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Following the August 31 meeting, the OP&F Board of Trustees participated in a health care summit in order to specifically address a number of health care issues. Trustees, OP&F staff members and consultants took part in the summit that outlined several specifics regarding funding challenges facing the OP&F�sponsored health care plan.
The health care summit will be followed by meetings in October, November, January and February where the Board of Trustees will closely examine specific topics or initiatives that will eventually shape the future of health care options offered to eligible members, survivors and dependents and sponsored by OP&F. The Board will study all alternatives and ideas during these meetings and finalize future health care plan designs in the spring of 2006.
Opening remarks from Executive Director William J. Estabrook focused on the dollars coming in which are reserved to fund health care and the costs of offering the plan. Estabrook also outlined the steps needed in order to continue long�term fiscal responsibility (see the Executive Director�s message on page 3).
The Board first heard from Kim Nicoll of Buck Consultants, OP&F�s actuarial consultant, who delivered three presentations during the summit: the explanation of key provisions in the new Medicare prescription drug program (Part D); strategic advantages and disadvantages of offering a �one�plan, one�design� health care option versus the current multiple provider system; and an update on federal government accounting requirements in relation to pension and health care funding.
Nicholl also led a discussion examining OP&F�s health care reserves and the trends affecting its solvency.
Susan Helke of Watson Wyatt Worldwide reviewed general trends in retiree health care benefits. The discussion examined how many retirement plans offered a health care option, what types of plans are selected and costs to both the plan sponsor and the retiree. The presentation also focused on expected trends in health care.
Kimberly McDonough, the president and founder of Advanced Pharmacy Concepts presented information to the Board on the evolution of the pharmacy benefit manager industry and trends in the prescription drug field.
Chris Angles, Financial Analyst for OP&F Member Services Department, presented an overview on consumer directed health care and some specifics related to establishing a retiree medical trust account.
Chris Boecker, Compliance and Project Manager in OP&F�s Health Services Department, reviewed Medicare Part B reimbursement levels, and the decisions made by other retirement systems in response to the rising monthly premiums.
OP&F Controller, Alreen Rhodes concluded the presentations with an explanation of contributions, allocations and the actuarial valuation of OP&F.
The summit concluded with comments from Board Chair Ken Gehring (Toledo Fire) and William Deighton (retired, Cleveland Fire), Chair of the Board�s Health Care Committee.
�The Board has publicly committed to building a health care plan design that both recognizes the limited resources available and provides an appropriate level of access to quality health care and prescription benefits to our eligible members,� said Gehring. �It is with this goal in mind that we must thoroughly investigate every credible issue and idea to determine its viability and affect.�