Fitial admin approves Aetna’s rate hike proposal

Retirees and active government employees will now pay a higher premium for health insurance after the Fitial administration approved the rate hike proposal of Aetna Global during a meeting between parties yesterday.

Press secretary Angel Demapan said the Executive Branch opted to adopt the two recommendations submitted by the insurance carrier, both with increases in premium rates.

The new rates will take effect this month.

Demapan disclosed that under the new proposal, government employees will have a high option and low option to choose from.

In the high option, which has 80/20 percent sharing between the government and the member, the premium will increase by 18.54 percent. The low option, which is a 70/30 percent sharing, will have an 8.73 percent increase.

“Both options will be made available for government employees to choose from during the open enrollment period that will begin at the end of this month. So it is up to the individual to select which coverage option they would like,” he told Saipan Tribune.

Despite the increases, Demapan said the administration looked into the benefits incorporated in the proposals.

“While the administration is concerned to see such rate hikes, the administration is also pleased to see benefit changes accorded by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” he said.

Among these are the no annual maximum, no lifetime plan maximum, and the coverage of dependents up to age 26 regardless of student/residence/marital status.

Demapan said another added benefit is the addition of NetCare Philippines providers, which includes St. Luke’s Medical Center, Makati Medical Center, and others. Access will include physicians associated with each of these facilities.

Aetna Global’s rate hike proposal is still being scrutinized by the CNMI Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to see if it complies with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Acting Commerce secretary Sixto Igisomar told Saipan Tribune Tuesday that a response from the federal agency is expected very soon.

Any insurance carrier wanting to increase its rates has to get the approval of Commerce’s Insurance Commission Office.

Aetna Global’s contract as insurance carrier for Fund members was supposed to expire on Nov. 1 but this was postponed to January 2012.

Moneth G. Deposa | Reporter

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.