TAKE ACTION: Protect our Healthcare!

HB 7007  has passed the full House of Representatives, and is on the agenda of the Senate Government Oversight and Accountability Committee for Monday, April 24th at 3:00 p.m.

The bill authorizes the State Group Insurance Program to include additional benefits and to establish the implementation of benefit levels as described below:

“Beginning in the 2020 plan year, the bill provides that state employees will have health plan choices at four different benefit levels. These levels are:

  • Platinum Level (at least 90% AV)
  • Gold Level (at least 80% AV)
  • Silver Level (at least 70% AV)
  • Bronze Level (at least 60% AV)”

AV = “actuarial value”

If the state’s contribution towards the premium is more than the cost of the plan selected by the employee, then the employee may use the remainder to fund a flexible spending arrangement or a health savings account; purchase additional benefits offered through the state group insurance program; increase the employee’s salary.

The bill does not establish any premiums but directs DMS to recommend employee contribution rates for standard plans and high deductible health plans for the 2018 plan year reflecting the actual benefit difference between the HMO and the PPO plans for both self-insured and fully insured products. There is no analysis of the fiscal impact of this bill on employees in 2020.

Clearly the intent is to find ways to cut state spending on state employee health insurance due to the rapid increases in health care costs.

UFF Opposes This Legislation as it Adversely Affects University Faculty! This will shift the cost of higher premiums to older and less healthy state employees and university faculty.

The senators listed below serve on the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee.  Call or email as many as you can, and ask them to vote NO on HB 7007. Encourage your colleagues, friends and family to call as well — but do not use UF resources (UF computers, UF email address, UF phones) to do so. A simple message is effective (“Oppose HB 7007, which shifts the costs of healthcare to older and sicker state employees”), but more talking points are below.

Committee Member District Office Tallahassee Office E-mail Address
Dennis Baxley (R), Chair (352) 750-3133 (850) 487-5012 Baxley.dennis@flsenate.gov
Frank Artiles (R), Vice Chair (305) 252-4300 (850) 487-5040 Artiles.frank@flsenate.gov
Bill Galvano (R) (941) 741-3401 (850) 487-5021 Galvano.bill@flsenate.gov
Denise Grimsley (R) (863) 465-2626 (850) 487-5026 Grimsley.denise@flsenate.gov
Kevin Rader (D) (561) 443-8170 (850) 487-5029 Rader.kevin@flsenate.gov
Darryl Rouson (D) (727) 822-8828 (850) 487-5019 Rouson.darryl@flsenate.gov
Linda Stewart (D) (407) 893-2422 (850) 487-5013 Stewart.linda@flsenate.gov


Talking Points

  • This is to encourage younger and healthier employees to select a lower coverage where they might be able to keep the difference in the cost of the “base” plan versus a lower tier level of health care.
  • State paying for increased cost of health insurance is the only compensation state employees has seen in almost ten years.
  • This is nothing more than cost shifting higher premiums to older and illness-prone state employees and university faculty.
  • The real issue is the inflationary cost of medical services and prescription drugs and this bill does not address claims with the possible exception being a pilot price transparency program.