Healthcare Trust Fund Board discusses moving forward with revised insurance plan for city workers, retirees

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 9:44 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Another tense meeting took place on Friday, Sept. 30, over insurance for Shreveport city workers and retirees.

The Healthcare Trust Fund Board discussed moving forward with the revised three-tier plan for 2023. With this plan, the board says the employees will see an increase in their premiums.

[RELATED: Mayor addresses ongoing battle over city employee health insurance]

“There’s going to be a five percent increase to employees. That was voted on at the last meeting. With the current votes that were allowed, the tier two would be that $750, the $2,000 what we currently have. Of course, in tier one it would allow a lower co-pay and a lower cost with some of the employees,” said Kasey Brown, interim chief financial officer.

Willis Knighton Health Systems said they met with the city Tuesday. That’s where they discussed a plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield. They also offered another plan that didn’t pass. That plan would stop any premium increases for city employees and retirees.

“We offered to make up the $700K difference the three-tier plan would’ve made and we put another $1 million on top of it. So, that was $1.7 million in discounts that Willis Knighton was offering to bring Health Plus and Aetna back to the table. That money could’ve been used to negate any type of premium increases for city employees, retirees or any additions to out of pocket expense that they were going to pass on,” said Jaf Fielder, CEO of Willis Knighton Health Systems.

Brown says part of the reason it wasn’t chosen is because the plan didn’t include the city’s third-party administrator, Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“What they were offering was not consistent with what our city attorney advised. Being from the stand-point that the board unanimously elected Blue Cross Blue Shield as our third-party administrator, we couldn’t then come and allow Aetna to be that third-party on that carrier as Blue Cross Blue Shield had already been elected.”

Brown said this plan is now in the hands of the city council.

“The next thing is we’re going to send this out to council and employee review to be able to review it based on the ordinance. If there is no opposition from council, then it would be effective after the 15-day period. From that point, we look to present these options to our employees through open enrollment.”