- Vice Speaker BJ Cruz says the Legislature appropriated the amount for Retirees Medical, Dental & Life Insurance based on the Governor’s budget.
- What he doesn’t say is that the Governor’s budget, by law, is submitted in January and that includes an estimated cost of insurance.
- The cost of the insurance contracts isn’t known until August, when negotiations for health insurance contracts occur.
- Vice Speaker BJ Cruz’s office has a seat on the health insurance negotiation table so that as negotiations continue, his office knows the cost of insurance contracts and can factor that into the budget. Both the negotiations and the finalizing of the budget happen in August.
- It has always been cheaper to have a single provider and it WILL always be cheaper because the carrier has the benefit of ALL enrollment and ALL premiums.
- For years, there was only one insurance provider. People wanted multiple options so they could determine what doctors, clinics, providers, and overall coverage best suited the needs of their families. The Democratic leadership responded by introducing a bill that became law to allow those options.
- If the Vice Speaker wants to take those options away from employees, retirees and their families, he can change the law.
- The Legislature’s job is to set the spending priorities. That is what the budget represents. Putting together a list of agencies and not funding them fully, then telling the Governor to use his authority to find the rest of the money basically is doing half the job and asking the Governor to do the rest. It also helps when the funding source cited, is one that has money.
- The cost of health, dental and life insurance increased because the Legislature mandated that retirees shouldn’t pay more than an active employee. (attached is Guam Code annotated)