Louisiana, state workers,health plan, HSA, - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

State workers to get health plan break

Posted: Updated:

BATON ROUGE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - The Division of Administration has announced that state workers who enroll in the Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP) for 2013 will pay $300 to $1,000 per year less in premiums – and can now receive up to $775 from the state tax-free – if they choose to participate in the optional health savings account (HSA) offered with the plan.

While an HSA helps save money for an employee, because premiums for CDHP-HSAs are lower than premiums for traditional health plans, it also saves taxpayers about $900 per enrollee in premium costs per year.

The CDHP is one of four health coverage options available through the Office of Group Benefits, which administers health coverage and life insurance for state employees and retirees.  An employee who enrolls in the CDHP for 2013 and opens a health savings account can contribute to that HSA via payroll deductions using pre-tax dollars.

Health savings accounts are a smart way to provide for current medical needs and future medical expenses through the following ways:

  • Lower Premiums: On average, HSAs require a beneficiary to pay lower premiums than with traditional health plan options.
  • Tax-Deductible: The money put in a HSA is tax deductible, up to the legal limit.
  • Completely Portable: The money in your HSA is always yours. All amounts in your HSA belong to you, and unspent balances in accounts remain in your account until spent.

At the start of the plan year in January, the state will contribute $200, up from $100 currently offered, to help jump-start the employee's savings – and will match his or her tax-free HSA contributions dollar for dollar, up to an additional $575, up from $400 currently.  The combination of the up front state contribution, plus the state's match and the employee's annual contribution – a total of $1,350 – more than meets the deductible of the plan.

The employee then can use money in the HSA to pay eligible medical and pharmacy expenses for himself and all covered family members until the deductible is met and, after that, for any applicable co-payments. The HSA also gives the employee a tax-free way to save for future health care expenses. For 2013, total HSA contributions cannot exceed $3,250 for single coverage or $6,450 for family coverage.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana will administer the CDHP for 2013; the HSA will be offered through Bancorp Bank. As in 2012, enrollment is open only to active employees and rehired retirees who pay premiums through payroll deductions.

Retired state employees who have both Medicare Part A and Part B coverage also can reduce their OGB health plan premiums by choosing one of the Medicare Advantage plan options offered by OGB for 2013.

In addition to three Medicare Advantage plans OGB offers – insured by Vantage Health Plan and Peoples Health, OGB also is partnering with Extend Health to offer these retirees access to over 80 individual Medicare Advantage plans through the largest private Medicare exchange in the United States.

For the first time, retirees who enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan through Extend Health will be provided about $200 to $300 credit per month, up to $2,400 to $3,600 credit per year, through a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) to pay for their Medicare Part B premiums, out-of-pocket co-pays or deductibles, plus eligible dental and vision expenses.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • West Monroe man arrested for meth possession

    West Monroe man arrested for meth possession

    Sunday, July 27 2014 9:09 PM EDT2014-07-28 01:09:38 GMT
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - West Monroe Police arrested a man early Sunday morning for possession of drugs.
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - West Monroe Police arrested a man early Sunday morning for possession of drugs.
  • Retired deputy drowns trying to save terrier

    Retired deputy drowns trying to save terrier

    Sunday, July 27 2014 8:43 PM EDT2014-07-28 00:43:53 GMT
    Ret. Lt. Sam Vitter (Source: APSO)Ret. Lt. Sam Vitter (Source: APSO)
    PRAIRIEVILLE, La. (AP) - The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office says a recently retired deputy has drowned trying to rescue his Yorkshire terrier.
    PRAIRIEVILLE, La. (AP) - The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office says a recently retired deputy has drowned trying to rescue his Yorkshire terrier.
  • Areas of West Monroe test positive for West Nile

    Areas of West Monroe test positive for West Nile

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:31 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:31:42 GMT
    OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News OPMAD) - Three mosquito pools, representing three locations, have tested positive for West Nile virus in Ouachita Parish.
    OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News OPMAD) - Three mosquito pools, representing three locations, have tested positive for West Nile virus in Ouachita Parish.
  • MPD investigate Friday night rape report

    MPD investigate Friday night rape report

    Saturday, July 26 2014 6:05 PM EDT2014-07-26 22:05:59 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Monroe Police are investigating a reported rape from Friday night.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Monroe Police are investigating a reported rape from Friday night.
  • Juvenile shot after leaving party in South Monroe

    Juvenile shot after leaving party in South Monroe

    Saturday, July 26 2014 6:19 PM EDT2014-07-26 22:19:25 GMT
    MONROE, La.(KNOE 8 News) - Police are investigating a shooting from South Monroe early Saturday morning.
    MONROE, La.(KNOE 8 News) - Police are investigating a shooting from South Monroe early Saturday morning.
  • Clerk wrestles gun away from armed robbery suspect

    Clerk wrestles gun away from armed robbery suspect

    Saturday, July 26 2014 4:40 PM EDT2014-07-26 20:40:24 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Police are investigating an attempted armed robbery where a clerk fought a gun away from a suspect.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Police are investigating an attempted armed robbery where a clerk fought a gun away from a suspect.
  • Group protests illegal immigration in Monroe

    Group protests illegal immigration in Monroe

    Saturday, July 26 2014 6:29 PM EDT2014-07-26 22:29:54 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - On Saturday, a small group took to the streets of the Twin Cities, to protest illegal immigration. They call themselves, Three Percenters. They say they are dedicated to action, education and reform of government, they believe has gotten too large to effectively operate. 
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - On Saturday, a small group took to the streets of the Twin Cities, to protest illegal immigration. They call themselves, Three Percenters. They say they are dedicated to action, education and reform of government, they believe has gotten too large to effectively operate. 
  • Jamie Mayo running as the lone democrat, says he's a moderate

    Jamie Mayo running as the lone democrat, says he's a moderate

    Sunday, July 27 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-07-27 22:40:16 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Most know him as Monroe's mayor, but Jamie Mayo is also the lone democrat in the Fifth Congressional District race. Mayo says he has the ability to unite people across party and racial lines and continuing in our candidate profiles we sat down with the mayor to discuss some issues he'll face on the campaign trail.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Most know him as Monroe's mayor, but Jamie Mayo is also the lone democrat in the Fifth Congressional District race. Mayo says he has the ability to unite people across party and racial lines and continuing in our candidate profiles we sat down with the mayor to discuss some issues he'll face on the campaign trail.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.