Rapides Parish School employees asked to vote on new health insurance plan

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Next week Rapides Parish School employees and retirees will have a chance to vote to stay with their current health insurance plan, or switch to a new proposed plan, exclusive to the district.

Currently, the district uses the Office of Group Benefits for services. Recently OGB announced they will increase rates over the next two years by 11 percent.

It would cost the district's general fund $952,835 in 2020 and more than $1.5 million in 2021, therefore increasing employee rates.

The district explored their options with the help of the Babcock Consulting Group to create a plan they say mirrors the old plan.

They are asking employees to vote at one of six informational meetings next week:

Monday, April 29 at Pineville High at 3:30 and 6:30
Tuesday, April 30 at Alexandria Senior High at 3:30 and 6:30
Wednesday, May 1 at Tioga High at 3:30 and 6:30

More than 50 percent of 4,518 covered employees have to vote yes. If not they will stay with OGB.

Babcock Consulting said the new plan maintains current rates as well as several other improvements, including life insurance for active employees at no cost. They said greater detail will be provided at the meetings.

"The plan designs trying to mirror image what you currently have with the Blue Cross plans," said Babcock Executive Vice President Tyrone Oiler. "It is going to show the enhancements of the deductibles, the retirees having lower deductibles than what they currently have. It is going to talk about the RX plan. And also on the active and non-Medicare, it is going to go over their plan with United Healthcare, which is matching the four Blue Cross plans."

The consulting group told the board it was sort of a 'cat and mouse game' trying to get all of the data and information from OGB. They said that delayed their process of detailing an insurance plan for RPSB. Now, they said OGB must be given an exit notice by May 2.

The district is sending employees a notice Wednesday morning with more information, including the above-listed meeting dates. Board members are encouraging all covered employees and retirees to attend and vote.

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