Aug. 9, 2018
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) approved premium rates for health, dental, life, disability and vision insurance products to be offered to state, education and many local government employees, retirees and dependents for 2019.
The rates were recommended by the Oklahoma Employees Insurance and Benefits Board and approved by OMES Director Denise Northrup.
The rates presented at today’s board meeting included no increase for HealthChoice plans offered to current employees and pre-Medicare retirees, and no increase to premiums in HealthChoice Medicare supplement plans. These premiums defy the national trend of rising health care costs, and keep HealthChoice below the national average among similar, large health insurance plans, according to the board’s actuary, Aon Hewitt Consulting.
HealthChoice is the state’s self-funded insurance plan administered by OMES.
Other 2019 HealthChoice rates include no increase for the HealthChoice Dental Plan, HealthChoice Life Insurance and the HealthChoice Disability Plan.
“While we had been preparing state leaders for another year of gradual increases, improved contract pricing for prescription drugs and certain medical procedures over the last few years has proven successful in lowering projected claim costs for 2019,” said OMES Employees Group Insurance Division Administrator Frank Wilson. "In addition, plan changes made in previous years combined with an increase in the federal reimbursement related to prescription drugs for Medicare retirees puts us in a position this year to mitigate, to a large degree, the rising cost of health care for Oklahoma’s teachers and public employees.”
For 2019, existing HMOs Aetna, CommunityCare and GlobalHealth will be joined by an additional HMO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma.
For primary current employee members, Aetna will offer a premium of $897.90, a 32.9 percent increase over last year; CommunityCare will offer a premium of $894.32, a 1.36 percent increase; GlobalHealth will offer a premium of $623.18, a 5.03 percent increase; and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma will offer a premium of $550.00.
“Every dollar counts for public employees and it is important to OMES that we are able to offer the best options for health care coverage at the lowest possible rates to Oklahoma's public employees and their families,” said OMES Director Denise Northrup.
The approved rates will take effect Jan. 1, 2019, and can be viewed at http://omes.ok.gov/services/employees-group-insurance-division/2019-option-period.
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