Medical costs are dropping noticeably for IBEW 1245 members at PG&E, according to new data from the company. The 2016 medical premium rates for members with Kaiser plans are dropping 7.6%, and those with Anthem plans will see premiums drop approximately 3.5%. Additionally, 82% rolled over more than $100 dollars from their 2014 HAP accounts into 2015.
“Most American workers are seeing health care costs increase year after year, by an average of about 6%, but our members are actually seeing their costs going down,” noted IBEW Local 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell. “This is clear evidence that the new medical plan is benefitting our members financially, while at the same time giving them the means and opportunity to live healthier lives and address their potential medical issues before they become severe.”
The new medical plan focuses more on preventative care, and as a result, members are generally able to prevent certain medical conditions, discover potential health risks sooner and treat them quickly. PG&E reports that over 90% of union members took a health screening last year, and 10% of those members discovered they had a serious health risk they didn’t know about. 70% of those who had a serious health risk took action and went to see a physician about their condition. This early intervention means fewer trips to the emergency room and fewer in-patient hospital admits, which are significant factors when it comes to medical costs going down.
Additionally, 20% of active employees are engaged in some sort of wellness activity including fitness classes, health coaching, tobacco cessation or EAP. Over 180 people at PG&E have quit tobacco, due to the support and incentives offered to them under this new plan.
“The new medical plan was designed to improve health outcomes and keep costs down, and the figures have demonstrated that it’s working on both fronts,” Dalzell said. “We’re pleased to see that after an initially challenging launch, the plan is undoubtedly having a positive impact on our members.”