Government Of Guam Owes Retiree Health Plan Seven Pay Periods Of Premiums

NetCare finds it hard to operate without $351,000 in outstanding premiums

By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Oct. 13, 2016) – The government of Guam is struggling to pay its share of health insurance payments for retirees and their dependents, two health plan administrators confirmed Thursday.

Moylan’s NetCare is owed more than $351,000 for seven pay periods of health insurance premiums for GovGuam retirees, said NetCare Plan Administrator Jerry C. Crisostomo on Thursday.

NetCare doesn’t want to suspend its health insurance coverage for GovGuam retirees, but at the same time, Crisostomo said it’s a challenge for NetCare to have to wait for payment for this long, especially past the end of fiscal 2016 last month.

“We didn’t have this problem in fiscal year 2015; they weren’t behind like this, so fiscal year 2016 is far worse,” Crisostomo said.

GovGuam would sometimes be late in paying health insurance premiums for two pay periods, but a delay of seven pay periods is a problem, Crisostomo said.

NetCare provides health insurance coverage to more than 140 GovGuam retirees, he said. The retirees’ share of their health insurance premium payments is up-to-date, but the GovGuam’s share of the cost isn’t, Crisostomo said.

The majority of GovGuam’s retirees get health insurance from Calvo’s SelectCare.

GovGuam also is behind in payments to SelectCare, said Plan Administrator Frank Campillo.

“As to the amount, I need to confirm it with our carrier, but it is prudent to say that it is a sizable number,” Campillo said. He wasn’t in his office Thursday to get the specific amount.

As of July this year, 3,650 retirees were enrolled in the government’s group health insurance, most of them under SelectCare.

NetCare wrote to Department of Administration Director Christine Baleto on Oct. 5 about the health insurance payments that are owed as far back as April 30.

“Based on prior communication from the Department of Administration, (it’s) our understanding that the fiscal 2016 appropriation for retirees’ health insurance premiums has been exhausted,” Crisostomo wrote.

A phone call and email to Baleto weren't immediately returned on Thursday.

Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz, chairman of the legislative appropriations committee, wrote to Gov. Eddie Calvo on Oct. 12, indicating that his office has received calls about GovGuam’s delayed payments, which could suspend retirees’ medical, dental and life insurance coverage.

With just 11 days to the start of fiscal 2017, the governor has sufficient authority to make any payments required to the health insurance providers, Cruz wrote.

And the fiscal 2017 budget law provides $10 million in additional spending authority specifically for medical, dental and life insurance costs, Cruz wrote.

The local government’s annual health and life insurance expense for GovGuam retiree premiums was $38 million in fiscal 2016, which was almost double what it cost taxpayers two years prior, according to Pacific Daily News files.

Pacific Daily News
Copyright © 2016 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

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If it's deducted from our checks where does it go.

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