State Insurance Committee Updates
The State Group Insurance Committee met yesterday to consider the contract for the Voluntary Dental Preferred Provider for the state Dental Insurance.
Legislation supported by TSEA added two new members to the State Insurance Committee. These two new members are Senator Randy McNally (Oak Ridge), Chairman of the Senate Finance, and Representative Charles Sargent, Chairman of the House Finance Committee.
Both legislators raised questions about the new dental contract and its impact on state employees. Among their primary concerns were the maximum allowable charge (MAC), potential savings offered by one of the losing bidders, access of network providers in bordering states where many state employees live and the analysis of data supplied by each vendor. TSEA appreciates the research Chairman Sargent provided to the Committee on these issues.
Both Chairman McNally and Sargent were strong advocates for state employees today. Please let your fellow workers know that the legislature is again working with TSEA to protect your benefits during these challenging times for state employees.
2016 Health Insurance Changes
At the conclusion of both the May and June State Insurance Committee meetings, the committee approved the 2016 changes described below that includes a new health plan option called a Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP) with Health Savings Account (HSA), benefit changes, a premium increase, and the Partnership For Health (PFH) plan requirements:
What are some highlights of the CDHP/HSA plan?
• Premiums are lower with a higher deductible
• The higher deductible is offset by lower premiums and HSA funds, including a contribution by the state.
• A HSA is a tax-exempt medical savings account available to members enrolled in a CDHP that meets certain IRS guidelines.
• The state will contribute $500 for single coverage, and $1000 for family coverage to the employee’s HSA; the employee will also want to contribute to their HSA account.
• Money from the HSA is used to pay for out of pocket qualified medical costs.
• The intent is to make this plan as close as possible to cost neutral for the member while allowing them to invest in the HSA for future health related expenses
• The money contributed to an HSA remains in the employee’s account and can only be used for medical expenses. Unused money in your HSA isn’t forfeited if you leave state government. It is yours to keep and use for health related expenses and continues to grow on a tax-deferred basis.
Employees must make a careful assessment to determine if the new plan option may be best for them and their families as more information becomes available in the months ahead. The state will begin sending information to employees the latter part of July or early August.
The objective is to slow or stop the advancement of chronic disease for those with such challenges; and encourage healthy members to remain healthy.
Requirements for next year are:
• Well-being Assessment (WBA)
• Complete a biometric health screening
• Participate in health coaching/case management if contacted by HealthWays
• Update your contact information immediately whenever there is a change
• New employees have 120 days from their insurance coverage effective date to complete the WBA and biometric health screening
PLEASE NOTE: The Annual Enrollment Transfer Period this year will be September 15 – October 15 for active employees. This is a month earlier than in previous years so please keep this in mind. Retirees will have between September 15 and October 30 to make enrollment changes.
For more information, check out the July/August Co-Worker, hitting mailboxes next week!