San Benito County Leaves PERS Healthcare

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At yesterday’s county Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board was faced with the decision on whether or not to leave the CalPERS healthcare for a different provider.  At this meeting, a number of SEIU employees, including your representatives on the healthcare committee, spoke in favor of the County leaving CalPERS healthcare, and switching to Keenan as a provider.

  • The Board voted unanimously, 4-0, for the County to leave the CalPERS healthcare plans and to choose a different provider for healthcare. Supervisors Botelho, Muenzer, Rivas and De La Cruz voted to leave CalPERS, with Supervisor Barrios not present.
  • Following that vote, Supervisor Jaime De La Cruz made a motion for the County to choose Keenan as a provider.  His motion was not seconded by another Supervisor, and the motion was defeated.
  • A motion was then made to choose CSAC-EIA (aka Alliant) as the healthcare provider. This passed 3-1, with Supervisors Botelho, Muenzer and Rivas voting for it, and Supervisor De La Cruz against it.

Although the Board did not choose to go with our recommendation of Keenan as a health insurance provider, we will be working hard over the coming weeks and months to ensure that our members benefit from this change in healthcare.

For our Retirees, every effort was made by the County to make sure the healthcare plan offered by Alliant would mirror the Cal PERS Choice plans. This request was fundamental to the Request for Proposals (RFP) process.

The provider the Board did choose, CSAC-EIA (aka Alliant), offers several advantages over remaining with CalPERS that we want to highlight:

  • Their rates are lower than PERS Choice rates
  • Those currently on PERS Select will now have access to the same Anthem PPO network available to those in PERS Choice
  • Their rate increases have historically been less than CalPERS
  • They have caps on future rate changes.
  • They have extensive experience in serving counties, and will be able to provide their expertise in working with our county in identifying ways to reduce costs and rate increases
  • Plan Design: With CSAC-EIA, we have the ability to alter their healthcare plan designs in a way which could offer more diverse plans and potentially reduce rates further.

The Supervisors decision to leave CalPERS healthcare for more affordable options is a victory for our members who are looking for relief from the impact that CalPERS healthcare increases have had on our workers and our families.

The Board also voted to finalize our 2% cost of living increase (scheduled for October) to take place retroactive through July 3rd These two decisions, to offer our COLA earlier, and to move the County to more affordable healthcare plans are steps forward in providing relief and recovery to our workers, and we thank the Board for their actions.

This is a positive step forward for San Benito workers but we are far from finished; we anticipate spending the next several weeks and months working with the provider on reviewing the plan design to ensure that our members have the most affordable quality health care possible.

Thank you to everyone who signed the online petition! We will continue to provide more information and updates over the next several weeks and months as this process continues.

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