PAR Urges Oversight Changes For Insurance Program

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A government watchdog organization suggests Louisiana's state worker health insurance program shouldn't be overseen solely by the governor's office.

         The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana says a third-party committee, similar to the one that oversees state retirement programs, should decide premium rates for the Office of Group Benefits.

         Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is under fire for its handling of the Group Benefits plans that cover state employees, public school workers and retirees. It is rewriting benefit packages, with higher out-of-pocket costs for active employees, to keep the program from draining its entire reserve and going broke.

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         PAR says an actuarial committee should set the target range for the reserve fund and set premiums to keep that fund on track — rather than letting the governor's office determine premium rates.

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