Husslein says Bill 30-35 will bump up GovGuam insurance cost

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Guam- Health Insurance premiums for GovGuam employees are likely to skyrocket threefold from their current rates as a result of a bill that would require government insurance providers to include the Guam Regional Medical City in insurance coverage, according to Joseph Husslein, president of TakeGuam Guam.

Currently, GovGuam insurance plans are acceptable only at the government-run Guam Memorial Hospital.

According to the Department of Public Health’s 2017 cost analysis, a private hospital’s per diem rate will cost GovGuam $23 million annually as compared to GMH’s per diem rate of $10 million annually. Husslein said GovGuam cannot afford such additional cost.

An estimated $10 million in additional insurance cost would be passed on to the taxpayers if GRMC were to be included in the government’s insurance coverage.

While Speaker Tina Muna Barnes’ Bill 30-35 seeks to expand healthcare provider options for GovGuam employees and retirees, Husslein said the proposed measure imposes a “forced choice.”

Unlike the public hospital, GRMC is unregulated. It can set rates and fees without government approval, making GovGuam susceptible to higher insurance cost.

TakeCare is prepared to challenge the policy if the bill is enacted into law.

However, according to Husslein should GovGuam’s health insurance contract provide a 2 part package solution – with the first option to only provide GMH services and the second, as a ‘buy-up’ option to also include the more costly services out of GRMC, they would be more susceptible to supporting its passage.