Election Section

CalPERS trustees to discuss benefits

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 15, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Trustees of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System were to meet Tuesday to discuss possible changes to the system’s health plans. 

The move comes as CalPERS faces a projected $96 million loss in its two self-insured health plans.  

Officials are looking at lowering drug benefits and raising premiums. 

One of the proposals floated includes replacing one of the plans with a self-insured health maintenance organization. 

The last time the $117 billion pension system tried to change health benefits it ran up against strong opposition from state employees’ unions. 

CalPERS officials expect to study any changes over the next several months. 

The two health plans, PERSChoice and PERSCare, serve 22 percent of the system’s 1.2 million members.  

Both are Preferred Provider Organization plans that encourage members to choose health care services from a network of providers. 

The system is expected to finish the year with reserves of $73 million for the plans, a decrease of about 49 percent from last year. 

An increase in people participating in the plan has contributed to the decrease. Most members are state employees or retirees.