Report: ‘Jindal defends privatization of La. health insurance plan’

From the Advocate:

Amid controversy over plans to privatize a state workforce health insurance plan, the Jindal administration sought Monday to clarify the idea to lawmakers.

Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater said the governor is not suggesting that a “for sale” sign should be placed in front of the Office of Group Benefits.

He said the administration might offer up the agency’s book of business to a private company for a cash payment, possibly $150 million.

Some lawmakers struggled to understand the difference.

“Are you saying all of us didn’t understand you last week?” asked state Sen. Butch Gautreaux during a meeting of the Senate Retirement Committee.

“You three guys are the only ones who understand this,” he said, referring to Rainwater and two other Jindal administration officials.

The agency oversees coverage for about 250,000 state employees, retirees and their dependents, according to a page on the Division of Administration’s website.

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