Shreveport Panel Approves Controversial Health Plan
Shreveport's Health Care Trust Fund Board has approved a new insurance plan for employees that involves a 3-tiered plan.
This package passed on a vote of 6-0 with Shreveport Councilman Jerry Bowman abstaining (he works for Ochsner). This plan puts Ochsner LSU Health and Christus Health in tier 1 while Willis Knighton hospitals and doctors will be in tier 2. Critics say this will mean employees will have to pay higher premiums and higher deductibles to stay with providers in the Willis Knighton system.
Was a Compromise Plan Offered?
Willis Knighton leaders did offer to match the Ochsner LSU Health deal and also offered to give the city money so the costs would not go up, but that offer was not accepted. KEEL News has asked Willis Knighton if this vote and decision could result in legal action against the city, but we have not gotten a response to that question, yet.
What Happens Now with Health Care Plan?
Unless the Shreveport City Council acts on this plan within 15 days, this plan will be put in place. A councilmember would have to ask that this issue be put on the agenda at the October 11th meeting so the council could take action. We do expect at least one councilmember to request this proposal be put on the agenda for discussion and action by the full council.
Barbara Sellers of the Shreveport Firefighters Association tells KEEL News she is disappointed in this decision. She does say "we appreciate that the city did bring Willis Knighton to the table to try to work out a compromise, but I am disappointed there was no resolution.
Sellers adds: "I know this goes to council next and I hope the members will do their due diligence and look at what is best for the city fiscally and what is the most responsible package for the city employees."
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