription. They echoed our concerns that employees may be deferring taking medications and have asked the prescription plan provider to evaluate if this is a prevalent issue in the plan.
Discussion regarding the middle tier plan occurred, but the majority of the PEBP Board Members did not support such a plan. The board cited concerns with adverse selection. Additionally, concerns about future volatility of premium costs in the PEBP Self-funded plan were expressed. This volatility would be due to the anticipated, smaller population base in the CDHP should a third tier plan be added. Board members, however, did express support for the possibility of using plan savings (if there's any as a result of changing to the Consumer Driven Health Plan) to increase the seed money that goes into employees' HSA.
In addition to the discussions summarized above, the Board approved the following plan changes:
· Currently, the cost of preventive dental care is charged to a participant's annual maximum benefit ($1000), which reduces the amount you can use for other dental benefits. For the FY13 plan year, the Board excluded preventative dental cleanings and exams from the maximum. By excluding these benefits, you will be able to use the full $1000 maximum benefit for other dental services (ie. fillings, crowns, root canals, etc). No action was proposed or taken with respect to the number of preventive dental cleanings, as such they will continue to be available four times each plan year.
The next meeting of the PEBP Board is scheduled for January 19, 2012. Information regarding composite rates for the plan year 2013 (beginning July 1, 2012) will be presented at that meeting. The PEBP Board are scheduled to make a final decision regarding rates at the March meeting.
- Seed money going into employees' HSA and HRA account will continue to be deposited once a year, at the beginning of the plan year. The amount of the seed money remains the same at $700 per employee and $200 per covered dependent to a total maximum of $1300. Individuals who are hired mid-year will continue to receive a prorated amount.