2022 PEBB Medical Premiums Available
The PEB Board has approved the Non-Medicare and Medicare Retiree premiums for 2022. The Uniform Medical Plan-Classic Medicare (UMP) premium will rise by $28.57 per month (9%), while most other plans will have increases as small as $0.57 per month or in some cases slight decreases in premiums. This is a continuation of a troubling trend for those on UMP who have seen an 87% increase in premiums since 2011. The full breakdown of 2020 Non-Medicare and Medicare Retiree Premiums can be found here:
UMP continues to face cost pressures from specialty medications which are often wildly expensive and do not have generic alternatives. Over 59% of the drug costs to the UMP program come from just 1% of drugs utilized by members. This cost pressure is compounded because of the design of the UMP plan. Once a member reaches their yearly $2000 out of pocket maximum, UMP pays the remaining costs for a member’s drugs for the rest of the year. UMP is also not eligible to receive drug manufacturer subsidies or other sources of reimbursement that Part D Plans utilize. A report from the Health Care Authority that outlines the structural issues that cause the price increases for UMP can be found here: 2021 PEBB Medicare Pharmacy Landscape Report
RPEC members have had success in recent years raising the state’s monthly contribution to the Medicare Premium, but that has not kept up with the premium increases in UMP. RPEC will be exploring additional options to ease the pressure those on UMP are facing including further increases to the state’s contribution and exploring possible federal legislation to allow for greater flexibility with plans like UMP.
As open enrollment season approaches, It is important for retirees to evaluate their options for coverage carefully and to seek out qualified and un-biased advice if they have questions. The Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program from OIC can provide free, unbiased and confidential help with Medicare and health care choices to people of all ages and backgrounds. They can be reached at 800-562-6900.