AFSCME Local 4041
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO
Bulletin: PEBP Wellness Program Information/Explanation
Dear AFSCME Local 4041 Members,
At the Interim Finance Committee conducted on April 9, 2015, the Public Employees Benefits Program (PEBP) asked the Committee to approve a work program to transfer slightly less than $1 million from reserve funds for increased costs of contract services primarily resulting from the continuation of the NVision and Wellness Program during FY 2015. Due to concerns about the work program expressed by various members of the Committee, the Committee did not take action on the work program at the April 9, 2015 meeting.
It is important to note that the 2013 Legislature did not approve expenditure authority for the Wellness Program in FY 2015 and directed PEBP to wrap up the program in FY 2014. Notwithstanding the direction from the 2013 Legislature, the PEBP Board elected to continue the program in FY 2015 and did not request the expenditure authority for the administrative costs of the program until this April - more than 9 months into the fiscal year. The IFC expressed concern with the PEBP Board’s decision to continue a program that the Legislature had not funded and had directed to be discontinued. Members of IFC also expressed frustration that they were being asked to approve funding for a program without being provided any data to indicate that it was reducing claims costs for program participants and indicated that the money may be better spent reducing program costs or enhancing benefits for all program participants rather than only participants in the Wellness Program.
The IFC elected not to take action on the work program but expressed a willingness to address the future of the Wellness Program during the 2015 Session budget process. The IFC did not direct the PEBP Board to take any specific action as a result of the Committee’s decision to take no action on the work program.
On April 16, 2015, the PEBP Board, on its own initiative, held an emergency meeting and terminated its contract with the Wellness Program vendor effective June 13, 2015, and cancelled its Request for Proposals for a new Wellness Program vendor that would have started on October 1, 2015. The Board also elected to eliminate incentives for Wellness Program participants effective July 1, 2015. The incentives included the $50 monthly deduction in premiums for HMO participants and the $50 per month increased Health Savings Account contributions for High Deductible Health Plan participants. No other wellness benefits were impacted by the Board’s decision.
As members of the Legislature, we are committed to ensuring that the PEBP program is run effectively and efficiently for plan participants. Although the IFC did not approve of the Board’s action in deciding to continue a program for which funding had been eliminated, the Committee did not direct the PEBP Board to terminate the contract or cancel the Wellness Program. It was possible and still is possible that the money committees may decide to fund the Wellness Program in some form during the 2015-17 biennium. If not, we hope that the Board’s decision to terminate the Wellness Program will result in a benefit to all primary plan participants in the form of decreased costs or increased benefits for the 2016 and 2017 plan years. As members of IFC expressed during the April 9th meeting, it is my hope to address the issue with PEBP officials during the budget process later this session. I would like to thank everyone for all the emails and phone calls I received regarding this program.
Assembly Minority Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick
District No. 1 - Clark County
PEBP Wellness Benefit - Explanation By Kirkpatrick PDF.pdf