SEBB Program benefits: Affordable, transparent, equitable

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

It started with an idea.

Back in 2012, the Legislature passed a bill (Senate Bill 5940) to address concerns about the affordability of K-12 employees’ health insurance. Fast forward a few years, a few more bills and a lot of work, and the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) Program is gearing up for its first-ever open enrollment.

There are several benefits to having the Health Care Authority (HCA) administer the SEBB Program, including:

  • We can leverage the purchasing power of a consolidated group of 140,000 K-12 employees. HCA already purchases insurance for state employees and focuses on the state’s commitment to value-based purchasing — a strategy many employers use to improve the quality and value of health care services provided to their employees.
  • The SEBB Program offers its medical benefits with a 3:1 premium tier ratio, which means that the most an employee will pay to cover their dependents each month (spouse or state-registered domestic partner and children) is no more than three times the employee-only rate for any given plan.
  • There’s no mystery to the plan costs. Employees will know the monthly cost for every available plan option before annual open enrollment begins. The goal is to provide an affordable option for a variety of health care needs. K-12 employees will know before they make their benefit election how affordable their plan is — and their monthly premium amount won’t change throughout the plan year. Affordability makes health care benefits more equitable around the state. No matter where an employee works or what their role is within the district, they can qualify for benefits and pay the same monthly premiums as long as they’re anticipated to work 630 hours in a school year.

It’s affordable. It’s transparent. It’s equitable.

It’s the SEBB Program.