Letter: What’s the real motive behind hospital dropping PEBB?

Editor,

As a recently retired employee of the University of Washington, I can well understand why WhidbeyHealth’s retired employees are upset to learn at the 11th hour of their former employer’s decision to drop health insurance coverage with the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB). I count myself fortunate that for over 32 years I have had insurance through PEBB, which because of its large base of more than 300,000 members, is able to negotiate affordable health plans, both for state employees and for retirees.

According to WhidbeyHealth CEO Geri Forbes, the PEBB system is “very old” and unable to “design, develop and implement targeted health programs to enhance the health and wellness of our current staff.” This is surprising to me, because the SmartHealth program that is one of the PEBB benefits is specifically designed to increase employee wellness. Using information supplied by employees in an annual confidential wellness survey, SmartHealth provides participants with targeted recommendations for improving their health and wellness. Over the years, I found my customized tips helpful, and I am glad I can continue to utilize this benefit as a retiree.

While much was made in the article of WhidbeyHealth’s desire to enhance employee health and wellness, another motive seemed to be mentioned almost in passing: “a potential financial benefit.” I can only wonder if that is the real reason behind the change. If I were an employee or retiree affected by this decision, I would want to know the truth.

Teresa Di Biase

Langley

More in Opinion

Letter: Discourse over jet noise lacks civility, is dangerous

Editor, In response to the letter to the editor, “Idea for moving… Continue reading

Letter: Fasten your seatbelts, hang on to checkbooks

Editor, We all recently received our Notice of Value from Island County… Continue reading

Letter: Oak Harbor can be unsafe, but police doing their best

Editor, This is a letter of gratitude and appreciation. My husband and… Continue reading

Letter: We need to keep an eye on, challenge elected officials

Editor, Robert D. Brown’s letter on June 15 was clearly to the… Continue reading

Cartoon for June 22, 2019

Cartoon for June 22, 2019… Continue reading

Sound Off: Anti-jet noise activists’ narrative not rooted in reality

By Steve Bristow The recent spate of activist letters, here and elsewhere,… Continue reading

Letter: Contract concerns drive hearing examiner decision

Editor, In reading the Saturday, June 8, article in the Whidbey News-Times… Continue reading

Cartoon for June 16, 2019

Cartoon for June 16, 2019… Continue reading

Letter: Sound Defense Alliance more than a ‘handful’ of disgruntled island locals

Editor, Recent letters to the editor painted an inaccurate picture of the… Continue reading

Most Read