State Employee Healthcare Benefits: Controversy Over COVID-19 Benefits and Changes in Mental Health Care Coverage

Health premiums for Delaware state employees set to increase

In recent news, the SEBC has decided not to vote on continuing enhanced COVID-19 benefits. This means that employees will now have to pay for pre-COVID-19 costs for services such as primary care visits, hospital stays, and telemedicine. In a related decision, the state employee benefits committee awarded the operation of the Medicare Supplement Plan for retirees to Highmark Delaware for a two-year term starting January 1, 2025, with an optional one-year extension.

The decision not to continue enhanced COVID-19 benefits has sparked controversy among state employees and retirees. Shaun O’Brien, policy director with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, voted against the decision citing concerns about the reliability of the SEBC and lack of transparency. State Rep. Paul Baumbach also expressed concerns about the lack of confidence in the committee’s actions and emphasized the importance of keeping promises made to retirees regarding their healthcare benefits. Baumbach is sponsoring legislation to increase transparency and accountability within the committee.

In addition to this decision, the SEBC also approved changes to ensure equal access to care for individuals with mental health or substance abuse disorders. The committee also approved wigs and mastectomy bras as enhanced women’s benefits but did not approve cooling caps. The total cost of these changes was estimated to be between $507,000 and $557,000 further illustrating

Leave a Reply