SEB Board considers impacts of COVID-19 on program

Thu, 06/25/2020

On June 24, 2020, the School Employees Benefits Board (SEB Board) met telephonically to hear presentations and consider proposed resolutions.

Meeting recap

The following information was presented to the SEB Board during the June 24 meeting. See the briefing book for all materials presented.

Operations update

Dave Iseminger, Employees and Retirees Benefits (ERB) Division director, updated the Board on two topics. First, he shared that the Kaiser plans have extended their waiving of cost shares for COVID-19 treatments through December 31, 2020. Second, Iseminger described ongoing dependent eligibility audit work by the agency and recent outreach to almost 760 school employees as part of the audit.

Fiscal impact

Iseminger and Megan Atkinson, HCA chief financial officer, reported on the state budget and the possible fiscal impact to the SEBB Program.

Proposed resolutions

Rob Parkman, ERB policy and rules coordinator, presented proposed resolution SEBB 2020-09, which amends resolution SEBB 2018-36 regarding eligibility presumed based on hours worked the previous two school years. The proposed resolution reads:

SEBB 2018-36 is amended to add the bold text [below] to the end of the second bullet. SEBB 2018-36 would then read:

A school employee is presumed eligible if they:

  • Worked at least 630 hours in each of previous two school years; and
  • Are returning to the same type of position (teacher, paraeducator, food service worker, custodian, etc.) or combination of positions with the same SEBB Organization. To count as the same type of position, both the type of work and the work pattern (consistent schedule compared to an intermittent schedule) must be similar between positions or combinations of positions from one year to the next.

A SEBB Organization rebuts this presumption by notifying the school employee, in writing, of the specific reasons why the employee is not anticipated to work at least 630 hours in the current school year and how to appeal the eligibility determination.

Affect of SB 6189 on "two-year look back" method

Parkman discussed Section 5 of Senate Bill 6189, regarding school employees’ continued eligibility through the Governor’s declared COVID-19 state of emergency, and how it relates to the “two-year look-back” eligibility method. He made recommendations for the Board to consider, regarding how to address the impact on school employees.

Proposed benefit changes

Lauren Johnston, SEBB procurement manager, presented proposed changes in benefits of the SEBB Program, including:

  • New hearing instrument benefits
  • Service area changes
  • New health facility partners in the UMP Plus plan
  • Adding a virtual diabetes program and bariatric surgery to Premera Blue Cross plans
  • Adding a fourth coverage tier for certain products under Davis Vision
  • Expansion to full live-or-work coverage for all plans except the UMP Plus plans

The Board met in executive session and then adjourned.

Next meeting

The next public meeting of the SEB Board is scheduled for July 16. The meeting may be held telephonically. If so, Board members and the public may only be able to attend via telephone. The call-in number will be noted on the meeting agenda, which will be posted on the SEBB Program Meetings and materials webpage.

For more information

You can find more information on the SEBB Program webpage.