Articles for category Health Care
Anne Stausboll, Chief Executive Officer for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) issued the following statement today in response to the proposed state budget and efforts to reduce health care costs today and in the future:
"Managing and paying for the cost of health care for public employees requires discipline, collaboration and innovation. We applaud the Governor’s wisdom to do what CalPERS and many public employers have done in recent years, tackling the cost of health care and retiree health care," Stausboll said.
Kaiser Permanente's HMOs are the best in the state for providing recommended care, while Anthem Blue Cross and Cigna are the best at providing recommended care among PPOs, according to new report cards released by the California Office of the Patient Advocate, the Los Angeles Times reports (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 10/16).
The report cards -- which usually go out in January -- were released early to coincide with the state health insurance exchange's second open enrollment period, which begins on Nov. 15 (Shinkman, Payers & Providers, 10/16).
About 40,000 CalPERS state retiree members were asked in December 2013 to verify whether their dependents are eligible to receive CalPERS health care benefits, but about 3,400 dependents remained unverified by May 1 even after several notifications, CalPERS reported May 6.
Ordinarily, when increases in employer and employee pension contributions are discussed, we would be the first to question the need for such increases. But the current reality shows it is prudent to adjust contributions in light of the updated actuarial assumptions. Members are living longer. Hence the long term stability of the fund outweighs knee jerk objections in our estimation.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s (CalPERS) Pension and Health Benefits Committee (PHBC) today recommended the Board of Administration approve a 2014 health care package that would raise overall premiums next year by an average of 3 percent for the Pension Fund’s nearly 1.3 million health program members, the lowest average increase since 1998. The rate is lower than the 9.6 percent increase in 2013. If the full Board approves the new premium rates, they will take effect January 1, 2014.
CalPERS is moving to strike from government health care rolls tens of thousands of people it believes are mistakenly or fraudulently receiving benefits.
The fund, which is the second-largest health care purchaser in the nation after the federal government, figured last year that removing an estimated 29,000 wrongly listed children, spouses and domestic partners of government employees would save approximately $40 million annually.
CalPERS retirees should do nothing with the letter they received in September asking them whether they want to “opt out” of Medicare Part D, according to CalPERS officials.
CalPERS is converting from the Medicare Part D Retiree Drug Subsidy Program (RDS) to a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) for Medicare-eligible members. Blue Shield and CVS Caremark are administering the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) for CalPERS effective Jan. 1, 2013, and they are responsible for sending the letters.
These plans are Employer Group Waiver Plans (EGWP), governed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The centers require that health plans offer members a choice to opt out of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. This opt-out provision was not a requirement under the Medicare Part D Retiree Drug Subsidy Program.
It's an old-age safety net offered to California public employees: insurance to cover the exorbitant cost of staying in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and the like.
Now most of the 150,000 or so Californians who buy long-term care insurance from CalPERS are facing what could be a big rate hike.
CalPERS is considering imposing a 75 percent increase in premiums on the vast majority of its long-term care policyholders. They would pay hundreds of dollars a year more – thousands, in some cases – as the California Public Employees' Retirement System tries to fix financial holes in the program.
When the nation's second largest purchaser of health care gets socked with a big rate hike, lots of people pay the price.
CalPERS' governing board approved an average 9.5 percent increase in premiums Wednesday, a move that will hurt taxpayers and public employees statewide. Given CalPERS' size and influence, it could affect health care premiums in the private sector, too.
The new rates will cost the average CalPERS member an extra $30 a month starting in January. State and local agencies will pay millions more, too.
"That is a lot," said Paul Ginsburg, who runs a health care think tank in Washington, reacting to CalPERS' announcement.
CalPERS today approved a roughly 9.5 percent increase in health insurance premiums. The pension fund's governing board voted unanimously to approve the increase, which will cost the average CalPERS member another $30 a month in premiums. The increase takes effect Jan. 1.
It represents one of the biggest increases in years for CalPERS, which covers 1.3 million public workers and retirees and is one of the largest purchasers of the health care in the nation.