Board Review Of Retiree Health Plans And Subsidy Program
UPDATE: As of November 1, 2018, the Board has approved contracts between LAFPP and Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association (LAFRA), Los Angeles Police Relief Association (LAPRA), United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC), and Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL). The new contracts formally establish LAFRA, LAPRA, UFLAC, and LAPPL as Board-approved Health and/or Dental Plan Sponsors. The contracts are effective immediately and are for a 5-year term.
We want to acknowledge the efforts of LAFRA, LAPRA, PPL and UFLAC in continuing to provide quality health plans to retirees and their collective realization and understanding of the Board’s authority and oversight role of the retiree health subsidy program.
Under the terms of the contracts:
- Your current LAFRA, LAPRA, UFLAC and LAPPL health and/or dental plan options remain in effect;
- Each Health and Dental Plan Sponsor will present their plans to the LAFPP Board for approval on an annual basis;
- HIPAA-compliant claims data (no individually identifying information) will be provided to validate premiums; and
- LAFPP will have legal authorization to continue paying the Associations subsidy benefits on your behalf.
LAFRA, LAPRA, UFLAC, and LAPPL will each give an annual presentation of their health and dental plans as well as related financial trends. As part of every presentation, aggregated deidentified claims data will be evaluated to validate the premiums each Health/Dental Plan Sponsor negotiates on the Board’s behalf. Provided data will be focused on financial activity for each plan and will not include any member identifying information, which means your privacy will continue to be protected.
LAFPP looks forward to continuing its working relationship with the Board-approved health and dental plan sponsors. With the cooperation of LAFRA, LAPRA, UFLAC, and LAPPL, the Board is able to ensure a higher degree of transparency and accountability, and ultimately a fair and affordable retiree healthcare program.
Previously posted on August 13, 2018:
On Thursday, August 2, 2018, the Board continued its discussion of pending contracts between LAFPP and LAFRA, LAPRA, UFLAC, and LAPPL (collectively, “the Associations”) for health and dental plan administration. Discussions with the Associations have been ongoing since January so that contracts can be signed, effective July 1, 2018. LAFPP’s prior operations agreements with the Associations expired in 2017.
- LAFRA and LAPRA extended their Operations Agreements to be in effect until June 30, 2018.
- UFLAC and LAPPL declined the option to extend their Operations Agreements.
- As of July 1, 2018, all Operations Agreements with the Associations have expired.
LAFPP is currently operating out of compliance with the City Charter since new contracts have not been signed. The Board is concerned over the lack of progress and the need to have contracts in place that meet LAFPP’s legal requirement of providing suitable health plans for retirees.
The Board’s goal is to:
- Uphold their fiduciary responsibility to current and future retirees.
- Ensure transparency and accountability to guarantee that all LAFPP members have fair and affordable access to health plans and subsidies.
LAFPP will continue working with Association representatives to finalize the contract agreements in compliance with the City’s requirements. Staff will report back to the Board on the status of the contract discussions with the Associations on Thursday, August 16, 2018. At this meeting, the Board will discuss their options regarding the retiree health program and the administration of subsidies. A newsletter will be released shortly providing more information regarding the Board’s efforts to establish contracts with the Associations.
Previously posted on June 25, 2018:
On Thursday, June 21, 2018, the Board discussed the status of pending contracts between LAFPP and LAFRA, LAPRA, UFLAC and PPL (collectively “the Associations”).
- The Associations have requested that several of the proposed terms be changed or omitted. In the spirit of collaboration, staff has agreed to many of the requested changes.
- Staff and the Board continue to stress the importance of increasing transparency and accountability with the contracts and the importance of receiving claims data.
- Staff has been directed to continue working with Association representatives to satisfy the City’s requirements for new contracts.
The Board has also authorized staff to research the feasibility of establishing additional Kaiser Permanente HMO plans. If LAFPP administers its own Kaiser plans, members who are not able to enroll in an Association-sponsored plan will have access to affordable group health insurance.
Staff will report back to the Board on the status of the contract discussion with the Associations on Thursday, July 19, 2018. If contracts are not in place by July 19, 2018, staff will also report back to the Board regarding its options with regards to the retiree health program and the administration of subsidies.
Previously posted on June 11, 2018:
On May 3, 2018, the Board dissolved the Ad Hoc Committee on Retiree Health Plans and approved the Committee’s final recommendation to establish contracts with each of the Relief Associations and union organizations currently providing Board-approved health and dental plans. It is the Board’s fiduciary duty to oversee administration of the program as spelled out in the City Charter and Administrative Code and confirmed by the City Attorney.
The Board is currently focused on establishing new three-year contracts for medical and dental plan administration services, effective July 1, 2018. LAFPP’s current agreements with LAFRA, LAPRA, UFLAC, and PPL (“Associations”) are expired or soon to be expiring. LAFPP is required by the City Charter and Administrative Code to establish new contracts to authorize each of the Associations in its respective role as a Board-approved medical or dental plan administrator.
Most of the contract terms are a continuation of processes and requirements established in previous agreements between LAFPP and each Association. All terms are intended to create more opportunities to advance the security of health benefits for current and future retirees. It is important that the Associations have their contracts in place as soon as possible as the current agreements will soon expire. LAFPP is working with each Association to have the necessary documents approved in time for the new contract period.
Additional information regarding the current discussion regarding the retiree healthcare program will be provided in the next edition of the LAFPP Retiree Newsletter. If there are any specific questions or issues you would like to have addressed, please let us know by calling (213) 279-3115 or via email at MDB@LAFPP.com.
Previously posted on March 9, 2018:
The Ad Hoc Committee on Retiree Health Plans is considering several options to reduce members’ out-of-pocket premium costs and subsidy expense.
On December 11, 2017, the Committee and Association representatives discussed changing the subsidy formula for members enrolled in multi-party Medicare plans. Several options were offered by attendees during the Committee’s monthly meetings. Association representatives suggested instituting a flat-rate as well as a y-rate to provide more equal amounts of subsidy for members enrolled in plans with lower premiums. Such a change would not alter the health insurance subsidy formula or maximums that are established in the Administrative Code for the member only or a qualified survivor.
On February 12, 2018, the Committee and Association representatives reviewed a presentation about the potential impacts of the proposed subsidy formula changes. Subsidy changes varied among members enrolled in multi-party Medicare plans. The Committee recommends bringing a full analysis and proposal of a flat-rate subsidy formula to the Board at a future meeting. In the meantime, the Associations, who are Board-approved health plan sponsors, have announced they are establishing Medicare Supplemental plans that could be available to members in 2019. It is anticipated the new plans will result in lower out-of-pocket costs for members and lower subsidy expenses for your Pension fund.
The Ad Hoc Committee is committed to exploring cost savings measures that provide additional benefits to members. To keep you informed, periodic updates will be posted on LAFPP.com. Updates and information will also be provided in the retiree and active newsletters, as well as our latest monthly publication for pensioners, the Benefits Bulletin.
Next month, the Committee will discuss the establishment of future contracts with the Associations. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the activities of the Ad Hoc Committee on Retiree Health Plans, please call the Medical & Dental Benefits Section at (213) 279-3115 or send emails to MDB@LAFPP.com.
Previously posted on September 27, 2017:
UPDATE: The Board of Fire & Police Pension Commissioners’ Ad Hoc Committee on Retiree Health Plans is currently reviewing and assessing the overall retiree health plan program and the benefits available to current pensioners, in consultation with the Police and Fire unions, relief associations (LAFRA and LAPRA), and the retired association. At the last meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on September 14, 2017, additional options were confirmed for the affected Fire Department and Port Police retirees transitioning from LACERS plans, as well as future Port Police and Airport Police retirees.
In a greater collaborative effort among LAFPP, Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association, Los Angeles Police Relief Association, Los Angeles Police Protective League, and United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, all pensioners transitioning from LACERS plans at the end of the calendar year will now have access to Kaiser Permanente and Anthem Blue Cross PPO and HMO medical/vision plans, as well as a variety of dental plan options, sponsored by the Relief Associations and unions. As a result, on September 20, 2017, the Board approved the Ad Hoc Committee’s recommendation to cease negotiations with Kaiser and Anthem for the establishment of LAFPP-managed health and dental plans.
In the meantime, the retiree health plan program remains a priority and discussions regarding the broader retiree population are ongoing. The Ad Hoc Committee will continue its focus on cost savings measures and provide recommendations to the Board. Since the Ad Hoc Committee’s inception, it has also confirmed that it will no longer pursue a mandatory health plan option sponsored by LAFPP. Periodic updates will be provided to keep you informed of any major outcomes from future discussions of the Ad Hoc Committee.
Previously posted on July 14, 2017:
On July 6, 2017, the Board of Fire and Police Pension Commissioners (Board) approved a selection of health plan options for the small group of retirees who will not have access to LACERS plans beginning in 2018. LAFPP will administer Kaiser Permanente medical plans as well as an Anthem Blue Cross (Anthem) dental plan for this group and any future Airport and Port Police retirees. Anthem PPO and HMO options will also be made available to this group of retirees through United Firefighters of Los Angeles City.
More information regarding the new health plan options and enrollment process will be thoroughly communicated to the current group of retirees as it becomes available through a series of notifications by mail and over-the-phone counseling sessions.
Additionally, the Board has formed the Ad Hoc Committee and will be coordinating with representatives from the Police and Fire unions, relief associations (LAFRA and LAPRA) and the retired association to establish the working group. Periodic updates will be provided to keep you informed of any major outcomes from the working group’s discussions.
Previously posted on June 19, 2017 :
On Thursday, June 15, 2017, the Board of Fire and Police Pension Commissioners (Board) considered alternative medical, dental and vision plan options for an independent group of pensioners who are not currently enrolled, or eligible to enroll in an Association plan and will no longer be eligible to enroll in a LACERS plan. The Board also heard from its consultant regarding other medical plan options that could affect other LAFPP pensioners.
Prior to the meeting, members forwarded over 1,600 letters, emails, social media messages and phone calls both expressing their concerns and conveying their satisfaction with the existing medical plans. The Board and General Manager acknowledged their deep appreciation for the input, as well as the participation of over 200 members who attended the Board meeting.
Considering several factors, including public comment, the Board decided it was necessary to first address the immediate need of the small group of pensioners who will be losing access to the LACERS health plans at the end of the year. As such, the Board instructed staff to provide recommendations to the Board on July 6, 2017 concerning healthcare options for the independent group of pensioners only.
The Board also decided to form a working group/committee consisting of both elected and appointed members of the Board and representatives from the Police and Fire unions, relief associations (LAFRA and LAPRA), and the retired association, to review the coverage options resulting from the Request for Proposals and evaluate the feasibility of offering LAFPP managed plans.
In our commitment to keeping you informed of any Board decision that may affect members, we will continue to post updates on our website at www.lafpp.com. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Medical and Dental Benefits Section at (213) 279-3115.
Previously posted on June 12, 2017:
The Board of Fire and Police Pension Commissioners (Board) will be considering alternative medical, dental and vision plan options that could potentially affect many of our members. We understand retiree healthcare is an important component of your overall pension benefits and we would like to resolve some of the confusion surrounding this matter.
A recent change to the City of Los Angeles Administrative Code requires LAFPP to implement a health insurance plan that accommodates an independent group of pensioners who are not currently enrolled, or eligible to enroll, in a plan offered by Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association (LAFRA), Los Angeles Police Relief Association (LAPRA), Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), or United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC) and will no longer be eligible to enroll in a LACERS plan as of December 31, 2017. This affects Los Angeles Port and Airport Police Officers, as well as retired firefighters and police officers (and their survivors) who either chose not to enroll in an Association-sponsored health plan while active or are not eligible to participate in their plans for a variety of reasons. Pensioners who were enrolled in a Personnel Department plan prior to 1999 will continue to receive medical and dental coverage through LACERS.
To address the need to have a viable health plan in place for the independent group by January 1, 2018, LAFPP released Requests for Proposals for health, dental and vision plans that would best match plans currently available to our members. During this process, the Board further requested plan pricing to cover all pensioners with the desire to find a plan that provides the highest level of coverage at the best possible price. After initial review of the submitted proposals, it was determined that members could benefit from lower premiums and deductibles if LAFPP managed a plan that enrolled more pensioners.
The Board will discuss the health plan proposals and whether, or not, to expand enrollment to include all LAFPP pensioners on a voluntary or mandatory basis at the next public Board meeting on June 15, 2017. Your input is critical to this process, so we encourage you to attend. If you are not able to attend, all expressed concerns will be presented to the Board.