During the March meeting of the State Health Benefits Commission (SHBC) this week, the members heard a mid-year overview from AON, including information on the State Employee Group, the Local Government Employer Group, and Dental Plans.
Based on comparisons of Plan Years 22 and 21, the utilization and costs are mirroring the projections and the expectation for Plan Year 2024. Based on those projections and expectations it likely a plan cost increase of between 6% and 8% for medical services and between a 7% and 8% increase for pharmacy benefits in Plan Year 2024. This supposition is based on a variety of factors, including inflation, increased cost to visit a doctor, and increased utilization of pharmacy benefits for traditional and specialty medicines.
AON did note that part of these cost increases is the result of local governments, with a generally good risk pool, departing the State Health Benefits Program due to the 22% increase in plan year 2023. There was no discussion at this meeting of municipal relief from these rates hikes in Plan Year 2023.
We will continue to attend the SHBC and Plan Design Committee meetings and report accordingly.
Contact: Paul Penna, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481, x110.