Monday, March 25, 2013The state health plan will see changes in FY 2014. FY 2014 begins July 1, 2013. The South Dakota Bureau of Human Resources proposed to the 2013 Legislature the following changes, all of which were accepted and approved as part of the budgeting process:
- 5% dependent premium increase for all plans.
- The FY 2013 rates for active employees in 2013 are here. Apply 5% to the applicable rate with a dependent to find the FY 2014 rate, which begins on July 1. Example: Employee and One Child - FY 2013 rate is $41.35 semimonthly; FY 2014 is $43.42 semimonthly; that's a 5% increase of $2.07 semimonthly.
- 12% retiree premium increase.
- The FY 2013 rates for retirees are here. Apply 12% to the applicable rate to find the FY 2014 rate.
- 5% COBRA increase.
- Co-pays removed on $500 and $1,000 deductible plans, except the ER co-pay, which remains.
The employee cost of these changes is $5.6 million; that's the amount of increase that users of the state health plan will pay over their cost in FY 2013. The $5.6 million comes from an additional $1.1 million in premiums, and $4.5 million in member cost sharing.
The state's costs are increasing as well. FY 2014 will see the state invest an additional $12.3 million in the health plan. The Legislature, in Appropriations, decided against a proposed wellness plan that would have cost an additional $8.1 million. That wellness plan would have alleviated the cost born by employees with the premium and cost-sharing changes because the bulk of the funds would have gone to employees who successfully completed quarterly wellness initiatives. There will be exploration and discussion of wellness initiatives over the summer.
Categories: Appropriations Committee, Benefits, Bureau of Human Resources, Health, Legislative, Lifetime Members, Member
Wednesday, September 19, 2012The SDSEO executive board met this past weekend. As executive director, I thought the meeting went well. Past SDSEO president Fred Nelson was a guest speaker, and he made an excellent presentation about how executive boards and executive directors can serve their organization and their membership. While Nelson's presentation was "on the mark" and will no doubt positively affect the SDSEO and all it does for quite some time, perhaps the best part of him being there was simply him being there.
While the board members and myself were able to take from him his knowledge, in interacting with him, we were able to give him deeper insight into ourselves and the organization as it stands today, insight which he will then take to others. Note how I say "will then take" and not "can" or "might." In science, we may have "every action is met with an opposite but equal reaction," but in communication, you can leave out the "opposite"; in communication, you typically get what you give, so "every action is met with an equal reaction." Just as I'm talking up Nelson and his presentation, I'm certain he's doing the same for the executive board and me. That's why it's important for the SDSEO and all of its members and supporters to "spread the word, with positivity" about the SDSEO and everything we are and everything we do.
If you haven't seen the News page, know that State Employees Day will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. It'll be in the President's and Speaker's lobbies off the Senate and House floors, respectively. I'm thinking we'll do ice cream and brownies or something along those lines. Everybody is welcome to attend. I do hope to have a good turnout of both state employees and of SDSEO members.
The Department of Human Resources put out a new Benefit News Briefing on Sept. 14. Here's a PDF. Here are some highlights:
- There's a blood drive tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 20) in Pierre.
- Walgreen's is up and running as a pharmacy provider for the state employee health plan.
- There's a fitness challenge for what should be a nice hybrid bike, some helmets, and a couple bike racks. (Note from Eric: Please try to take advantage of the opportunities you have as a state employee to improve your physical fitness. It helps the state to have fit, healthy employees, and it helps you to be fit and healthy as well. Everybody wins.)
- There's a section on what kind of medical provider you need, based upon your symptoms.
- There are a couple road-race plugs. More fitness!
Categories: Benefits News Briefing, Bureau of Human Resources, Executive Board, Health, Legislative, Meetings, State Employees Day
Wednesday, August 15, 2012(The quotation marks in today's post are mine and do not indicate a statement by anybody other than myself.) I spoke with someone who has been placed into the state's new "cost control" system for those with chronic conditions and who are on the state's health plan. The key part of the system is "case managers" who are to contact and monitor those with have been identified as being "high cost." If one relies on anecdotal evidence, I guess things are kind of "buggy" with the system, with the case manager component having the most bugs. If you are placed into the cost control system, please email or call me and let me know what you think about how the case managers operate. Call at 1-800-257-3736 or at (605) 224-8241, or email the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (email@example.com).
Categories: Bureau of Human Resources, Health, Member, SDSEO Office