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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fund outlines new health coverage premiums during extension period

The NMI Retirement Fund, which handles the Group Health and Life Insurance Program of the government, announced new premium rates for retirees and active employees during the 60-day extension of health insurance coverage by policy carrier Aetna International.

The new premium rates come with a 40-percent increase for active employees.

From the existing rate of $82.45 for a single member, the amount would go up to $113.17 in January and February—an increase of $30.72.

For active employees who are classified as couple, new premium rate is $231.92 from the existing $169.02—a difference of $62.90.

Those classified as family will see an increase of $98.30 on their premium—from $263.83 to $362.13.

Fund administrator Lillian Pangelinan informed affected employees and retirees that whoever disagrees with the new rates can elect to terminate their membership in the policy. Forms are available at the Fund office during business hours and on its website and are due for submission by Jan. 15.

Fund records show that there are approximately 2,400 individuals who benefit from the health coverage plan—both active employees of the government and retirees.

According to Pangelinan’s memorandum that was also sent to department heads, the 40-percent increase for active members will also apply to retirees—or those members of the settlement fund class suit.

For single retiree, his/her share of health insurance coverage will go up to $122.60 from the existing $89.32—an increase of $33.28.

For couples, the new rate is $251.32, which is $68.22 higher than the $183.10 they used to pay for their coverage.

For family, an additional $106.50 will be charged: from the existing $285.81 share to $392.31.

Pangelinan emphasized that for retirees, once they terminate their health insurance coverage, “by law, you will not be able to re-enroll in the health insurance program.”

The Group Health Life Insurance Program is benefit program of the government that is administered by the Retirement Fund administrator. For many years, Aetna International has been servicing the members’ health insurance; its contract expired on Dec. 31, 2013. A 60-day extension was later inked by parties. This extension will allow the government to negotiate an affordable health insurance policy for all enrollees.

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