Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today that the State has completed a competitive bidding process for health care administration, pharmacy, and dental benefits that will save more than $10 million per year. Vermont has awarded the contract for administering the State employee medical plan to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBS). The State also selected its current providers, Express Scripts and Northeast Delta Dental, to contract for its pharmacy and dental coverage. The more than $10 million in annual savings results from the combined savings achieved for all services in the bidding process.
"I am pleased that these contracts will save taxpayers more than $10 million annually and that Vermont will be partnering with BCBS of Vermont to help improve the health and well-being of State employees and their families," the Governor said. "This is a good deal for the employees, as well as the taxpayers."
The State is self-insured, and currently contracts with Cigna to administer its employee health care plan. There are more than 23,000 employees, retirees, and dependents insured under the state health plan. Enrollees will continue to enjoy the same benefit design under the BCBS of Vermont plan and, in addition, BCBS of Vermont will significantly expand enrollees' ability to improve their health through implementation of a new, state-of-the-art wellness program.
"We know that the best way to contain health care costs is to help people change risk factors like smoking and obesity that contribute to bad health outcomes," the Governor said. "I am confident Blue Cross's new Accountable Blue program will help us save costs, and more importantly, improve the health of our state employees and their families."
The new contract will take effect on January 1, 2014.