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OGB meeting draws hundreds looking for answers

4 years 11 months 1 week ago Monday, October 06 2014 Oct 6, 2014 October 06, 2014 5:45 PM October 06, 2014 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Jason Newton

BATON ROUGE - State workers and retirees face the prospect of digging deeper into their pockets after they absorbed an increase just three months ago.

The Office of Group Benefits administers the health-care plan for 230,000 retirees and state workers. New plans have to be selected that include higher deductibles and co-pays. The enrollment period is extended another month through November.

Monday was the first meeting in Baton Rouge held by the OGB. Hundreds of people showed up, forcing many to watch from an overflow room and forcing leaders to add another meeting to their schedule.

Cynthia Mathis sat outside. She worked for 20 years as a state employee before retiring and now worries for what's to come in event of an emergency.

"As it stands now with the health conditions I have as a retiree, more than half my Louisiana retirement will be paid in medical costs next year," Mathis said.

OGB officials said the new plans are a necessary fix.

"We've got to get more progressive plans," said Thomas Groves, with the Office of Group Benefits. "Just raising premiums as suggested is not a solution. If you do that, you just end up raising again next year. The idea is to offer choice, offer employees a plan that fits them and let them manage from there."

There will be more informational meetings here in Baton Rouge Tuesday. The enrollment period has been extended through November.

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