Aetna International chosen to provide GovGuam health insurance

NETCARE: The NetCare Life & Health Insurance offices at the Julale Shopping Center in Hagåtña are shown in this photograph. Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero announced that Aetna International will be the exclusive health insurance provider for government of Guam employees and retirees, and their families. Aetna will use Moylan's NetCare network of providers locally. Post file photo

Aetna International will be the government of Guam’s exclusive health insurance provider beginning October.

Adelup spokeswoman Janela Carrera said Aetna will utilize NetCare's health insurance network locally. 

According to its website, Aetna was founded in 1853 in Hartford, Connecticut. It is now a subsidiary of CVS Health Corp. It provides individuals, employers, health care professionals, producers and others with innovative benefits, products and services. 

Thousands of government employees and retirees, and family members are covered by the government's health insurance, which cost the government $76.3 million in fiscal year 2017, according to an audit released last year. 

Adelup's press release didn't state the estimated cost of this year's health insurance plan but the governor called the company's bid "the most economical and beneficial health care insurance proposal plan." 

“For several reasons, the team was limited in time to conduct its negotiations. Even so, it was able to perform all of its duties and provide me with a quality insurance plan to consider," the governor said. 

Last year's Moylan's NetCare opted out of providing GovGuam health insurance due to unpaid premiums: “We’re out of the GovGuam business," said NetCare plan administrator Jerry Crisostomo. Roughly 3,800 employees and retirees, and their family members were impacted by that decision.

Calvo's SelectCare, which provides insurance coverage for GovGuam employees and retirees until the end of the month, was informed Monday afternoon that Calvo’s SelectCare was not awarded a contract for the fiscal 2020 GovGuam Health Insurance Program.

"We are reviewing all options available to us on behalf of our GovGuam members," stated plan administrator Frank Campillo.

Campillo notes that it has been an honor and privilege to have insured GovGuam continuously since October 2001.

"However, a recent law has since limited the health insurance options available to GovGuam employees and retirees," Campillo stated. "During the past 18 years, while other companies opted out of the GovGuam market, we worked continuously to provide access to health care that meets the needs of our members. We developed many new benefits and implemented programs to improve and save the lives of our GovGuam members."

About 10 years ago, SelectCare was the only health insurance that stayed with GovGuam when other companies opted not to provide health insurance for GovGuam.

Over the years, the Legislature has gone back and forth on requiring the executive branch to choose a single carrier and multiple carriers. Most recently, Public Law 34-83 requires GovGuam's health insurance negotiating team to provide the single, lowest cost option among the health care insurance proposal plans to the governor, the Adelup press release states.

"Aetna International represented the smallest increase when compared to the fiscal year 2019 plans," officials stated without noting the cost increase. 

“Now that the work of the health negotiation team is done, my administration will spend the next few days working to ensure that any increase to the finalized rate structures will minimally affect, if at all, our employees, retirees and foster children,” the governor stated.

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