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OEBB issues proposed rule on opt-out fee

The Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB) has issued a proposed rule that would create a $100 a month, per person fee for employees who receive any form of cash incentive by a district after providing proof of other group health insurance. On May 24, OEBB officials met with representatives from OSBA, the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), and the Oregon Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) to hear concerns about the timing of the proposed rule and potentially devastating financial impacts on Oregon school districts if the rule is adopted.

OEBB explained to the group that the fee proposal is the result of a growing number of opt-outs over the last few years. Opt-outs are adding approximately 2 percent on top of annual inflationary rate increases.

Through the course of the discussion OASBO’s Angie Peterman shared recent data collected from school districts that contradict OEBB’s projections. The group suggested that it would be prudent for OEBB to more closely study or delay the proposed rule. OEBB also confirmed at the meeting that the fee is on incentivized opt-outs only and does not affect districts that have employees who opt-out or waive insurance without any form of incentive.

No decisions were made at the meeting, but a work group including members of the associations present at the meeting has been formed and will meet again next week with OEBB to seek solutions on the opt-out issue. OSBA Legislative Specialist Lori Sattenspiel and Director of Labor Services Peggy Stock will represent OSBA on the work group and continue to advocate on behalf of districts.