OKLAHOMA CITY — The Office of Management and Enterprise Services has approved premium rates for health, dental, life, disability and vision insurance plans to be offered to state, education and many local government employees, retirees and dependents for 2018.
The rates were recommended by the Oklahoma Employees Insurance and Benefits Board and approved by OMES Director Preston L. Doerflinger.
The rates presented at Thursday’s board meeting included increases of roughly 3.5 to 8 percent for HealthChoice health plans. HealthChoice is the state’s self-funded insurance plan administered by OMES.
HealthChoice High plans had an adjustment average of 4.05 percent, less than half of the 8.4 percent increase seen last year. The good news for retirees is that premiums for HealthChoice Medicare Supplement plans will remain the same as 2017.
“We’ve worked really hard to keep the HealthChoice rates as low as they can be for public employees,” said OMES Employees Group Insurance Division Administrator Frank Wilson. “Through various cost-containment initiatives, we’ve been able to hold rate increases well below what we’re seeing with other health plans around the country.”
HealthChoice Basic plans premiums will increase an average of 7.7 percent in 2018, and HealthChoice HDHP plans premiums will increase an average of 7.83 percent. The HealthChoice Dental plan will see an average increase of 13.75 percent, but premiums for HealthChoice Life and HealthChoice Disability plans will remain the same.
In addition to HealthChoice, three other health maintenance organizations will remain as options: Aetna, CommunityCare and GlobalHealth.
For primary current employee members, Aetna will offer a monthly premium of $675.62, an 18 percent increase over last year; CommunityCare will offer a premium of $882.30, a 3.7 percent increase; and GlobalHealth will offer a premium of $593.36, a 12 percent increase. There will also be four commercial dental vendors offering 10 plans in addition to HealthChoice Dental. There will be four vision carriers.
“We always look at how this impacts all members of a plan,” OEIBB Chairman Jimmy Williams said. “It’s not just a number we come up with. We also look at the impact it has on families. I assure you, this process is not taken lightly at all.”
The approved rates for all health, dental, life, disability and vision insurance plans will take effect Jan. 1, 2018, and can be viewed at https://www.ok.gov/sib/2018_Option_Period.html.