Starting July 1, your state employee out-of-pocket healthcare costs will decrease. In his November 2012 budget proposal, Gov. Hickenlooper allocated $186 million ($21M more than last year) for Health/Life/Dental (H/L/D) premiums. This was still not enough to cover the rising premium costs, but WINS members secured additional funding from the legislature to cover H/L/D premium increases and are working to further reduce the cost of healthcare. Colorado WINS was the only organization actively working to reduce healthcare costs in our state.
According to documents from the Dept. of Personnel and Administration, employees should actually see a slight decrease in healthcare premium costs.
Statewide wellness program
Elected WINS Healthcare Representatives have been working in partnership with the Dept. of Personnel and Administration (DPA) to find healthcare cost-containment methods. A solution currently on the table is a statewide wellness program, which promotes healthier behaviors, offers incentives to participate and could be up and running by July 1, 2013.
“We have made progress towards a meaningful financial rebate for those who voluntarily choose to participate,” said Denise Rogers Piel, a WINS Healthcare Representative and Dept. of Corrections employee.
Colorado WINS members have been steadfast in making sure that any Wellness program must include:
- Meaningful financial incentive to participate
- Clear participation triggers to receive incentive
- Employee oversight and an institutional role for Colorado WINS
A good portion of the wellness discussion has centered around what it would take to encourage employees to be healthier. If you have questions or would like to contribute to our wellness program discussion, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Child Health Plan Plus and Supplement Program
The statewide Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) has been expanded to allow health coverage for the underage and pregnant dependents of state employees (spouses, same-gender domestic partners and children of employees).
CHP+ rules require a three-month waiting period without insurance coverage for all dependents eligible for coverage. Because of IRS regulations, employees with dependents currently covered cannot drop or cancel their coverage in order to qualify for CHP+. The dependents of state employees must also meet all other CHP+ eligibility criteria. Click here to read more about CHP+.
In addition, some low income state employees with dependents can qualify for the Supplement Program for Medical Insurance. To be eligible for the program, employees must apply, even if they have applied in past years. If you have questions about whether your household qualifies for the Supplement, please contact your agency benefits or human resources (HR) offices.
UPDATE (5/6): The state has eliminated the 3-month waiting period for coverage eligibility. Read more about this waiver.
Pick the right plan for you
The plan with the lowest premium may not be the best plan for you. If you have chronic conditions or expect to see a doctor more than usual this year, you may want to consider other factors, besides just the monthly premium cost. Not sure what the right plan for you is? Get some pointers on how to pick the right plan.