Delaware state workers will experience an increase in health insurance premiums

State Employee Benefits Committee Makes Important Healthcare Decisions: Enhanced COVID-19 Benefits End, New Contract Awarded for Medicare Supplement Plan for Retirees”.

The State Employee Benefits Committee (SEBC) recently made several important decisions regarding benefits and vendor contracts. One of the key decisions was the decline to continue enhanced COVID-19 benefits, meaning that employees will now pay pre-COVID-19 costs for services like primary care visits, hospital stays, and telemedicine. Additionally, 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.

These decisions come after a lawsuit two years ago by retirees against the SEBC’s plan to move retirees to a Medicare Advantage Plan through Highmark, a move that was successfully blocked by the advocacy group RiseDelaware. However, policy director Shaun O’Brien of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees voted against these decisions and expressed concerns over their lack of transparency and reliability. State Representative Paul Baumbach also voiced similar concerns and stated 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 transparency and accountability in healthcare decision making.

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. These changes are estimated to cost between $507,000 and $557,000. The total cost of these changes will have a significant impact on state employee benefits and healthcare services moving forward.

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