Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska is protesting the state’s decision to drop it in favor of United HealthCare to provide health insurance for state employees.
Gov. Dave Heineman acknowledges it was a tough call to switch insurance companies after contracting with Blue Cross and Blue Shield for the past 25 years.
“United can save the taxpayers of the state $8 million, approximately, and so for the first time in a long, long period of time, we’re going with another insurance carrier, because of the reduced costs,” according to Heineman.
The contention that state government will save $8 million annually by switching is being disputed by Blue Cross executives. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska claims its analysis has determined the switch will cost $10 million annually, because of the limitations of the United HealthCare provider network among other things.
The contract totals around $180 million dollars. It affects 1,500 state employees. Once family members are taken into account, about 30,000 people are covered.
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman comments on health insurance coverage switch [:25]