Posted On: Dec 364, 2021


There will only be minor Health Insurance premium changes for 2021. With 2020 being such a unique 
year for insurance companies as a whole and our Plan being no different, the Board decided that 
they would keep premiums about the same until we see how 2021 develops.
The unique part of 2020 was that with the COVID-19 pandemic, many patients refrained from going to 
doctors’ offices and many elective type surgeries were delayed, postponed or outright cancelled. 
The affect this has had on many insurance companies is that claims were less than projected. Our 
Fund was no different.

We have consulted with our actuary, UMR, United Health Care and our Insurance Consultant who 
reached out to several of the large insurance carriers to find out what each were thinking 2021 
could bring for insurance companies. The most consistent response was ‘we don’t know but it could 
be bad’. So what are some of the concerns? First, there is the simple and easily
identifiable, like someone was scheduled for a knee replacement and it was postponed until 2021. 
Easy enough, a $100,000 surgery that was not done and paid for in 2020 will now be a $100,000 claim 
paid for in 2021. So there could be a backlog of surgeries from 2020 on top of the regular amount 
of surgeries for a normal year. This could double the amount of claims next year.

More concerning to us and others in the field is the detriment to lack of medical care. While there 
is a financial component to a lack of medical care, more important is the health outcomes due to 
the lack of medical care. For example, a cancer that might have been caught at stage one or two 
under normal times now is discovered at stage three or four when medical care is delayed. Maybe a 
cardiac condition  that could have been treated with medication or a simple procedure now turns 
into major bypass surgery or worse
when medical care is delayed. As we learned in the early days and years of our own Wellness Center, 
lack of medical care does not save money, it just prolongs the expense and usually makes it much 

Needless to say, most in the insurance industry do not have any rock solid information as to what 
is going to happen in 2021. Therefore, the Board of Trustees did not want to make any drastic 
changes until after we see how 2021 turns out. The Insurance Fund did save, at least year to date 
so far, a couple of million dollars from the reduction of claims, but we may end up spending more 
than what we saved to catch-up. There’s just no way to know for sure.

Retiree rates will remain the same for 2021 except that the Medicare allowance will increase to
$144 per month up from $138 in 2020. Active employee rates will decrease by $12.49 per month across 
the rate tiers to offset the employer increase schedule to take affect January 1, 2021.
Historically, the retiree rates increased each year by the same basic percentage as the employer’s 
contribution increase. So in order to keep rates consistent, the Board chose to give next year’s
employer increase back to active employees in order not to raise retiree rates.


2021 RETIREE STATUS CHANGE                    Coordination of Benefits Form

  • Palm Beach County Fire Fighters Employee Benefits Fund

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