Friday, April 19, 2024

Sample Email Support SB 5169 SB 5625

Dear Senator Last Name,

I am a retired public employee urging you to support SB 5169 and SB 5625.  Please protect retirees by helping to move these bills out of committee before cutoff.

One of the many reasons that I dedicated my career to public service was to earn retirement benefits.  Among those benefits is access to high-quality health insurance plans offered through the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB).  Unfortunately, this benefit has recently come under attack.

In June 2022, the Health Care Authority (HCA), which oversees PEBB, attempted to eliminate Uniform Medical Plan (UMP) Classic Medicare, the most popular insurance plan offered to PEBB retirees.  The plan is popular because it has excellent benefits and does not deny claims.  Many older people, especially those with complex health needs, value knowing that their medical needs will always be covered.

In their attempt to eliminate UMP Classic Medicare, HCA and PEBB acted without seeking any input from retirees.  Over 300 retirees attended the June PEBB meeting to voice their opposition to the elimination of the plan, causing HCA to back down.  The plan is still being offered, for now.  Our opposition effort also resulted in PEBB and HCA committing to conduct a stakeholder engagement process in 2023.

SB 5169 & SB 5625 are both essential to safeguarding PEBB health insurance benefits.

SB 5169 will ensure that UMP Classic Medicare continues to be offered to retirees.  It will also direct HCA to report the findings of their stakeholder engagement process to the Legislature.  Please encourage the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care to pass this bill before cutoff.

SB 5625 will create an office of retiree ombuds to advocate for retirees and make sure they receive the benefits they earned.  This position will provide much needed oversight to HCA and make sure that retirees have the tools and information they need to make decisions about their health care and pensions.  Please encourage the Senate Committee on Ways & Means to pass this bill before cutoff.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Your home address

Retired Public Employees Council of Washington Member

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