Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Office of Group Benefits will consolidate HMO & EPO plans and Blue Cross awarded contract

The Office of Group Benefits has awarded a contract to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana to administer OGBs self-insured Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) health plan, effective July 1, 2010. The company's proposal received the highest score during a competitive bid process mandated by state law.

The contract will enable HMO plan members to access an extensive nationwide network of doctors, hospitals and other medical care providers. As a result, OGB will merge the HMO plan with the self-insured Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) health plan, which has a nationwide provider network.

Having access to medical care across the U.S. is key for retirees who live in other states and also for employees and retirees with children attending out-of-state colleges and universities, explained OGB chief executive officer Tommy D. Teague. Having an HMO plan with a national network eliminates the need for a separate EPO plan, so OGB has withdrawn the notice of intent to contract (NIC) for an EPO plan administrator issued previously.

Current EPO plan members who do not select another OGB health plan during Annual Enrollment in April will be automatically enrolled in the HMO plan.