State hosting health plan meetings for employees, retirees - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

State hosting health plan meetings for employees, retirees

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(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The state Office of Group Benefits will host enrollment meetings and online chats for current and former employees to discuss the 2015 health plan offerings.

"A recent analysis of health plans in the region showed that OGB offers the highest value plan among its peer group," the state said in a news release. "In 2015, OGB will continue to offer affordable, quality coverage to its members through a new set of plan options that offer a variety of coverage choices."

The meetings come on the heels of reports that there are major health benefit changes planned for state workers.

According to the Associated Press, state employees and retirees face increased out-of-pocket costs and higher deductibles as Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration reworks state health insurance plans to keep the program from financial disaster.

Financial analysts say those in the insurance program in many instances will be paying more and getting less. Critics of the changes say workers and retirees are being held responsible for the Jindal administration's mismanagement of their program.

Kristy Nichols, Jindal's top budget adviser, said health care costs simply are going up. She says the Office of Group Benefits offered plans that were too generous to continue affording at their current price tag.

The enrollment period runs Oct. 1-31.

Current and former employees who are not enrolled in Medicare will have a choice between three HMO plans, one PPO plan and two consumer-driven health plans.

Retirees with Medicare as primary insurance will be able to choose from three HMO plans, one PPO plan and one consumer-driven plan as secondary plans. They will also have the option to select from a variety of Medicare Advantage plans.

KPLC's Theresa Schmidt will have more on later editions, including interviews with local retirees who will be affected by the changes.


Webcast Schedule

To participate in one of the webcasts, go to www.groupbenefits.org

• 9:30-11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 15; 9:30-11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17; 9:30-11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 22; 9:30-11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24; 9:30-11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 29; 9:30-11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 27.


Meeting Schedule

The following is a list of the meetings in Southwest Louisiana. To see the full list, go to www.groupbenefits.org

For Active Employees & Retirees Without Medicare

• 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7 in the Lake Charles Civic Center Contraband Room, 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles.

• 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13 at the Country Inn & Suites Convention Center, 2727 Monroe Highway, Pineville.

• 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13 at the Heymann Center, 1373 South College Road, Lafayette.


For Retirees With Medicare

• 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8 in the Lake Charles Civic Center Contraband Room, 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles.

• 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14 at the Country Inn & Suites Convention Center, 2727 Monroe Highway, Pineville.

• 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14 at the Heymann Center, 1373 South College Road, Lafayette.

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