On September 30, the State Group Insurance Committee met for the purpose of approving recommended plan document changes as presented by Benefits Administration. Any plan document changes require the committee’s approval. The Plan document changes presented by B.A. encompass previously approved actions by the Legislature and previously approved changes by the State Insurance Committee earlier in the year.
Recommended Plan Document changes for 2016 include:
- Modifications to allow for reimbursement of actual fuel expenses for travel associated with authorized transplant benefits and unique care exceptions;
- Clarifying eligibility and enrollment provisions to the Medicare Supplement Plan allowing retirees of new agencies joining the insurance plan to forego medical underwriting;
- Clarification that new agency, post-65 retirees and dependents are only eligible for enrollment in the Medicare Supplement option and that participation in the active plan should be limited to the under 65 population, except where individuals are never eligible for Medicare;
- Modifying the plan document to permit claims payments for Telehealth program providers approved by the plan;
- Provided updated language to clarify 2016 options offered for the new Wellness HealthSavings CDHP/HSA and HealthSavings CDHP/HAS (not Partnership Promise);
- Recommendation that the end date for central state employees in the group insurance plan coverage be moved to the last day of the month the employee actually separated state government. In addition, for central state employees the basic and voluntary products would follow the same coverage policy.
Proposed plan document changes A-E were approved with all committee members voting Yes.
Proposed change F also was approved by the committee, with TSEA Representative Gayle Robb voting “NO.” TSEA believes this change could prove harmful to employees who for many years have benefited from having that additional month of insurance coverage, of which the employee pays 20% of the premium, as they are transitioning to another employer. This coincides with the approved benefit change effective July 1, which moves back the effective date of insurance coverage for newly hired state employees.
The State Insurance Committee also approved a 1.3% increase for the Medicare Supplement Plan effective January 1, 2016. The last premium increase was 2% in 2014.
In addition, the Committee approved a reduced premium increase of 5.5% for the Voluntary Term Life Plan offered through Minnesota Life, instead of the originally approved 7.5% increase.
For questions about any of this information, please contact TSEA Compensation and Benefits Staff at 1-800-251-8732.