Aug 27, 2013 7:09 PM by Chris Welty

Health Insurance Raising Concerns at LPSS

The Lafayette Parish School Board is holding a health care workshop.

They're discussing changing insurance providers, meaning possible changes in benefits.

The talk of change isn't sitting well with some insurance users in the school system. They say the board is moving too fast and a new provider is unnecessary.

Retired teachers Patricia Sonnier and Butch Mouton are fighting the Lafayette Parish School System hoping they won't change insurance providers.

Currently, the system uses Blue Cross Blue Shield, but may switch to Key Benefits Administrators. Sonnier and Mouton worry premiums will go up for the more than eight thousand users in the system.

Sonnier says, "We need to put it to rest for three years and stay with what we have. why waste more money?"

Every few years, the system compares providers to the current one to make sure they're getting the best bang for the buck.

"Change can be scary, especially when you're dealing with people's healthcare," said LPSS Risk Management Director Mona Bernard. She says health benefits will not change and the greatest possible change could be the doctors users will be able to visit.

"We don't want to rush this decision and I would say we want to communicate as well as we can," said Bernard.

Some are concerned premiums will be used to fund "health clinics" in schools they would have to visit before seeing the doctor of their choice. "The writing is on the wall and it's just another way of getting into it and getting that part of the plan," said retired teacher Butch Mouton.

"They should not worry that they'll have to go through a gate keeper---nurse, nurse practitioner or primary care physician to have to access the doctor they want to see," said Bernard. She also says premiums will not benefit students unless their parent is on the school system's plan.

Tonight, no decision will be made on the insurance provider.

The board could bring it to a vote on September 5th before open enrollment begins on September 15th.

Chris Welty



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