The Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, has been working to privatize the health insurance program for state employees. The decision comes from an apparent need for the state to have more control over the program that what is currently in place. The program will also benefit from being populated by a number of prestigious private insurance companies. Jindal’s efforts have been successful thus far, and he is now seeking an advisor from among the insurance industry to help manage the new program.
Jindal is looking to fill one advisory spot in the new program. Three insurance firms are currently vying for the position: Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Keegan. Regulators from the state’s Insurance Division will be investigating these companies to see if they are a good fit for the program. Louisiana officials will also seek the counsel of a third party financial advisor who will be tasked with determining the overall market value of the insurance program.
The proposal to privatize the program has been met with doubt. State workers are concerned that the new system will mean higher rates and lower benefits. Retirees, who are also covered under the existing plan, are worried that they will no longer be eligible to receive coverage through the new system, or that it will be beyond their means to afford. Jindal insists that the goal of the new program is simply to save the state some money and that it does not bear the negative consequences that many are attributing it with.