To Employees receiving PEBB benefits:
PEBB Medical Plans for 2012
The PEBB Program's open enrollment in November is an opportunity to change your
medical plan for you and your family.
PEBB's traditional health plans - UMP (now called UMP Classic), Group Health
Classic and Value, and Kaiser Classic - all remain available in 2012 in the same
communities and with essentially the same covered services as in 2011. If you
don't wish to change plans for 2012, you won't need to take any action.
For 2012, all three of these carriers will also offer consumer-directed health
plans (CDHPs) which include a health savings account (HSA). There are three
significant elements to the CDHP/HSA option:
1) Lower premiums.
2) Higher personal financial responsibility.
3) Employer contributions to your personal HSA.
The lower premiums will be especially attractive to state agency and higher-
education employees since the monthly employee contributions for the CDHP are
about half (or less) compared to traditional health plans.
The higher personal financial responsibility comes in the form of higher annual
deductibles for individuals and families enrolled in the CDHP-$1,400 for
individuals and $2,800 for families. The CDHP deductibles are about 2 to 9 times
higher than the traditional plans. Also, the $2,800 deductible for a family must
be met before any benefits are paid for individuals. However, you can offset some
of those costs by using HSA funds. And more of your qualified medical expenses,
such as pharmacy costs, apply to the CDHP's annual deductible compared to
If you enroll in a CDHP, you'll also get an HSA. When your employer pays the
monthly premium, the PEBB Program will deposit a portion ($58.34 per month for an
individual and $116.67 per month for a family), tax-free, into your HSA. The HSA
funds are yours to spend tax-free on qualified medical expenses (as defined by
the IRS) as they are deposited. If you don't spend the money, it accrues over
time, earns interest, carries over from one year to the next, and goes with you
if you leave your current job or retire (and to your heirs if you die).
These new CDHP plans are generally perceived as advantageous for individuals and
families who don't anticipate expensive medical needs in the next year and have
the money to pay for unanticipated medical costs until their HSA has more money
in it. We encourage you to review your family's current and projected medical
costs, and get more information during open enrollment from the health plans and
HealthEquity (the HSA vendor) to make the best health plan choices for you and
your family next year.
The PEBB website at www.pebb.hca.wa.gov<http://www.pebb.hca.wa.gov> includes
information and links under Consumer-Directed Health Plans With Health Savings
Accounts. In addition, the plans offer information on their websites including
tools to help make a decision between the traditional plans and the new CDHP.
Payroll & Benefits Coordinator
Shoreline Community College