OEBB drops $100 monthly fee on teachers for opting out of health benefits

Oregon Senate Republicans_thb

Oregon Senate Republicans

Salem, Ore. – Earlier this month, Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) sent a letter to the Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB) asking the board to eliminate a proposed rule to impose a $100 fee per month per teacher or other public education employee who opts out of OEBB medical coverage.

On June 17, April Kelly, rules coordinator for OEBB, responded to Ferrioli saying OEBB had decided to drop the $100 monthly fee on educators for exercising their right to choose the medical coverage best suited for their families.

“This is a victory for teachers and other school employees, as well as the school districts that could have borne the expensive burden of this new $100 per teacher monthly fee,” explained Ferrioli. “These hard working public servants should have the ability to opt out of employer-provided health insurance, especially if they are already covered through a spouse’s medical benefits or can find less expensive insurance through the health care exchange. I am pleased OEBB decided to drop this $100 fee that would have cost school districts more money when they are already facing budget challenges.”

Kelly’s letter explained that OEBB had spent several weeks gathering input from stakeholders and made a decision at the June 7, 2015 Board meeting “to not move forward with the proposed rule at this time.” A copy of the letter can be viewed here.

“This was a sound decision on the part of OEBB and I sincerely hope they do not pursue a similar fee on teachers who choose to make responsible health care decisions for themselves and their families in the future,” said Ferrioli.