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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Govt: Aetna will be health insurance provider for 2014

The Inos administration has selected Aetna Global as the government’s official health insurance policy provider for active employees and retirees for the entire year.

NMI Fund administrator Lillian Pangelinan, who handles the government’s Group Health and Life Insurance Program, disclosed this Friday, saying the decision was reached after intensive negotiations with the insurance carrier.

Aetna Global was initially selected to provide the health insurance coverage of government employees and retirees of the CNMI for just 60 days, or until the end this month. This new policy carried a 40-percent increase in premiums for members. The CNMI government pays a 50 percent share of the health insurance policy of members; the other half is paid by Fund members.

On Friday, Pangelinan formally informed Fund members that Aetna Global has been chosen with finality to provide the services continuously until Dec. 31, 2014. It is expected that the policy offered during the two-month extension will remain in effect in the next 12-month period.

“Thank you for your patience during these trying times with the government sponsored insurance program. Due to the cancellation of the RFP [request for proposals] for health insurance, intensive negotiations with Aetna were undertaken to ensure continued coverage to our enrollees, most especially those receiving treatment at home and abroad,” according to Pangelinan.

Under the current health policy with Aetna, the amount of new deductibles include $300 for single, $600 for couple, and $900 for family category.

The Inos administration earlier said the original Aetna contract was extended to give the Executive Branch some time to find another insurance provider that would be in the best interest of the members and the government.

Fund records show that there are approximately 2,400 individuals who benefit from the health coverage plan.

Pangelinan disclosed that Aetna representatives will soon be holding a public educational forum on the 2014 health coverage policy at the governor’s conference room beginning at 8am, simultaneously broadcast to Tinian and Rota at NMC instructional sites. The specific date for this forum will be announced soon.

Pangelinan said the enrollment period for the new policy will be on Feb. 12 to March 14. She encouraged Fund members to enroll in this program.

For members who may have questions about the policy and enrolment procedure, Aetna representatives will directly respond to them at the upcoming forum, Pangelinan said.

She encouraged Fund members to visit the agency’s website to obtain enrolment forms that will also be made available at the forum.

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 and its contract expired on Dec. 31.

Last week, the government also made a decision to ink a new contract for the Fund members’ life insurance coverage, selecting anew Individual Assurance Company as the policy provider for 2014.

Beginning Feb. 1, the new life insurance policy includes the following rates: For government employees, payment is $.58 per $1,000 of basic life benefits payable biweekly at 1.8 times annual salary. For retirees, payment is $.63 per $1,000 of basic life benefits payable semi-monthly at 1.8 times reduced annual pension.

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