Lawmakers hold hearing in health insurance dispute
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser says the state employee health insurance program will face a dire financial scenario without the heavily-criticized changes planned by the Jindal administration.
Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols told lawmakers Thursday the program would be near broke by the end of the budget year without the health plan changes.
She said workers and retirees would face double-digit premium hikes to keep the program solvent and state agencies and local school districts would have to pay millions of dollars for its share of insurance costs.
Five dozen lawmakers showed up for the special briefing on the rewrite of insurance plans offered by the Office of Group Benefits.
Nichols says changes are needed to address the rising costs of health care. Critics accuse the administration of mismanagement.