Governor Seeks Waiver on Insurance Provision

April 18, 2005 – Gov. Charles Turnbull has transmitted a bill to the 26th Legislature to waive the provision which requires the Health Insurance Board of Trustees to solicit proposals at least 180 days prior to the termination of the Government's existing insurance contract from interested and qualified insurers who desire to provide insurance coverage to the employees and retirees of the Government of the Virgin Islands. The board is seeking a two year waiver.
In his transmitted letter to Sen. Lorraine Berry, the governor said the Government's life insurance contract expires June 30, 2005, and the medical and dental contracts expire on September 30, 2005.
"The board has already begun its renewal regulations," the governor said. "However, it may be necessary to entertain proposals from other insurance carriers in order to obtain the most reasonable and lucrative benefit package for the employees and retirees of the government. Should this become necessary, the board must be able to proceed accordingly. Therefore, the proposed legislation is required."
"Further, the transmitted bill requires the board to invite proposals from interested and qualified insurers at least once every five years. The Board of Trustees last invited such proposals in 2001. Therefore, it must solicit proposals next year. The two year waiver will not only cover the current year but next year as well," Gov. Turnbull continued.
"The board has done an excellent job in the past in negotiating insurance packages for us. Therefore, as the demands become greater and the costs soar, they must possess the bargaining tools to continue to negotiate such packages," said the governor.

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