• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

State Employee Benefits Committee Makes Significant Changes to Health Benefits and Vendor Contracts

BySamantha Nguyen

Mar 27, 2024
Delaware state workers will experience an increase in health insurance premiums

The State Employee Benefits Committee (SEBC) has made several significant decisions regarding benefits and vendor contracts. One of the most notable decisions was the decline to continue enhanced COVID-19 benefits, meaning that employees will now have to pay pre-COVID-19 costs for services such as primary care visits, hospital stays, and telemedicine. In addition, the SEBC awarded Highmark Delaware with the operation of the Medicare Supplement Plan for retirees for a two-year term starting on January 1, 2025, with the option of a one-year extension. This decision comes after a lawsuit two years ago by retirees against the SEBC’s plan to move retirees to a Medicare Advantage Plan through Highmark, which was successfully blocked by the advocacy group RiseDelaware.

Policy director Shaun O’Brien of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees voted against these decisions, expressing concerns over the lack of transparency and reliability of the committee. State Representative Paul Baumbach also voiced similar concerns, stating that retirees felt deceived by previous decisions and that the committee needed to be held accountable. Baumbach mentioned that he is sponsoring legislation aimed at increasing the transparency and accountability of the SEBC.

The SEBC also approved changes to address disparities in access to care for mental health, substance abuse, and medical treatment. Additionally, they approved enhanced benefits like wigs and mastectomy bras for women but did not approve cooling caps. The total cost of these changes to employee health plans was estimated to be between $507,000 and $557,000. These decisions made by the SEBC will have a significant impact on state employee benefits and the cost of healthcare services moving forward.

In conclusion, The State Employee Benefits Committee (SEBC) recently made several important decisions regarding benefits and vendor contracts. These decisions include declining enhanced COVID-19 benefits for employees while awarding Highmark Delaware with a Medicare Supplement Plan for retirees contract for two years starting January 1st 2025 with an option for one more year extension. These moves come after successful legal challenges from advocacy groups that prevented previous plans from being implemented.

It is important that policy directors like Shaun O’Brien voice their concerns over lack of transparency and reliability in order to hold committees accountable while state representatives like Paul Baumbach push legislation towards increased transparency in healthcare policies.

Finally it’s worth noting that these changes will result in higher costs for employee health plans as well as potentially impacting access to care for some individuals due to disparities in treatment options or financial burdens associated with certain treatments or conditions.

By Samantha Nguyen

As a content writer at newsskio.com, I weave words to craft compelling narratives that captivate readers and bring stories to life. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I strive to create engaging and informative content that resonates with our audience. Whether I'm delving into the latest news trends or exploring unique angles on various topics, my goal is to deliver quality content that informs, entertains, and inspires. Join me on this journey as we uncover the news stories that matter most.

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