The City of Shreveport has addressed some of the rumors surrounding recent changes, saying the City values its employees and retirees and that’s why the current administration is working to ensure that they have affordable and quality healthcare coverage that doesn’t limit access to their trusted providers. Nothing has been established that takes control away from the employee to select Willis-Knighton Health System for their healthcare needs.
“The City of Shreveport has used the general fund to pay for the increase in healthcare costs for more than a decade,” said Mayor Adrian Perkins. “Instead of passing on that financial burden to employees and retirees, the city absorbed those costs. Since contributions have not kept pace with rising healthcare costs, the City of Shreveport and the Healthcare Trust Fund Board had to find a way to manage a $13 million deficit.”
After coming through the worst of the pandemic last year, the City took on an additional $5.3 million in healthcare costs to prevent increasing rates. At that time, city employees and retirees were informed that the city could no longer afford to take on those costs and changes would be coming for the 2023 enrollment period.
Two insurance carriers, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana presented options for networks and the Healthcare Trust Fund Board considered them both. Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana’s plan cost $1.6 million less than what was offered by Aetna. With that information, the Healthcare Trust Fund Board voted unanimously to offer the Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana option for 2023.
“The city must consider its financial obligations and liabilities and cannot continue absorbing the increasing cost of healthcare coverage with the general fund,” said Mayor Perkins. “The city must follow best practices and industry standards in all aspects of city government operations.”
Going forward the Healthcare Trust Fund Board will be making a decision on pricing for all proposed tiers and plans. The City will share with employees how much each option will cost them and no healthcare system will be excluded.