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HomeNewsArchivesHEALTH INSURANCE BOARD GRILLED ON CONTRACT

HEALTH INSURANCE BOARD GRILLED ON CONTRACT

March 30, 2001 –- Senators on the Finance Committee grilled members of the Government Health Insurance Board on Thursday evening about the health insurance contract extension that will cost government workers an additional $8 million.
According to board Chairwoman Paulette Rabsatt, the contract extension with Blue Cross-Blue Shield will result in a projected increase of 22 percent for medical coverage and 39 percent for dental coverage for the period ending Sept. 30. The redesigned one-year contract is intended to give the board time to find the best carrier for the long haul.
Rabsatt said the board did not have time to look at other bids, a process that normally takes 180 days.
But that explanation was not good enough for some senators. Committee Chairwoman Alicia "Chucky" Hansen told Rabsatt, "A plan has now jumped from $36 million to $44.4 million without approval from the Legislature. The law clearly states that once a bill is sent down with an appropriation attached to it, it must be approved by the Senate."
Rabsatt said the board is developing a plan with a compromise price tag of $40 million annually but needs another 30 days before submitting it to for approval. Coverage for government workers and retirees would be reduced and deductibles increased under the plan.
"I hope you don't think we are just going to rubber stamp this plan," Hansen said. She and other committee members said they would likely offer extensive changes to the contract proposal once it goes through Government House and comes to the Senate.

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March 30, 2001 –- Senators on the Finance Committee grilled members of the Government Health Insurance Board on Thursday evening about the health insurance contract extension that will cost government workers an additional $8 million.
According to board Chairwoman Paulette Rabsatt, the contract extension with Blue Cross-Blue Shield will result in a projected increase of 22 percent for medical coverage and 39 percent for dental coverage for the period ending Sept. 30. The redesigned one-year contract is intended to give the board time to find the best carrier for the long haul.
Rabsatt said the board did not have time to look at other bids, a process that normally takes 180 days.
But that explanation was not good enough for some senators. Committee Chairwoman Alicia "Chucky" Hansen told Rabsatt, "A plan has now jumped from $36 million to $44.4 million without approval from the Legislature. The law clearly states that once a bill is sent down with an appropriation attached to it, it must be approved by the Senate."
Rabsatt said the board is developing a plan with a compromise price tag of $40 million annually but needs another 30 days before submitting it to for approval. Coverage for government workers and retirees would be reduced and deductibles increased under the plan.
"I hope you don't think we are just going to rubber stamp this plan," Hansen said. She and other committee members said they would likely offer extensive changes to the contract proposal once it goes through Government House and comes to the Senate.