PEB Board reviews plan changes and Medicare premiums

Tue, 06/15/2021

On June 9, 2021, the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEB Board) met virtually. The meeting was open to the public via Zoom.

Meeting recap

Highlights of the meeting are listed below. See the briefing book for all presentation materials.

  • Staff presented an update of the annual procurement process.
    • Medicare premiums were presented publicly at this meeting. The Board will vote on them at the June 30 meeting.
    • Non-Medicare premiums will be presented publicly at the Board meeting in mid-July. The Board will vote on the rates at the end of July.
  • Staff explained an IRS increase to the annual maximum subscriber contribution to health savings accounts (HSA) from $3,600 for single subscribers and $7,200 for all other tiers to $3,650 and $7,300, respectively. This affects all PEBB consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs).
  • Staff presented potential benefit changes for 2022 for Uniform Medical Plan (UMP), including:
    • Removing the coinsurance for mental health and substance use disorder inpatient professional services in UMP Classic, UMP Select, and UMP Plus.
    • UMP Plus–Puget Sound High Value Network will not be available in Thurston County for 2022. The 472 affected members will receive notices from the PEBB Program and their plans. Thurston County members can choose from eight other PEBB health plans.
  • Staff presented potential benefit changes for 2022 for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest (KPNW) including:
    • Changing naturopathy visits from specialty care to primary care, from provider referral to self-referral only.
    • Adding 12 self-referral visits for acupuncture care.
    • Removing the annual dollar limit on the massage benefit and allowing self-referrals.
    • Allowing self-referrals for rehabilitation services without prior authorization.
    • Covering routine and necessary dental services before a patient can be placed on a list for organ transplant.
  • Staff presented potential benefit changes for 2022 for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington (KPWA) including:
    • Adding in-home infusion therapy to all plans.
    • Removing cost shares for two urine drug screenings per year.
  • Staff presented an overview of Medicare premiums for 2022.
  • Staff presented an overview of pharmacy trends for Medicare plans.
  • Staff introduced the following proposed resolutions for consideration at the June 30, 2021 Board meeting:
    • PEBB 2021-16, which allows UMP subscribers to transfer accumulators (such as deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, and visit limits) to another UMP plan
    • PEBB 2021-17, which endorses the Medicare Explicit Subsidy at $183 or 50 percent of premium, whichever is less
    • PEBB 2021-18, endorsing the KPNW Medicare plan premiums
    • PEBB 2021-19, endorsing the KPWA Medicare plan premiums
    • PEBB 2021-20, endorsing the UMP Medicare plan premiums
    • PEBB 2021-21, endorsing the UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plus Prescription Drug (MAPD) plan premiums
    • PEBB 2021-22, endorsing the Premera Medicare Supplement plan premiums

Next meeting

The next public meeting of the PEB Board is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. on June 30. Board members and the public may attend virtually via Zoom. The link or call-in number will be noted on the meeting agenda, which will be posted on the PEB Board Meetings and materials webpage.