Kapowich Vacates Position Atop PEBB; To Leave OEBB Nov. 30

PEBB and OEBB administrator exits her position after seven years at the helm. She’ll be temporarily replaced by Kelly Ballas, a former Kaiser executive and chief financial officer of the Oregon Health Authority.

Joan Kapowich, the longtime administrator of the Public Employees Benefit Board and the Oregon Educators Benefit Board, has quietly stepped down from her post atop PEBB and plans to retire from OEBB on Nov. 30.

For-Profit Willamette Valley Hospital Tops Charges to OEBB at 411% of Medicare

A Milliman actuarial report compared charges to the health plan for educators with Medicare. Tuality Healthcare and Providence Willamette Falls Hospital lead the Portland Metro Area while Legacy offered the lowest prices.


A 2013 report prepared for the state teachers’ union shows wild disparities in the amount hospitals are charging the Oregon Educators Benefit Board for services, compared to the federal health plan for the elderly, Medicare.

OEBB Prepares to Let County Employees Purchase Insurance

Oregon AFSCME argues that Josephine County will save money while offering better coverage by switching to the state pool for school districts. Clatsop County AFSCME members are expected to join OEBB, but others in the county will move to a high-deductible plan from Regence BlueCross BlueShield to stave off rising costs from the insurer.


Oct. 14, 2013 — Local government workers in Clatsop, Josephine and Klamath counties may enroll in the Oregon Educators Benefit Board for health coverage as early as Jan. 1.

The counties are the test markets to expand the health insurance pool for school districts, the result of a new law enacted in the 2013 regular legislative session.

Legislators Pave the Way for School Districts to Join Cover Oregon

House Bill 2128 puts into place the mechanism for school districts to leave OEBB and try their luck on the health insurance exchange, but some Republicans want OEBB’s role eliminated.


June 6, 2013 — School districts now have a choice. Starting in 2015, they can either purchase insurance coverage from the exchange, known as Cover Oregon, or remain in the Oregon Educators Benefit Board. Earlier this week, the Senate gave districts that authority.

Gelser Forges Path Forward for Free Prenatal Care for Diabetic Women

The House Health Committee unanimously approved HB 2432, requiring insurers to cover the costs that diabetic women accrue when pregnant without deductibles and copays, despite opposition by Regence BlueCross BlueShield. Rep. Sara Gelser was able to lower the fiscal impact to the Oregon Educators Benefit Board after talks with ODS

April 9, 2013 — Oregon women who get pregnant and struggle with low blood sugar may no longer struggle to seek extra prenatal care relating to diabetes after the House Health Committee voted 8-0 on Monday to require insures to cover diabetic prenatal care at no extra cost.

Member Insists OEBB Overpays for Prescription Drugs

Its policy of mandating that only mail order companies can provide a 90-day supply of drugs is increasing insurance costs, she says

October 30, 2012 -- Tamara Weaver questions why the Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB) is paying more for prescription drugs through its mail order company than at Costco, her local retail pharmacy. OEBB is responsible for selecting the health plans for the majority of Oregon’s public school teachers, community colleges and state universities.

Public Education Employees Shed Thousands of Pounds

Medical costs related to obesity in adults in Oregon amounted to $ 1.6 billion in 2006, according to the Oregon Health Authority

October 22, 2012 -- Oregon public education employees have lost nearly 200,000 pounds in a 20-month period that began in October 2010 after the state added free Weight Watchers classes as a benefit, an administrator for the Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB) told The Lund Report.

Joan M. Kapowich, who also administers the Public Employees’ Benefit Board, said those workers lost over 175,000 pounds since the free weight loss classes became part of their benefits in 2009.


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