The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

May 7, 2013
From the Notebook: CalPERS' health-care verification program

Thumbnail image for NOTEBOOK_use_this.jpgCalPERS' decision to get tougher on dependent eligibility checks for medical insurance presents a ticklish public relations challenge for an agency that has long prided its customer service-oriented reputation.

If the system's amnesty message is too feeble, it will be ignored. Come on too strong, and CalPERS risks backlash from offended employees and retirees.

April 30, 2012
Read the report: Preventable diseases cost CalPERS millions of dollars

A new study says that CalPERS could have saved between $18 million and $54 million in 2008 health care costs if more of the fund's members warded off common diseases such as diabetes and hypertension with diet and exercise.

Talk show host and health advocate Dr. Mehmet Oz, SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker, Controller John Chiang and Treasurer Bill Lockyer will unveil the Urban Institute study and a new pilot program to promote wellness at a 1:30 p.m. press event at the California Museum.

Researchers looked at the health records of nearly 556,000 state employees and their dependents who are covered by one of nine CalPERS health plans.

Click here for a short item in today's Bee with more details about the study, which is posted below.

Potential Savings Through Prevention of Avoidable Chronic Illness Among CalPERS State Active Members

May 3, 2011
CalPERS to launch retiree 'ambassador' program

The California Public Employees' Retirement System wants to sign up retired members to help it build support for defined-benefit public pensions via the fund's new "ambassador program," which launches in a little more than three weeks.

The idea, according to this California State Employees Association website announcement, is to "identify individual stakeholders and build relationships to support the mutual goal of maintaining retirement security in California."

CalPERS is hosting the inaugrual ambassadors' meeting on May 26 from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at CalPERS headquarters, Lincoln Plaza North 1170.

Rachel Pitts, spokeswoman for the Retired Public Employees Association , said today that fund CEO Anne Stausboll will address the ambassadors' meeting, communications experts will talk about how to discuss pension policy and that CalPERS actuaries will make a presentation about the fund's finances.

The goal, Pitts said, is to get at least 30 people to attend the kickoff meeting.

On a related note, your humble blogger spent a few hours today with RPEA members as they lobbied lawmakers at the Capitol. (That's where we heard about the ambassador's program.) We're planning to write more about the experience for our Thursday State Worker column.

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


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