Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Fletcher administration launches new statewide employee health plan

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, September 06, 2005  
Contact Information:  Carla Blanton
Michael Goins
Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611
 


Employees’ Benefits, Premium Costs Stay the Same for 2006

FRANKFORT, Ky. – On Jan.1, 2006, the Fletcher administration will launch the Kentucky Employees Health Plan, a new statewide employee health insurance plan that will offer the same benefit choices currently available for the 2006 plan year at the same cost to employees. The state will move to a self-funded plan, rather than using regional contracts with various insurance companies across the state.

“Helping curb the cost of employee health insurance is critical, and by self-funding, we can take steps to do just that,” said Governor Fletcher. “Self-funding will help us reduce administrative expenses, cut insurance profit margins and secure better network discounts and pharmacy rebates. Just as important, it will allow the state to invest in our employees’ long-term health and wellness.

“I appreciate the hard work of the Personnel Cabinet and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in taking this major step in helping solve the insurance challenges we face today, and those we will face in the future.”

In addition, co-payments on prescription drugs covered in the first tier will be reduced to $5 per prescription to encourage the use of generic drugs offering the same medical benefit at a lower cost.

The Health and Family Services Cabinet and the Personnel Cabinet are collaborating on implementation of the new plan. The state has selected Humana, in partnership with Bluegrass Family Health, to administer medical benefits, while Express Scripts, Inc. will be the pharmacy benefits administrator for the new Kentucky Employees Health Plan. The companies will coordinate services and information with one another to ensure seamless delivery of service for members. The contract runs for two years and was awarded using the state procurement process.

Kentucky is following the successful example of such large employers as the University of Kentucky, Toyota Manufacturing and many other state governments that have moved to the self-insurance approach. Under the self-insured program, the state itself will accept the risk of and manage the entire health plan. The move will provide consistent benefits and an extensive provider network to members across Kentucky.

Open enrollment is scheduled for Oct. 17-28, during which employees, for the first time, will be able to take advantage of online enrollment. Employees seeking additional information can contact Member Services at the Personnel Cabinet at (888)581-8834 or (502)564-6534 or visit the Personnel Cabinet’s Web site at http://personnel.ky.gov/ .