The House Appropriations Committee convened a Work Session meeting with members of the Office of Program Research (OPR) for a presentation on K-12 special education funding, K-12 levy and local effort assistance, and the school employees benefits boards (SEBB). The meeting was one of 43 different committee meetings which took place last week in Olympia as part of “Committee Days.”
The presentation to legislators was delivered by Jordan Clarke and James Mackison of the OPR. Clarke and Mackison provided updates on the consolidation of the health benefits system for school district employees beginning on January 1st, 2020.
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The SEBB is a new board which was created to oversee the direction of health benefits purchased by the Health Care Authority for school district and charter school employees. A collective bargaining agreement for SEBB was approved by the 2019 Legislature.
The Legislature has been toying with the idea of a consolidated health benefit system for years. In 2017, SEBB was created under EHB 2242, consolidating school employee health care benefits. Starting January 1st, 2020, all school districts and charter schools must provide eligible employees with health care and other insurance benefits through SEBB.
The benefits launch date on January 1st will be the culmination of more than two years of program development, rate setting, data collection, and outreach.
The legislation also requires a health carrier or an insurance company holding system in the SEBB to offer plans in the Washington Health Benefit Exchange in any county where the SEBB plan is offered.
According to the presentation, SEBB funding sources support employer contributions and payments to providers.
Going forward, the intended milestones for the SEBB program include completing dependent verification reviews, providing eligibility files to insurance carriers, processing open enrollment related appeals, and preparing financial insight for supplemental budget processes.