PEBB's February For Your Benefit newsletter now available
The Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program's For Your Benefit newsletter is your source for information and updates about your health benefits.
In this issue...
- Top 10 things to know about your PEBB coverage
Learn what the new year means for your PEBB benefits. Know your deductible amounts and benefit limits, when you need a referral to see a provider, how to find a network provider, how to update your contact information, and more.
- New law protects you from surprise billing
When you go to a network facility, such as a hospital, you might receive services from an out-of-network provider (such as a surgeon, anesthesiologist, radiologist, or laboratory services). In the past, that out-of-network provider could send you a "surprise bill" or "balance bill" that you weren’t expecting. Thanks to the Balance Billing Protection Act that took effect in Washington last month, you’re protected from out-of-network providers or facilities charging you a balance bill in some situations.
- New requirements for mental health and substance use disorder providers
Brennen’s Law went into effect in January, changing how health plans communicate about mental health and substance use disorder treatment providers and services.
The law requires all health insurance carriers in Washington to post information on their websites describing the carrier’s ability to ensure timely access to care for mental health and substance use disorder. They must also maintain provider networks that offer members reasonable access to these covered services.
- How is my PEBB medical plan premium set?
Each spring, the Health Care Authority and the medical plans work together to develop next year’s premiums. First, the plans submit proposed rates to the PEBB Program. They base these rates on their costs for providing health care to PEBB members in past years, and their estimated costs for the next year.
- Coming soon: Nationwide PEBB Medicare Advantage plans with Medicare Part D coverage
Starting in January 2021, pending approval by the PEB Board and funding from the state legislature, the PEBB Program will add up to two new Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage (MAPD). These plans will be available nationwide to PEBB retirees and PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) members enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. Members will be able to see any provider who accepts Medicare.
- Be your best with SmartHealth
SmartHealth is a voluntary wellness program included in your PEBB benefits at no extra cost. It supports you on your journey toward living well. Note: SmartHealth is not available to subscribers enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.
- Virtual Diabetes Prevention Program
Over 2,970 employees have already joined the virtual Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) powered by Omada. Collectively, they’ve lost 23,298 pounds since January 2019—and that’s just the beginning. The best part is, your PEBB medical plan will cover the entire cost of DPP.
- Use it or lose it: Medical FSA and DCAP deadlines are coming
If you enrolled in a Medical Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) or the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) last year, you have deadlines to spend your 2019 funds.
Note: If someone in your family enrolled in SEBB benefits for 2020, this information does not apply to them. Visit Navia Benefit Solutions to learn more about the SEBB Medical FSA and DCAP.
- Have you checked your beneficiaries lately?
Make sure your money goes where you want it to. Keep your beneficiaries up-to-date on your PEBB accounts. Any time you have a major life event, it’s a good time to review your policies.
If you don’t, you may find that your beneficiaries are not who they should be—especially if you have married, divorced, or had children.
- Sign up! Email service brings you PEBB news faster
Save time, paper, and mailing costs by signing up for the PEBB Program’s email subscription service.