ESSB 6241

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Passed Senate, February 14, 2018

Title: An act relating to the January 1, 2020, implementation of the school employees' benefits board program.

Brief Description: Concerning the January 1, 2020, implementation of the school employees' benefits board program.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Hobbs, Fain, Mullet and Keiser; by request of Health Care Authority).

Brief History:

Committee Activity: Ways & Means: 1/24/18, 1/31/18 [DPS, DNP, w/oRec].

Floor Activity:

Passed Senate: 2/14/18, 41-7.

Brief Summary of Engrossed First Substitute Bill

  • Makes various changes related to the administration of the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) by the Health Care Administration (HCA).


Majority Report: That Substitute Senate Bill No. 6241 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass.

Signed by Senators Rolfes, Chair; Frockt, Vice Chair; Braun, Ranking Member; Billig, Carlyle, Conway, Darneille, Fain, Hasegawa, Hunt, Keiser, Mullet, Palumbo, Pedersen, Ranker, Van De Wege and Wagoner.

Minority Report: Do not pass.

Signed by Senators Bailey, Becker, Schoesler and Warnick.

Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.

Signed by Senators Honeyford, Assistant Ranking Member; Brown and Rivers.

Staff: Amanda Cecil (786-7460)

Background: EHB 2242 was enacted in 2017 creating a nine-member SEBB within the HCA. Under this bill, beginning January 1, 2020, all public schools must provide health care benefits to eligible employees through the SEBB program.

Board membership includes:

SEBB responsibilities include:

In addition to consolidating health care purchasing for school district employees, EHB 2242 also removed medical, dental, vision, and other basic and optional insurance benefits from the scope of local bargaining. Similarly to how state employees bargain for health care, health benefit provisions will be bargained between the Governor or the Governor's designee and one coalition of all the exclusive bargaining representatives impacted by benefit purchasing with the SEBB. Bargaining must be initiated after July 1, 2018.

Summary of Engrossed First Substitute Bill: The following changes are made, which relate to the administration of SEBB by HCA:

As an enhancement to the program of basic education, school districts may bargain for and provide:

The state intends to review the funding assumptions and consider assumptions that are related to the proportion of people that work 630 hours or more when allocating funding to school districts. Funding must be allocated to school districts at the same or greater level than what is provided to state agencies for Public Employee Benefits.

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) must provide HCA with K-12 health care benefit information and that this information is exempt from public disclosure.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: The bill contains several effective dates. Please refer to the bill.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Original Bill: The committee recommended a different version of the bill than what was heard. PRO: This bill makes needed clarifying and technical changes to the provisions of SEBB.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Steve Hobbs, Prime Sponsor; Julie Salvi, Washington Education Association; Brian Sims, Washington State School Directors Association; Doug Nelson, PSE/SEIU 1948; David Iseminger, Director, Employees and Retirees Benefits Division, Washington State Health Care Authority.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.