The Guam Daily Post

12 23Thu11262015


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GovGuam allowed to choose insurance

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FOR the first time in years, government of Guam employees and retirees will be able to choose from three health insurance providers. Gov. Eddie Calvo yesterday accepted the recommendation of the government’s health insurance negotiating team to permit multiple insurance carriers to offer coverage to those eligible to participate in the government’s health insurance plan.

According to a letter from Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio to Calvo, the results of the negotiations between the government team and the companies were forwarded yesterday morning to Tenorio. In the letter, Tenorio praised the team’s efforts. “They managed to negotiate a multiple-carrier scenario that substantially is cheaper than the rates we’re paying now under the sole provider,” he wrote, adding: "[The negotiating team] was also able to secure more benefits for our employees and retirees. The benefits will be the same for any insurance carrier you choose to provide coverage to the employees and retirees. The only real variables for deciding between an exclusive provider or allowing employees and retirees to choose among multiple carriers are choice, reliability, and cost.”

Tenorio recommended the governor choose the multiple-carrier option. A typewritten note, apparently from Calvo, at the bottom of Tenorio’s letter reads: “I affirm your recommendation. Please have someone inform the negotiating team ... so we can start open enrollment. It’s getting late in the process.”

The governor’s legal counsel advised Tony Blaz, acting director of the Department of Administration, to inform the negotiating team of the decision.

The government’s sole health insurance provider has been Calvo’s SelectCare, which is owned by the governor’s family. “I imagine your public comments that you may choose the multiple-carrier scenario – despite the speculation and innuendo of our detractors – may have inspired the team toward serious negotiations with the three carriers.”

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