City of Shreveport says three-tier health plan did not pass

Dozens of people gathered Sept. 7, 2022, for a special meeting about the City of Shreveport's...
Dozens of people gathered Sept. 7, 2022, for a special meeting about the City of Shreveport's health insurance benefits for 2023.(Source: Tayler Davis/KSLA News 12)
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 4:01 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2022 at 5:22 PM CDT

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Dozens of people gathered Wednesday, Sept. 7 for a meeting about the latest healthcare plans for active and retired employees of the City of Shreveport.

On Wednesday, it was believed the Healthcare Trust Fund Board passed the three-tier plan. However, on Friday, Sept. 9, the city clarified that the three-tier plan did not pass. Five votes were needed to pass the plan but the vote came out 4-3-1.

  • Mayor Adrian Perkins – Yes
  • Henry Whitehorn – Yes
  • Kasey Brown – Yes
  • Sherron Williams – Yes
  • Felicia Bell – No
  • Canisha Tisby – No
  • William Wilson – No
  • Jerry Bowman – Abstained

Below is a comparison of the city’s 2022 insurance coverage and the three-tier plan:

After the vote Wednesday, Councilman Grayson Boucher released the following statement:

“First, I want to thank each and every employee and retiree as well as their families. Your service, sacrifice and dedication to the citizens of this city have not gone unnoticed by this elected official.

“The vote by the Healthcare Trust Board is both disappointing and troubling. After weeks of questions about the process and much study and investigation, by myself and others, I am convinced there were major issues with the RFP process or lack there of. The largest healthcare provider in this area was not allowed to provide a true bid for services, thus skewing the final bid amounts. This was not fair for anyone, especially those employed by the city and the taxpayers.

“As a councilman, I plan to propose we stay on the same plan that have been on in 2022 for the next calendar year. This is the only fair thing to do at this point. The next administration and council must work hard next year to provide adequate and responsible healthcare choices for 2024. Our employees, retirees and citizens deserve that.”

The purpose was to figure out what they can do to save money.

People had an opportunity to voice their concerns, with the majority upset about the changes with Willis-Knighton Health System.

People were asking the city to give Willis-Knighton a chance to send in a request for a proposal.

The city said if they keep the same plan, it would cause it to have a $3 million deficit.

The city has said that the Healthcare Trust Fund Board is selecting BlueCross BlueShield as the provider for 2023. Several current and former employees have spoken out against the city’s decision to change their insurance provider.

Meanwhile, Willis-Knighton Health System has said that city employees and retirees could pay more in out-of-pocket costs if they choose to go to the WK hospital system.

[MORE: Shreveport officials say Willis-Knighton will be included in ‘23 healthcare options for city employees, retirees]

“The proposed options include only Christus and Ochsner/LSU hospitals and doctors in Tier 1, pushing WK down to Tier 2. Employees/retirees who choose Tier 2 providers would likely pay more out-of-pocket costs, as is customary with tiered plans,” states a news release sent out by the health system. “If this is the case, employees/retirees who choose to continue receiving services from their WK doctors and hospitals would be financially penalized.”

Several people also voiced their concerns directly to the Healthcare Trust Fund Board on Aug. 17.

The city has warned that it cannot continue to absorb millions in rising healthcare costs and that changes would be coming for the 2023 enrollment period.