CalPERS Considers Benefit Changes
The CalPERS Health Committee on Tuesday at a meeting in Sacramento will consider several proposals that would reduce health benefits for thousands of members to help address increased health care costs, the Los Angeles Times reports. CalPERS has not revised health benefits for five years.
Under the proposals, CalPERS would require members who seek care at hospitals to make copayments of $250 and those who seek care at ambulatory clinics to make copays of $25. Copays for emergency department visits would increase to $75 from $50.
CalPERS also would eliminate HMOs in several rural counties and add a third Blue Cross of California PPO. The new PPO would have about half the number of physicians as the current two PPOs but would have 7.5% lower premiums.
According to CalPERS officials, the proposals would save an estimated $120 million from premium increases next year and would not affect quality of care.
Jarvio Grevious, deputy executive officer of benefits administration for CalPERS, said, "We need to look at some cost sharing. We want to offer opportunities and incentives to our members, so they get their care at the most appropriate settings."
Public employee labor unions oppose the proposals (Yi, Los Angeles Times, 6/19).