Lafayette school system tackling health insurance — again

The Lafayette Parish School Board’s renewed search for a company to manage its self-funded employee health insurance program could begin as soon as next month.

The board and the school district’s employee insurance advisory committee meet at 4:45 p.m. Thursday to select the committee’s leadership and approve a timeline for the selection process.

The joint meeting was planned for Tuesday afternoon, but rescheduled due to forecasts of icy and snowy weather conditions.

In October 2013, the board voted to restart the selection process after numerous complaints from employees, retirees and even applicants about the fairness of the process.

In prior years, the board received a recommendation from the insurance advisory committee, which includes current and retired employees.

That committee then made its decision based on the expertise of a paid consultant.

In 2013, the board deviated from this prior practice and hired its own consultant: Tikia Consulting Group of Metairie.

The consultant’s recommendation of a new administrator — Key Benefits Administrators — set off an odd chain of events that saw the board rejecting the recommendation at one meeting and then, a month later, approving the recommendation. At the board’s Oct. 22 meeting, the board opted to start the process over again and revert to the insurance committee overseeing the proposal and selection process.

Meanwhile, the board extended its administrative contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana.

This go-around, the request for proposals could be issued by Feb. 17 and due by April 1, based on the timeline proposed for the committee’s review Thursday.

The proposed timeline sets selection of finalists by April 30 with a contract awarded by May 30.

If the administrator decision leads to changes that affects coverage, a communications campaign to alert employees and retirees of the transition will take effect on Aug. 15 with open enrollment into the new plan scheduled for Sept. 15 through Nov. 15.