Monday, April 15, 2024

Public Employees Benefits Board Meeting Recap

Public Employees Benefits Board Meeting Recap

Yesterday, the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) met to discuss a wide range of topics of interest to both active employees and public sector retirees.  You can read the entire briefing packet from the meeting here.

The Health Care Authority (HCA) provided an informative presentation about the pharmacy provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. This presentation was provided because if PEBB votes in April to change the pharmacy benefit for Uniform Medical Plan (UMP) Classic Medicare, the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act will apply to UMP Classic Medicare subscribers. Click here to review the Power Point presentation. Some of the key highlights of this legislation include:

  • Restructuring the Plan D benefit.
  • Capping out-of-pocket pharmacy costs at $2,000 in 2025.
  • Enabling the federal government to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers to increase prescription affordability for seniors.
  • Limiting manufacturers’ ability to increase drug prices at a higher rate of inflation.
  • Capping insulin cost share at $35 per month.

HCA staff also gave a thorough presentation about the proposed new pharmacy benefit for UMP Classic Medicare. You can review the Power Point here. RPEC’s Legislative Committee endorsed the proposed new pharmacy benefit, as a strategy for reducing the overall monthly premium costs for subscribers of this plan. By making this plan more affordable, the new benefit, if adopted in April by the PEB Board, will help to ensure that an employer-managed plan remains in the mix of healthcare plan options available to public sector retirees. Currently, all but two plans are privatized. Preserving traditional Medicare continues to be a key federal priority for RPEC, in addition to preserving these options for the public sector retirees in Washington.

The PEB Board will action on the proposed new pharmacy benefit on April 11. The agenda and meeting materials will be available here.

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