EBR schools set meetings on retiree insurance

The East Baton Rouge Parish school system is holding two informational sessions Thursday aimed at almost 2,900 Medicare-eligible retirees.

Superintendent Bernard Taylor has proposed moving these retirees off the school system’s self-funded health insurance program and have them instead rely on Medicare through a privately managed Medicare Advantage plan.

The sessions are scheduled at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Instructional Resource Center, 1022 S. Foster Drive, next to the School Board Office.

School district staff and representatives of the Mercer health care consulting team will go over different options available for Medicare coverage.

Representatives from both United Healthcare and Humana will be on hand to answer questions. Both companies are vying to run a Medicare Advantage plan for the school system.

Susan Nelson, a spokeswoman for the school system, said participation in the sessions is confined to employees who are on Medicare Parts A and B, are 65 and older or will turn 65 in the next year and plan to have both Medicare parts. Other retirees are welcome to observe and attend, she said. Also, those wishing to participate are asked to bring proof of their Medicare Parts A and B enrollment, she said.

The School Board is planning to take up the issue again when it meets May 16.

In 2005, the School Board mandated that retirees eligible for Medicare had to use the federal program for their primary medical insurance. The school system, however, continues to provide these retirees with supplemental insurance, including prescription drug coverage.