PEBP Board to decide health plan changes
The Public Employee Benefits Program board meets again Aug. 5 to start voting on changes to deal with a $100 million shortfall in the state health benefits program.
The PEBP board met more than six hours Thursday to get a staff briefing on its options, which include reducing or eliminating some benefits such as vision and dental coverage, doubling the deductible for family coverage and dramatically increasing co-payments.
Chairman Randy Kirner started the meeting by saying a wide range of options must be considered.
The state may be $3 billion short for its upcoming two-year budget. The best scenario for PEBP will be that its next budget will be no more than the current budget. In the face of medical inflation of more than 11 percent, Operations Officer Kateri Cavin said that puts the program about $100 million in the red unless it changes the program.
The state currently subsidizes just under 85 percent of employee premiums and 57 percent of dependent premiums, which costs the state about $500 million a year.
Executive Officer Jim Wells said the board must make some decisions Aug. 5 to get requests for proposals out to vendors and develop contracts to provide services.