BI’s Article search uses Boolean search capabilities. If you are not familiar with these principles, here are some quick tips.

To search specifically for more than one word, put the search term in quotation marks. For example, “workers compensation”. This will limit your search to that combination of words.

To search for a combination of terms, use quotations and the & symbol. For example, “hurricane” & “loss”.

Login Register Subscribe

CalPERS board OKs 2008 benefits package


SACRAMENTO, Calif.--The California Public Employee Retirement System board has approved a 2008 benefit package that waives copayments for preventive care office visits, raises other office visit copayments from $10 to $15, and adds two new lower-cost high-performance physician network options.

However, the board rejected a proposal to make changes in copayments for prescription drugs, which currently range from $5 for a 30-day supply of generics at retail to $75 for a 90-day supply of a nonpreferred prescription drug at mail-order.

The premium contributions for PERS Select, the high-performance network that will be offered as both a health maintenance organization and preferred provider organization, will pay about 6% less than for the next least expensive health plan, according to a CalPERS spokeswoman.

In addition to PERS Select, CalPERS offers three HMOs--Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente and Western Health Advantage--and two self-funded PPOs: PERS Choice and PERS Care.

As an additional cost-cutting move, the board also decided to discontinue offering Blue Shield's HMO next year in four northern California counties--Lake, Napa, Plumas and certain areas of El Dorado--the CalPERS spokeswoman said. Because Blue Shield was the only HMO available in Lake and Plumas counties, CalPERS plan members in those counties will have access only to CalPERS' PPO plans, she said.

All of the changes--which the board had considered last year but decided to postpone until the 2008 plan year that starts Jan. 1--come in response to sizable increases in health care costs occurring over the past five years. Since 2002, premiums for basic HMO plans have grown 101%, while basic PPO rates have grown 78%, according to a statement from CalPERS.

CalPERS is the third-largest purchaser of health care services after the federal government and General Motors Corp., providing coverage to more than 1.2 million state and public agency employees, retirees and their dependents.