Senators debate GovGuam health insurance bill anew

No action was taken on the bill today. Session resumes at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.

Day 2 of the current legislative session was spent in debate over a proposal to provide GovGuam employees with the choice of two competing health insurance providers.

The current law requires GovGuam to select only one provider deemed to have the lowest cost and most beneficial health plan. Former Speaker B.J. Cruz introduced the bill that became that law in an effort to rein in the runaway costs of health insurance for GovGuam employees.

Senators went into the Committee-of-the-Whole yesterday to consider testimony on Bill 255 which seeks to repeal the former speaker’s law and allow a choice of two providers rather than just one.

Once again, Department of Administration Director Edward Birn pointed out, as he had many times before, that choosing a single provider would be less expensive for GovGuam than to allow a choice between two providers.

The measure was introduced by Senator Pedo Terlaje and Speaker Tina Muna Barnes. Speaker Barnes attempted a similar measure last year but it failed.

The GovGuam employee health insurance contract is the single most expensive procurement every year for GovGuam. The current provider is Aenta. The contract cost tops $100 million.

No action was taken on the bill today. Session resumes at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning.