The Health Engagement Model (HEM) program is now in its second year and we succeeded in making the program less punitive: Members who have chosen not to participate should no longer be seeing a monthly surcharge and those who are participating should be receiving an incentive. In bargaining with the State, we have learned that management is proposing to eliminate our committee in the next contract so that we will no longer have the ability to make formal recommendations about the HEM. We think this is the wrong move and the state should learn from their mistakes, not repeat them.
One of the charges of our HEM committee is to evaluate the program and make recommendations to the Governor’s office based on this evaluation. Last spring, we made the recommendation to the PEBB board that they hire an outside consultant to begin this process – which started in the fall. The consultant did a mail survey and heard back from 2,347 PEBB members – 1,989 of whom were enrolled in the HEM and 358 who were not. What the survey showed:
• Overall there was low program satisfaction with the HEM – among participants and non-participants alike. Top reasons for this dissatisfaction were around privacy concerns and coercion to participate.
• A majority of respondents took the e-lessons. Respondents who reported taking the lessons on weight and diet said they changed their lifestyle and had some success in maintaining those changes.
• It is too early to see if the HEM is impacting people’s health. Surveying a population once provides no trends on whether health is improving over time.
The PEBB board did make the decision in their February meeting to continue the program in 2014 as it’s currently designed – with the same incentive for participants and same increased deductible for non-participants. While we think program satisfaction would improve further if the increased deductible for non-participants was eliminated, we were glad to see that PEBB representatives voted to continue the incentive pay and not increase the deductible for non-participants.
Make your voice heard in April: PEBB will be hosting a series of meetings around the state from April 1 – April 11 to discuss our healthcare, including how to make it better and how to lower costs. We strongly encourage people to attend. More information about these meetings here: www.seiu503.org/GetItRight. We think it’s incredibly important that PEBB hear from us prior to making changes to our healthcare plans. We understand that PEBB is going to be looking at new providers for the 2015 plan year so we need to start making our voices heard now.
As we stated at the beginning of this email, we are incredibly disappointed that the state does not want to continue the work of the HEM committee and believe it sends the absolute wrong message around all of us working together to have healthier workplaces and a healthier workforce, which would ultimately bring costs down. This is one of many bargaining proposals we need to push back on. Quality health care is a crucial benefit, as are our wages and retirement. We encourage everyone to let the Governor, their managers, and the legislature know: we deserve a fair contract that respects our rights and our voices, and doesn’t pay for services at our expense and the expense of retirees.
Keary DeBeck, DOJ, Salem
Sabrina Freewynn, OHA, Portland
Wednesday Martin, DHS, Roseburg
Shaun Parkman, Alternate, OHA, Portland
Siobhan Martin, Staff Advisor
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