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Sun Jul 7, 2019, 02:30 PM

$30M Health Insurance Cost Increase for VI Government Employees on the Horizon

$30 MILLION HEALTH INSURANCE COST INCREASE FOR GOV’T EMPLOYEES ON THE HORIZON; PERSONNEL DIRECTED TO GO BACK TO NEGOTIATING TABLE


The Committee on Finance met in St. Croix on Monday where the Department of Personnel (D.O.P.) gave testimony concerning the Government of the Virgin Islands’ (G.V.I.) Group Health Insurance plan that is set to increase by 17 to 19 percent, resulting in a whopping $30 million increase that will cost the G.V.I. and its employees dearly.

Kurell Hodge, strategy and organizational development officer for D.O.P., testified that the wellness program is one of many determining factors that the health insurance carriers utilizes to determine what the insurance premium cost should be. Even though a robust wellness program is in place, D.O.P. still has to remain cognizant of the fact that the number of claims filed has a significant impact on the cost of the final health insurance premiums, she explained.

Senator Donna Frett-Gregory, a non-committee member, attended the meeting and noted that there is a move to increase the G.V.I.’s health insurance program. She said she was aware that the Government Employees Service Commission (G.E.S.C.) board is currently working on negotiations with the health insurance agency. “How will it affect the wellness program currently in place? How is the wellness program helping to reduce premiums to prevent increases?” Mrs. Frett-Gregory asked. “We make a big deal about the program in the territory and I do not see how it is supporting us or where our premiums are being reduced as a result of the initiative.”

During her testimony, Dayna Clendenin, director of the Division of Personnel, explained that the wellness program is an incentive-based program that is designed to assist plan members with better managing their health, developing a relationship with their primary care physician, increasing preventative care utilization, and preventing heart disease and diabetes.

Read more: https://viconsortium.com/breaking-news/30-million-health-insurance-cost-increase-for-govt-employees-on-the-horizon-personnel-directed-to-go-back-to-negotiating-table/

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