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Health Insurance Benefit (HIB) Petition

Click Here to Sign the Petition!

Below will be presented at Retirement Board meeting on Thursday September 21st at 8:30am in Board Room or Zoom (see link below). Please sign the petition at the link above to have your voice heard!

https://www.ebmud.com/about-us/board-directors/board-meetings/retirement-board-meetings

Dear EBMUD Retirement Board,

Local 2019’s membership is concerned about the District’s deteriorating retiree healthcare benefits in light of increasing healthcare costs. The District’s Health Insurance Benefit (HIB) has not increased since 2004. Average California personal healthcare costs have risen approximately 216% from $4,776 in 2004 to $10,299 per year in 2020 according to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Figure 1 below compares the history of the District’s HIB to California personal healthcare costs from 1991 through 2020.

Graph of HIB over time

When the HIB was last increased in 2004 to a maximum of $550 per month for the retiree and spouse, the Kaiser +1 premium was $540.14 per month. Based on prior EBMUD Board of Directors resolutions, the HIB was intended to keep up with personal healthcare costs over time (See Attachment 1).To achieve the same health insurance benefit received by retirees in 2004, today’s HIB would be approximately $1,523.17 per month, nearly $1,000 per month more than the current benefit (See Attachment 2). In addition, the District’s 2023 HIB Survey dated March 9, 2023 shows that nearly 80% (15 out of 19) of the District’s peer agencies have greater retiree health benefits than the District. (See Attachment 3).

The undersigned members of Local 2019 request the Retirement Board to authorize the District’s actuary or other qualified entity to prepare a cost analysis of increasing the maximum HIB benefit. We would like the analysis to cover a range of potential benefit improvements, including the cost impacts to cover 100% of retiree health care costs for PEPRA employees. The analysis will provide useful information for both the District and the unions on the potential cost implications of expanding this benefit.

Retirement benefits, including retiree healthcare, remain a key issue for Local 2019’s membership. Our PEPRA members are paying more for their retirement to receive less benefits compared to their non-PEPRA peers at EBMUD and PEPRA peers at other government agencies. Based on research performed by Local 2019, the average 2023 PEPRA employee contribution rate for peer agencies is 7.41% compared to the District’s 2023 PEPRA employee contribution rate of 9.41% (See table below). While there are many factors driving the difference between these numbers, the loss of 2% in wages is a significant impact to our PEPRA members. We ask for the Retirement Board’s assistance in providing useful information in our efforts to provide meaningful retirement benefits for Local 2019’s membership.

Signed,

Members of Local 2019

Peer Agency 2023-2024 PEPRA Employee Contribution Rate
Alameda County Water District 7.75%
Delta Diablo Sanitation District 8.00%
Dublin San Ramon Services District 7.75%
Union Sanitary District 7.00%
West County Wastewater District 7.75%
Vallejo Flood and WW District 7.75%
Santa Clara Valley Water District 7.25%
Zone 7 Water Agency 7.75%
Marin Municipal Water District 6.25%
Sacramento Municipal Utility District 7.50%
City of Daly City 7.50%
City of Napa 7.25%
Contra Costa Water District 6.50%
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California 8.00%
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts 7.75%
Bay Area Air Quality Management District 6.75%
Average 7.41%
EBMUD 9.41%

 

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