Regarding “Group Benefits Reserve Money on Shaky Ground,” as reported in the recent Advocate.

Retired State Employees Association continues to follow this breaking story concerning the Office of Group Benefits Reserve Fund. This is a very important benefit issue for all state employees, teachers, State Police, retirees and their dependents in OGB. I am hoping that the Legislature will continue its focus on this matter. House Appropriations Committee Chairman James “Jim” Fannin is requesting monthly updates from OGB on the status of the OGB Reserve Fund and Sen. Gregory Tarver requested a written report from OGB’s actuary, Buck and Consultants, concerning what is the proper amount of the reserve fund balance and what the proper premium level should be.

RSEA is asking the Louisiana Legislature and legislative auditor to keep this issue “on the front burner” in order to protect the integrity and solvency of the OGB health insurance program for its plan members and their dependents. Let’s not let this vital program be destroyed while we sit by and see 233,000 people have their health insurance taken away. I am asking everyone concerned to pay attention and get involved by contacting your legislator(s) to make sure they understand the gravity of the situation and not let this health insurance program be dismantled. This is the only health insurance coverage available to most plan participants, as they are not covered by Medicare. RSEA is taking a stand in trying to bring attention to this situation so that we can protect the solvency of the insurance program, which is of vital importance to state employees and retirees alike.

I would like to thank The Advocate for keeping this story in the spotlight and making sure that future developments see the light of day before it is too late to save this valuable program for so many who have no other health care alternative.

Frank Jobert Jr.

executive director, RSEA

Baton Rouge