09 Feb 2014
- By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor - firstname.lastname@example.org - Variety News Staff
THE commonwealth was able to reach an agreement with Aetna International to remain as the government-sponsored health insurance program provider.
In a Feb. 7 memo issued by Group Health and Life Insurance administrator Lilian M. Pangelinan, she said, “An agreement has been reached with Aetna which will continue to provide health insurance coverage to all CNMI government employees and retirees.”
Pangelinan prefaced her letter by saying, “Thank you for your patience during these trying times with the government sponsored health insurance program. Due to the cancellation of the request for proposal for health insurance, intensive negotiations with Aetna were undertaken to ensure continued coverage to our enrollees, most especially those receiving treatment at home and abroad.”
She said Aetna representatives will be on island to provide public education forums.
Public forums will be held at the governor’s office at a time and date yet to be announced.
Further, an open enrolment period for health insurance will run for 30 days, beginning on Feb. 12 until March 14, 2014.
Last December, the CNMI government’s request for proposals for the health insurance program received two responses. Aetna at the time chose not to participate.
The government later cancelled the RFP.
Subsequently, Aetna considered the CNMI’s request to extend coverage up to 60 days pending the selection of the new insurance provider.
Governor Eloy S. Inos earlier said that the extension would cost the CNMI about $1.2 million.
For the 2013 policy, the trustee ad litem negotiated an agreement with Aetna that realized $4 million in savings for both the government and the enrollees.
At the time of the negotiations with Aetna and the trustee ad litem, the retirees had expressed in their written letters to the federal court that Aetna was their preferred insurance provider as they hailed its global coverage and services.
Pangelinan encourages the enrollees to check the Fund website at www.nmiretirement.com for more updates.