OEBB, PEBB Prepare for New Administrator

The two boards have called a joint meeting next Tuesday to select a permanent administrator.

It’s been nearly 18 months since the two statewide health purchasing pools – better known as the Oregon Educators Benefit Board and the Public Employees Benefit Board – have had a permanent administrator, following the departure of Joan Kapowich in 2013.

But now OEBB and PEBB are poised to select Kapowich’s successor and have scheduled an executive session for next Tuesday, following by an open meeting where the new administrator is expected to be named, according to Kathy Loretz, interim administrator.

OEBB is also in the midst of announcing its new RFP for the state’s 148,000 school district employees and their dependents, with the official proposal released in early July for the 2016 contract.

Meanwhile, when Kapowich left the state agency, Sean Kolmer, the governor’s health policy advisor, announced it was a voluntary decision, but since then The Lund Report learned she was forced out because of her hesitancy about moving forward too quickly with the coordinated care model, advocated by then Governor John Kitzhaber.

Since then Kapowich has landed on her feet, joining Providence Health & Services as its executive for accountable care in Oregon, where she’s leading the overall operation of Providence's accountable, risk-bearing contracts directly with payers and employers in Oregon. She’s also focusing on clinical outcomes and member experience with the Providence Medical Group.

As administrator of OEBB and PEBB for six years, Kapowich led the development of the medical home concept on behalf of state employees, and helped create health and wellness programs for its members.

OEBB renews contracts

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board has renewed its contracts with Moda Health Plan and Kaiser, granting them an 8.05 percent and 2.58 percent increase respectively. Last year, Moda received a slightly higher increase, 8.8 percent, according to Denise Hall, deputy administrator. Open enrollment begins August 15.

Moda told OEBB that its pharmacy costs, in particular new specialty drugs, were primarily responsible f9r the higher rates, and no benefit changes are expected, said Denise Hall, deputy administrator. Moda provides coverage to 115,000 of OEBB’s membership, while Kaiser has the remainder.

Other rate increases include:

  • Kaiser Permanente Vision Plans +0.88%
  • Moda Health Vision Plans +3.7%
  • Kaiser Permanente Dental Plans +4.0%
  • Moda Health/ODS Dental Plans 0.0% (no change)
  • Willamette Dental Group Dental Plans +2.3%.
  • OEBB Administrative Fee +0.1% (from 0.9% to 1.0%)

Approved with three-year contracts earlier this year:

  • Reliant Behavioral Health (RBH) Employee Assistance Program – 0.0% (no change)
  • The Standard Life, Disability and AD&D Plans 0.0% (no change)

The 2015-17 Governor Budget for OEBB overall is $1.6 billion with $12.25 million of that for OEBB’s operational costs, Hall said.

Operational costs also include payments for several of the wellness programs available at no-cost to covered OEBB employees, early retirees and their spouses and/or domestic partners under the Healthy Futures Program. Those include MoodHelper, Healthy Team Healthy U and Better Choices, Better Health. Beginning October 1, 2015, OEBB will also offer partial reimbursement for qualified fitness facility charges, which will also be covered under the operational portion of the budget, Hall said.

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