June 17, 2014

External Affairs Branch
(916) 795-3991
Robert Udall Glazier, Deputy Executive Officer
Brad Pacheco, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Bill Madison, Information Officer


SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s (CalPERS) Pension and Health Benefits Committee (PHBC) today recommended the Pension Fund’s Board of Administration adopt health care premium rates that reduce premiums for more than 570,000 members by about 3 percent from last year’s rates. Additionally, approximately 175,000 members will experience increases of less than 3 percent if they stay with their current health plan. If the full Board approves the new premium rates, they will take effect on January 1, 2015.

“We have made a concerted effort to strengthen coordination of care between providers, integrate delivery systems, and provide intensive management for our chronically ill members to improve member quality of care and reduce costs,” said Priya Mathur, Chair of the Committee. “We offer a wide variety of plans to choose from and we look forward to continuing our partnerships to meet the needs of our members and their families.”

CalPERS offers six Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) throughout California, three Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans, and three association plans. Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente, and UnitedHealthcare provide coverage in most of California. Health Net of California covers six counties in Southern California and Sharp Health services San Diego County. Anthem will also continue serving as the Third Party Administrator for CalPERS self-funded PPO health plans. All of the CalPERS health plan provider contracts expire December 31, 2018. 

“Our message to the health care system has consistently been that the trajectory of costs related to health care is unsustainable. We are pleased that most of our health plans have been able to keep premium increases low for the upcoming year,” said Ann Boynton, CalPERS Deputy Executive Officer for Benefit Programs Policy and Planning.

In 2014, CalPERS is projected to spend $7.7 billion to purchase health benefits for 1.4 million active and retired state, local government, and school employees and their families.

In April 2014, the CalPERS Board approved moving public agencies in Yolo County with CalPERS health coverage from the Bay Area health coverage region into the Sacramento region. This move will allow those public employees who work and live in Yolo County access to the same coverage as their associates who work in Yolo County and live in neighboring Sacramento County.

In other changes, Blue Shield is dropping its NetValue coverage in Humboldt County and removing Sharp from its network. Also, UnitedHealthcare is expanding its coverage into Solano and San Joaquin counties.

View the 2015 health premiums:

CalPERS is the nation’s largest public pension fund with approximately $295 billion in assets, providing retirement benefits to more than 1.6 million state, public school, local public agency employees, retirees, and their families on behalf of more than 3,000 employers in the state, and health benefits to more than 1.4 million members. For more information about CalPERS, visit www.calpers.ca.gov.