Dear Senator Last Name,
I am a retired public employee urging you to support SSB 5169. Please protect retirees by helping to move these bills out of Ways & Means 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.
SSB 5169 will ensure that retirees who get health insurance through PEBB will be allowed to have a voice in the plans that are offered. It will direct HCA to report the findings of their stakeholder engagement process to the Legislature and use it to make plan decisions. Please encourage the Senate Committee on Ways & Means to schedule this bill for a public hearing and executive session before cutoff.
Your home address
Retired Public Employees Council of Washington Member