July 1, 2002 Gov. Charles W. Turnbull has signed a bill (No. 24-0260) that ratifies an agreement between the V.I. government and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. to provide life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance to government employees.
The plan goes into effect July 1 and is renewable for three years with the rate guaranteed.
The government pays for the basic life insurance plan, which is valued at $10,000 for employees and $5,000 for retirees.
The Metropolitan Life plan will cost the government $661,283 a year, a savings of $33,790 a year over the previous plan with Aetna.
Workers will have the option to buy additional coverage valued at one, two, three, and four times their annual salary instead of just the maximum $75,000 now available. However, the new salary multiples have a cap of $400,000.
Turnbull's transmittal letter to Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd stated, "Our well-timed actions ensures that government employees and their families will have no lapse when their current health insurance coverage expires on Sunday, June 30. The new health insurance plan takes effect on Monday, July 1." However, the Metropolitan Life plan is not health insurance.
Government employees' health insurance is provided by Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. through an agreement reached last Sept. 28, two days before the expiration of the former Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance policy. That plan covers about 30,000 government employees, retirees and dependents at a cost of about $6 million per year.
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