Sen. Chuck Hufstetler: Applauds Changes to State Health Benefit Plan


Sen. Chuck Hufstetler: Applauds Changes to State Health Benefit Plan

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Sen Chuck Hufstetler

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R- Rome) is spreading the word about the Board of Department of Community Health’s recent decision to approve changes to the SHBP policies for 2014.

“I applaud the changes implemented to our State Health Benefit Plan by the Department of Community Health,” said Sen. Hufstetler.  “The original plan was causing costly financial burdens on our state employees, including teachers.  By incorporating these changes, high-priced out of pocket cost will be cut for consumers as we strive to facilitate the best system for the members of the SHBP.”

The design changes enhance the health plan options for SHBP members by replacing co-insurance, a patient paying a percentage of costs of the health service, with co-pays for medical and pharmacy benefits.  Prior to the changes, the board moved to a cost sharing arrangement with deductibles and without co-pays.

Under the changes, state employees will now have co-pays for prescription drugs, doctor visits and trips to the emergency room. Insurance premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket amounts and HRA contributions will not be affected.

SHBP members do not need to re-enroll to receive the benefits which will go into effect March 14, 2014 and will be retroactive to January 1, 2014  The additional costs of changes will be absorbed by the SHBP reserves; therefore consumers should not see any fluctuation in cost.

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