The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 18, 2013
CalPERS committee unveils health premium rates for 2014

CALPERS_COURTYARD_JAY_MATHER_2005.JPGA CalPERS committee today recommended 2014 health insurance rates that collectively increase premiums by 3.03 percent, the lowest benefit increase since 1998.

The Pension and Health Benefits Committee's recommendations include an average increase of nearly 6 percent for some plans while lowering prices for some Medicare coverages by almost 9 percent.

Premiums for the fund's Basic HMO coverage will increase by a combined average 3.81 percent next year while Medicare HMO plans will see a 5.76 percent hike.

The cost of CalPERS' Basic preferred provider organization plans will increase by an average 2.51 percent next year. Medicare PPOrates will fall an average 8.7 percent.

Premiums for health plans covering Highway Patrol officers, correctional officers and other law enforcement personnel are set to increase by an average 5.98 percent for the basic plans and 2.22 percent for Medicare coverages.

The fund's full Board of Administration will vote on the 2014 premium schedules on Wednesday. If approved, the new rates take effect Jan. 1, 2014

The system spends $7 billion annually on health care and its 2013 premiums rose an average of 9.6 percent over last year, the biggest rate hike in years.

Earlier this year in an effort to hold down costs, CalPERS ended Blue Shield of California's virtual monopoly of the fund's HMO business. Next year, Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net, Sharp and United Health Care will get some of the 400,000 or so members who have HMO coverage through the fund.

These links provide more details about today's news:

Pension and Health Benefits Committee agenda (scroll down to item 6)
2014 HMO premiums
2014 PPO premiums
Law enforcement association plans

PHOTO: A courtyard at CalPERS' Sacramento headquarters. The Sacramento Bee/Jay Mather

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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