Lower Rates & More Benefits - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Lower Rates & More Benefits

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

PRESS RELEASES -
September 9, 2011

Government of Guam employees and retirees will take home more money in their
paychecks in the new fiscal year. For the first time in years, the cost of
health insurance will be going down… *and*, employees and retirees will get
*more* benefits.

"'Thank you' to all the members of the negotiating team for getting the best
deal for the employees, retirees, their dependents and the people of Guam,"
the Governor said.

Both the government share and the employee share of the cost of the new
health insurance contract are going down. The new contract is with
SelectCare.

"Governor Calvo had no part in last year's negotiations for the health
insurance contract," Chief of Staff Franklin P. Arriola said. "But, his
family name was used to disparage him all in the name of petty politics. Now
that he's governor, his administration negotiated the best healthcare plan
in a long time. They did what no one has been able to do for years, reduce
the cost of the health insurance contract."

"To anyone who may have thought or worried that Governor Calvo would use
this position to enrich himself or his family, this action puts all the
rumors to rest," Arriola said. "With this new plan, there is no reason to
doubt Governor Calvo's only interests are to improve the quality of life for
the people of Guam. It is time to put this issue to rest, leave the past in
the past and move forward together in the best interests of the people of
Guam. That is how Governor Calvo started his term, and that is how he will
continue serving."

*Tenorio Reduces Employees' & Retirees' Cost Share*

Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio approved the new rates and concurred with the
Director of Administration's recommendations to accept the negotiating
team's negotiated terms and rates. The memorandum with his approval is
attached. The rates negotiated by the Government of Guam Health Insurance
Negotiating Team were presented to the Lieutenant Governor late last month.
Lt. Governor Tenorio went above and beyond his expected role in the process,
called in the negotiating team, and reduced the employees' and retirees'
share even further than what was proposed.

"Governor Calvo said to me before this process began to ‘do what is
necessary to get the best deal for the people and the government employees,
retirees and their dependents.'" Lt. Governor Tenorio said. "This was an
issue that was wrongly used against us in the campaign, so I wanted to do
everything to show the people where our interests really rest, and that is
with the public."

*Recusal*

Governor Eddie Baza Calvo recused himself from the process to avoid any
perceived conflict of interest.

*Extraordinary Benefits*

Aside from the lowered rates, GovGuam employees, retirees and their
dependents will enjoy a lot more financial health security in the new plan.
Currently, there are $50,000 annual maximum benefits for cardiac surgery,
blood, blood derivate and orthopedic conditions. There is NO maximum in the
new plan. The current $25,000 limit on radiation therapy and nuclear
medicine also will be replaced with unlimited benefits for these.


"Employees, retirees and their dependents who need cancer care, heart
treatment or other assistance now don't have to worry about their insurance
maxing out," Governor Calvo said.

The annual maximum for other procedures also increased from $750,000 to $2
million. All preventive care and well baby care, including neonatal care are
included with no co-pays or coinsurance for members.

The schedule of new rates, with a comparison to the old rates, is attached.
Also attached is the Director of Administration's memo to the Lieutenant
Governor outlining the increased benefits.

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