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Employee Benefit Trust

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Board of Trustees (BOT) reviews termination of $10 copay plans

In 2014, due to the impending 1/1/18 excise tax, and the unsustainability of escalating health care costs to the $0 deductible plans, the Board of Trustees made the decision to terminate the Regence/Asuris HealthFirst $10 and Group Health $10 copay plans effective January 1, 2018.

Feds change tax deadline

In December 2015 the feds announced the excise tax would be delayed until 2020. Due to the delay, the Employee Benefits Advisory Committee and the BOT had further discussions about their earlier plan termination decision.

While the delay of the tax appears to give some breathing room, ultimately Trust employers are facing pressures now in keeping their health care costs down. Member employers expressed that budgeting and fiscal responsibility is paramount, and using tax dollars wisely is at the forefront of all budget and decision making.

Many employers have already transitioned off of these plans, and for those that have not, indications are that there would be little chance of negotiating plan change in union contracts should these plans remain in existence. Employers are also looking at plans with added consumerism, and understand the direction that health care is moving.

1/1/18 plan termination stands

For these reasons, the Board of Trustees upheld the decision to terminate both $10 copay plans effective 1/1/18.

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