Over 400 workers of Lafourche Parish are going to have a brand new medical insurance coverage provider quickly.
The Lafourche Parish Council voted to alter their insurance coverage dealer from Alford and Associates Insurance coverage Providers to Gallagher Profit Providers in a vote of 6-2, with one absent. Councilman Aaron Melvin was not in attendance.
The change will have an effect on workers of the Lafouche authorities, library and district legal professional’s workplace and their households, however not the sheriff’s division, which is insured individually.
Throughout a particular council assembly Tuesday, held to make up for the cancelled assembly attributable to the specter of hurricanes final week, council members deliberated the proposed change. Parish President Archie Chaisson argued that workers of the parish weren’t proud of the present insurance coverage plan, and that by altering brokers sooner fairly than later would enable the dealer time to barter higher choices for the parish.
Councilmen Corey Perrillioux and Daniel Lorraine voted no, voicing needs to permit the present dealer, Alford and Associates, the power to complete the rest of the yr.
“The Council, in final December, voted on this coverage that we’ve got as a result of it was the one one which was introduced by the Parish President. We did not get to select and select which coverage, which provider and all that stuff,” mentioned Perrillioux. “We voted on the dealer and the coverage that the administration put earlier than us. Now, tonight, if we go together with a brand new dealer of file, that is principally penalizing Alford and Associates for the remaining a number of months of this yr at no fault of their very own.”
Chaisson deferred the query to Parish Administrator Mitch Orgeron, who mentioned that having one dealer was extra “environment friendly” and “well timed.” Based on Orgeron, altering brokers a number of months earlier than the plan is renewed is widespread within the personal sector.
Lafourche interviewed three brokers when making the choice: Alford and Associates, Laris Insurance coverage, and Gallagher. The interviews happened on Could 17, in response to Orgeron.
Buddy Ledet, Worker Advantages Marketing consultant with Gallagher, described it as a job interview. He mentioned that it was necessary to solely have a single dealer negotiating on one’s behalf, in any other case brokers would step on each other’s negotiations. Brokers negotiate with the totally different insurance coverage corporations to attempt to discover the perfect deal for his or her shopper.
“So what we’re going to do over the following three or 4 months is we’re going to exit to the market, discover out if the plans that they had had been enough, if there have been higher choices accessible, and we’re going to deliver these again to the administration to current the Council for approval for the 2021 plan,” mentioned Ledet.
Requested how lengthy these negotiations often take, he mentioned, as much as two months and Gallagher will start these negotiations “tomorrow.”
He added that the Council’s resolution made it way more environment friendly to get the information he wants for negotiations.
“This eliminates us from having to go to the administration and say ‘hey we’d like claims information, hey we’d like this…,’ as dealer of file, we are able to get that from the present carriers,” Ledet mentioned.
The present plan prices the parish about $4 million per yr and covers roughly 400 workers plus their households, mentioned Orgeron.
Through the assembly Chaisson mentioned he had many complaints by many workers by way of emails. Requested to view these emails after the assembly, Chaisson mentioned he couldn’t reveal them due to medical privateness legal guidelines.
Based on Justin Bourgeois, Insurance coverage Marketing consultant with Alford and Associates, the corporate realized that the parish wished to alter plans, and requested data from the parish in June.
“We ended up placing between six to eight totally different applications collectively and we had been able to distribute them,” Bourgeois mentioned. “All we would have liked was names and emails for the person workers and the addresses should you wished us to mail them out.”
The knowledge was by no means offered, Bourgeois mentioned. Chaisson mentioned this motion solely got here within the “eleventh hour,” and was simply too late.
“They weren’t keen to confess within the dealer interviews that the plan that they had, our workers did not like, and we had points with,” Chaisson mentioned. “After that, they’re alright, they began sending us a load of details about all of the know-how… and all the things else, and we pumped the brakes on it as a result of we knew we had been in all probability going to maneuver in a distinct path.”
Requested after the assembly how a lot Alford and Associates would anticipate to lose from the parish switching brokers, Bourgeois mentioned he was unsure, however it could be substantial.