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Monday, April 21, 2014

Higher insurance premium deduction in effect end of Jan.

Retirees and government employees who elect to remain under an extended contract with health insurance carrier Aetna International will start paying the new rate at the end of this month.

NMI Fund administrator Lillian Pangelinan made this known to Fund members in a memorandum Monday, announcing that the new premium rates during the extended term will take effect Jan. 31, 2014.

The Inos administration recently approved a two-month extension of Aetna’s contract as the health insurance provider under the government’s Group Health and Life Insurance Program. The extension is up to Feb. 28.

The extended contract comes with a higher premium for members, equivalent to a 40-percent increase over the 2013 rates.

The CNMI government pays a 50-percent share of the health insurance policy; the other half is paid by Fund members.

“The Aetna International health insurance coverage deductible restarts every calendar year. As such, the deductible for the 60-day extension will be $300 for single; $600 for couple; and $900 for family,” according to Pangelinan. The amounts are applicable to both active members and retirees.

Pangelinan earlier said the Aetna contract was extended to give the Executive Branch more time to find an alternate health insurance policy that would be in the best interest of the members and the government.

If Aetna is again selected as the official health insurance provider for 2014, Pangelinan said the amounts paid by members and retirees toward their deductibles during the extension period will be credited to their deductible under the new policy beginning March 1, 2014.

For example, if a member paid $150 in deductibles during the extension period, if Aetna continues to be the health care provider, the $150 they have already paid will be credited toward the applicable deductible amount under the new policy.

The Group Health Life Insurance Program is a benefit program of the government that is administered by the Retirement Fund administrator.

Fund records show that there are approximately 2,400 individuals who benefits from this program.

Based on the new premium rate, active employees will be charged a higher amount. From the existing premium rate of $82.45 for a single member, the amount would go up to $113.17 in January and February—or $30.72 more in out-of-pocket cost.

For active employees who are classified as couple, the new rate is $231.92, which is $62.90 higher than the previous $169.02.

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

For a single retiree, his/her share will go up to $122.60 from the existing $89.32—an increase of $33.28; for couples, the new rate will go up from $183.10 to $251.32, which is $68.22 higher.

For retiree family, the previous $285.81 share will go up to $392.31—an increase of $106.50.

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