Excellent. For many organizations of the state’s size, this is a great path to better care for a better price.
The board overseeing health benefits for state workers will vote next month on a move toward self-insurance, after discussing the issue at a special meeting Thursday.
The Group Insurance Board, largely controlled by the governor, plans to vote Feb. 17 on whether to issue requests for proposals from companies that would assist the state in self-insuring workers, on a regional or statewide basis, starting in 2018.
Such proposals would give the board better information on whether the move would be good for workers and taxpayers, said Jon Litscher, board chairman.
Currently, “we don’t have hard data to make a final choice,” Litscher said.
The state could save $42 million a year by self-insuring state workers instead of buying insurance from 17 HMOs, Segal Consulting said in a report to the board in November. The state would pay benefits directly and assume the risk for large claims, likely hiring one or more insurance companies to administer the program.
Vermont has done this for years. The company administering the plan has changed a few times in the past 20 years, but that’s just about getting the new cards. Vermont does buy what’s called a “stop-loss” policy, which insures against any one member of the system costing the State more than X in any one calendar year, though I have no idea what X is.
The nice thing about a self-funded system is that if claims experience comes in below predictions, we get premium holidays at the end of the year. Given the cost of health insurance, $100+ extra is gladly welcomed at that time of the year.
This should be widely embraced. It may get bogged down in petty turf war politics in the Capitol, but this is the right move for taxpayers and for the state employees, too. But it is a huge huge win for taxpayers. The logical extension of Act 10 reforms. We’ve given local governments and school districts the ability to save money by shopping around for benefits. The state needs to explore ways to provide their benefits for less, too!