Health premiums for govt employees, retirees go down

With open enrollment now available, government employees and retirees of the Commonwealth will be able to avail of another decrease in health insurance premiums.

Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson said the 2018 policy now shows a 6-percent decrease in employee share—an offset afforded to government retirees as well.

“We have reached a 6-percent decrease since we started providing coverage through Aetna and we continue to work toward further reductions in cost. Gov. [Ralph DLG] Torres is very aware of the challenges faced by employees and retirees regarding the cost of healthcare and insurance coverage. Our team has worked diligently in further lowering the cost over the past year through the employer share of the premium. We are happy to share that this is a 6-percent decrease for active government and retiree contributions for high, low, and basic premium coverage,” Larson said.

Torres noted the Department of Finance was able to fully administer the government’s Group Health and Life Insurance program through House Bill 19-114, which was signed in early August of 2016, and cut costs.

“With another decrease in the government’s health insurance, we can see that it is running more efficiently and more affordably than before. We are able to pass on the savings to our government employees and we are still working to address the rising cost of healthcare through other means. I am pleased with the increase in the number of participants in the government’s group insurance plans as well as the continued decrease in premium rates. I encourage more of our government employees and retirees to take advantage of these rates,” Torres said.

 Torres added that this is the initial phase of healthcare plans that will lead to significant policy reform to address enrollment costs and the healthcare needs of the Commonwealth.

For active government contributions, an employee previously paid $85.33 for coverage on the high end, but now will only pay $79.66.

This decrease is also passed on to the low and basic coverage from $27.25 to $25.44 for low coverage, and $2.20 for basic. An employee and spouse will now pay $163.30 for high coverage, $52.15 for low coverage and $4.50 for basic. An employee and their family will now pay $254.91 instead of $272.07 for high coverage, $81.40 for low, and $7.01 for basic.

For government retirees, employees will pay $86.30 for high coverage, $27.56 for low, $2.38 for basic. Inclusion of retiree spouses will cost $176.91 for high, $50.49 for low, and $4.88 for basic. For retirees and their family, $276.15 for high coverage, $88.18 for low, and $7.60 for basic.

Pacifica Insurance Underwriters is the resident general agent for Aetna in the CNMI and will assist during the Nov. 20 to Dec. 20 open enrollment. Enrollment and change requests must be submitted no later than Dec. 20, 2017. For more information on GHLI, call 664-1100. (PR)

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Press Release
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