Last year, when PEBB implemented the Health Engagement Model (HEM) it
was done with very little union input
Last year, when
PEBB implemented the Health Engagement Model (HEM) it was done with very little
union input. PEBB created a system based on a surcharge for those that did not
join the HEM, which angered a number of our members.
AFSCME heard you and has worked through our joint
AFSCME/SEIU/AEE labor -management HEM Committee and PEBB to work to improve the
system. The HEM Committee team has met monthly to review other HEM type
programs and recommend improvements. The union has paid particular attention to
trying to achieve a model based on incentives and doing away with surcharges.
Recently, the PEBB Board met to discuss the plan design issues around HEM for
next year.PEBB has some financial
flexibility because of lower utilization and a higher forecast for reserves.
The joint AFSCME /SEIU/AEE labor-management team made
a recommendation to PEBB to do away with the surcharge to non-participants and
create an incentive for participants. They recommended this with no
disincentive. Oregon AFSCME Executive Director Ken Allen met with Gov.
Kitzhaber and his staff twice to try and get management to support a plan based
purely on incentives and they opposed it. PEBB also considered this proposal
but deadlocked in a 4-4 tie.
A management team member then proposed eliminating
the surcharge, creating an incentive for participants and increasing the
deductible for non-participants by $250. This proposal failed on a 4-4 tie.
Another management team member then proposed
eliminating the surcharge for non-participants, creating an incentive for
participants and increasing the deductible for non-participants by $100. This
Our PEBB Board member, Diane Lovell, voted for this
last proposal. She did this because it eliminated the surcharge, which many of
our members opposed, and created an incentive. It did include a higher
deductible for people who choose not to participate, but it is a much smaller
disincentive then the surcharge now in place. Without voting for this proposal
the surcharge would have stayed in place for 2013 and no incentive would have
The creation of the incentive gives participating
members $210 to $420 more money in their pockets. About 75 percent of state
employees are participants.The elimination of
the surcharge also saves $210 to $420 for our non-participants, though some
will have to pay the slightly higher deductible.
This vote was about eliminating the surcharge and
creating an incentive. It puts money in our members' pockets starting Jan. 1,