No Legislative Hearing Planned So Far On Insurance Changes

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The chairman of the House budget committee says he hasn't decided whether he'll hold a legislative hearing about proposed changes to the state employee health insurance program.

         Rep. Jim Fannin, of Jonesboro, tells The Advocate that committee members haven't been clamoring for a hearing.

         Fannin has until Jan. 29 to call an oversight meeting about the Office of Group Benefits changes, if lawmakers would like more rewrites or input before the changes take effect.

         Under legislative pressure, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration already altered its initial plan, to cushion additional costs that would be imposed with the new benefit structures. The revised plan reduces out-of-pocket expenses originally contemplated in exchange for higher premiums.

         The Office of Group Benefits has 230,000 members who are state employees, teachers, retirees and their dependents.

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