Gumataotao: Governor Will Sign Health Insurance Agreement; Won Pat: Re-Negotiate It

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Guam – The Governor’s office Friday said that the health insurance plan meant to cover more than 10-thousand GovGuam employees will be signed within the next few days. But with open enrollment for the plan closing on Monday some lawmakers are clamoring for a re-negotiation after being bombarded with complaints for GovGuam employees about the high cost of the new premiums they’ll have to pay.

     

Governor’s Spokesman Shawn Gumataotao slammed the Gutierrez-Aguon team for trying to make a political issue out of the increased premiums for Calvo SelectCare’s health insurance plan for GovGuam employees.

“8 people from our Government, including a representative from the Legislature which happens to be the Committee that the Lt. Governor candidate, Frank Aguon chairs, and to say that he and his group did not know of these negotiations and the cost and the like,  is absolutely insane.”

The controversy was triggered by a full page ad  in island newspapers Thursday from the Gutierrez-Aguon Gubernatorial team charging that health isnurance rates for GovGuam employees were about to go up nearly 300%.

Calvo’s SelectCare fired back Friday with a full page ad of its own in island newspapers. “Setting the Record Straight” its says.

The SelctCare ad asserts the increases “for the 2 SelectCare plans offered this year range between 57% and  93%,  while the dental plan decreases 6%.”

But that is only if your looking at the combined contributions made by GovGuam plus the premium paid by the GovGuam employee. The actual percentage increase for the individual GoGuam employee is much higher, because GovGuam is not able to meet its end of the premium contribution, as SelectCare acknowledges in its full page ad.

“The limitations of  GovGuam’s contribution to the new health insurance rates” are “beyond our control,” states SelectCare, “therefore the remaining premium contribution”  has “to be shouldered by Government of Guam employees.”

Of the 20 health insurance options under the 2 SelectCare plans offered,  none reflect a 300% increase. But 2 of them require a  287%  premium increase. 2 others reflect a 257% premium increase.

12 other plans have increases between 100% and 150%. While the remaining 4 options reflecting increases under 100%.

Speaker Judi Won Pat, a democrat, says she and other lawmakers are getting bombarded with calls from constituents complaining about the increases. She agrees with the Democratic Gubernatorial team of Gutierrez-Aguon that the Governor should not sign the SelectCare plan. She thinks both sides should go back to the table and re-negotiate the rates, or at least allow the present plan to continue in force.

Won Pat also says that the Camacho Administration should enforce Public Law 30-170 which requires an independent examination of the rates to determine how much of what GovGuam pays goes towards profit, and how much goes towards actual healthcare for GovGuam workers.

However, the Governor’s Spokesman, Shawn Gumataotao says the Governor intends to sign the SelectCare Health insurance plan for GovGuam employees before next Friday, October 1st, when it is slated to take effect.