OCSEA members who have inquired about the state health care plan’s Flexible Spending Account to save pre-tax money on health care spending, may have received an email from the Department of Administrative Services regarding a Consumer Driven Health Care Plan.
As you may know, management put on the table a high deductible health care plan during the last round of contract negotiations. The union opposed their plan since high deductible plans shift more of the burden onto consumers with higher out-of-pocket costs. But the issue went to the Fact Finder and the Fact Finder allowed for management to offer a voluntary high deductible plan, while still keeping our traditional PPO plan.
The state has told the union that it wouldn’t be ready for implementation of a high deductible plan until at least 2019. (The union still opposes such a plan and is hoping that, perhaps, a new administration will scrap it.)
While high deductible plans may have lower premium costs initially, the out-of-pocket costs are more, and often, considerably more. Additionally, if low-usage consumers opt in to the high deductible plan, then the union-negotiated, PPO plan assumes more risk, causing those costs to rise as well.
That’s why your union does not recommend the high deductible plan option.
As for the Flexible Spending Account, OCSEA members can use the flexible spending plan for their current PPO insurance plan just like they always do. If you have questions, please contact Kelly Phillips at OCSEA at firstname.lastname@example.org.