Pangelinan Maintains His Bill Would Cap GovGuam Health Insurance Rates

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Guam – Senator Ben Pangelinan issued his rebuttal to the the Acting Governor’s veto of his Bill #513, the health insurance choice bill.

In a release, the Senator states that he is worried that “the interest of taxpayers, government employees, and the general public have been sacrificed for special interest.”   

The acting Governor vetoed his bill last Friday citing a Hay Group report that concluded that the measure would raise health insurance premiums rates for GovGuam employees. 

Pangelinan has countered that his measure would cap rates, not raise them.

In his release, Pangelinan included a chart “prepared by the Office of Finance and Budget shows how much Bill 513 will save the government employee and retiree, and ultimately the taxpayer, who pays for the government’s health insurance bill.”  

In his release he concludes by arguing that “every day that we continue under the current contract precludes the employees from realizing the potential savings or using that savings toward the uncovered health cost.”

 

 

READ the release from Senator Pangelinan in FULL below:

PANGELINAN RESPONDS TO VETO OF HEALTH INSURANCE BILL

FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE (October 15, 2012 – Hagåtña) – In response to the veto of Bill 513-31, Senator Vicente (ben) Cabrera Pangelinan is concerned that GovGuam employees and retirees have been pushed to the backseat and have been prevented from realizing significant savings and having a choice in insurance carriers for FY 2013.

“I worry that the interest of taxpayers, government employees, and the general public have been sacrificed for special interest,” states Senator Pangelinan (D-Barrigada).

Declaring that Bill 513, in no way, can raise the rates on health insurance from what we are paying now, the senator says, “Employees, retirees, and taxpayers of Guam currently are paying upwards of $75 million. Bill 513 caps that at $69 million.”   Bill 513 will save $6 million for the government employee and retiree, and ultimately the taxpayer, who pays for the government’s health insurance bill.”

(MEDIA: See attachments) The following tables prepared by the Office of Finance and Budget shows how much Bill 513 will save the government employee and retiree, and ultimately the taxpayer, who pays for the government’s health insurance bill.”

Pangelinan adds that the “study” provided by the Hay Group was done without analysis and did not include examples of how Bill 513 would increase rates as suggested. “I welcome any analysis that shows how a contract for $69 million in premiums costs more than one for $75 million in premiums,” says Pangelinan.

The Attorney General testified that the bill, which would pre-qualify bidders and award contracts in a sealed bid process to more than one insurance company, could be implemented in place of a new RFP once the current protest filed by SelectCare is decided in favor of the government. The AG earlier agreed with TakeCare that the existing RFP process is flawed and cancelled it; however, a new RFP has not been issued due to Selectcare’s protest.  In the meantime, the Governor has extended SelectCare’s existing contract at the current rates for an indefinite period up to one year.

In addition to the reduced premiums for the employees and retirees, Bill 513 directs that the savings in the government’s share of the premiums will be applied directly toward the employees’ $2000 deductibles, thereby increasing the likelihood of employees and their families seeing their health care providers promptly.

“I was hoping the Governor would choose to protect the bottom line for our government employees, retirees, and the taxpayers.  Every day that we continue under the current contract precludes the employees from realizing the potential savings or using that savings toward the uncovered health costs,” concludes Pangelinan.