March 24, 2010

MetLife dumped for dental; Anthem gets the nod instead

The Board of Finance last night agreed to drop a proposal to switch the dental provider for city employees to MetLife. After officials took a look at the size of the network that both MetLife and Anthem have in the area, they agreed that Anthem should continue to manage the city's dental plan. That means an extra $90,000 a year in costs.
MetLife had about half as many providers in and around Bristol as Anthem.
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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Poor union cry babies. Once again the taxpayers pick up the tab for the Blood Sucking Unions!

Anonymous said...

"That means an extra $90,000 a year in costs" to the taxpayers of Bristol. The city is broke and this is a bad move.

Odin said...

Good for you, Board of Finance! I am pleasantly surprised. Being forced to changing dentists in the middle of a long-term treatment plan can be expensive and upsetting, and is probably a violation of the City's contract with its employees.

Anonymous said...

It is not just the union employees that were going to be affected by this change in dental coverage, it was ALL city employees (including non-union employees) from the mayor on down to the part-time BOE cafeteria worker. The same analogy and logic will also be applied to the health insurance coverage (not the same number of network care providers) and Anthem will stay. Did anyone actually think the city would get this right on the first try? Sorry to dissappoint all of you anonymous union bashers. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is because the unions vote.

Do you?

Anonymous said...

lets see the City had to pay 90k more because someone could not get in their car and drive maybe to another town for care!

Odin said...

"lets see the City had to pay 90k more because someone could not get in their car and drive maybe to another town for care!"

Well done. You have very cleverly distilled all of the human, fiscal, and contractual elements of this complicated issue down to one succinct statement. Moron.

Anonymous said...

Tax payers this is just the start to Bristols end . No cuts more moneyfor board of ed.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Art!

Keep going.

Anonymous said...

Great politics in Bristol. This has to be the worst set of council in Bristols history. No working for the tax payers. The union is in charge.

Anonymous said...

5:06

And Ward is their chief flunky!

Anonymous said...

5:06,Don't blame the city council...they are too busy spending money Bristol doesn't have building 2 new schools.If you don't like your tax bill now wait until these schools are built and all the extra costs are calculated and put on the backs of the taxpayers. There is a reason they are not telling us what the impact of this project will be on our taxes. Bristol politicians...big spenders,let the taxpayers pay more.

tremendous said...

the city maintained it's word to the employees and the city still saves over 1 million dollars of taxpayer's monies? I call that a super job. now if we can only continue these types of savings, we will all be better off in the future.

go back to Europe Odin said...

Oh-Dumb:

The issue is this (you naive little turd). Public labor gets overly generous benefits via tax-payer extortion and bank-rolling the campaigns of their hand-maidens, the Democrat Party. The states, the cities and the countries are going bankrupt because of it. The future looks bleak because businesses are leaving.

When are you going to grow up and get a clue?

amazed said...

Only in the public sector would $90,000 in costs in an economic recession be accepted by oversee-ers.

Kasar is looking like a disappointment as a voice for fiscal conservatism so far.

Anonymous said...

Odin needs to spend time in the real world. Employers change health and dental plans all the time to save money. $90,000 is a big savings and folks would still be insured. Taxpayers have had enough of this spend spend spend.

Anonymous said...

6:22

Will someone please explain the savings?

Factually.

Steve Collins said...

10:11 -- I don't have the facts, but I think I understand why the city believes it will save a lot of money by switching to Cigna.
What it comes down to is that Cigna reimburses medical care providers less than Anthem does, in general. Since the city pays the bills, paying providers less means direct savings for the city.

Anonymous said...

Steve - can you find out what they mean by better coverage in the area? Meaning does a member have to drive an extra 10 or 15 miles to see a doctor instead of going within the city limits for coverage? Or there just is not enough doctors even with in the 10 or so extra 15 miles to see a doctor? 90k is a lot of money.

hibernation sounds great said...

9:14 - you naive BIG TURD, are you mad because the republicans can't win an election, just completely stupid or a combination of both - probably the latter.

Anonymous said...

"hibernation":

You lame-brained attempt at being funny is almost as pathetic as you mind.

First of all Republican is capitalized because it is the title of a political party. For instance I belive in a democratic government not a Democrat government (the latter signifying a political party the former signifying a form of government).

Secondly, the issue of balancing the budget, tax-ing properly and in a manner that neither impedes commerce or people's well-being is a non-political issue. Unfortunately due to politics (and money) the Democrat Party has made it a partisan issue.

Anonymous said...

How many of you are willing to drive 15-20 miles for your dentist? The prior change saved over $1 million dollars ($1.3?) for a good medical insurance package. So the dental needed to be changed back to offer similar services and dentists as before. Smart decision. Shows give and take on all sides.
Don't look at is as an extra $90k costs - now look at it as a $1.2m saving.

Anonymous said...

Lets talk about our taxes. thats the news we want.

Poboy said...

This is just another lame brained idea from Klocko the incompetent. The finance board rubber stamps all his foolish schemes and they just blow up in their face. Finance board does no research, they are just there because it will look good in their obituaries.
Their decisions almost always COST the city money. This is a perfect example. Wait till all the info comes out about Cigna and Medco.

Poboy said...

"10:11 -- I don't have the facts, but I think I understand why the city believes it will save a lot of money by switching to Cigna.
What it comes down to is that Cigna reimburses medical care providers less than Anthem does, in general. Since the city pays the bills, paying providers less means direct savings for the city."

That is your problem Steve, you don't make an effort to find the facts, that is why your writing is so poor. You just spew out whatever Klocko tells you without verifying anything.

The city is self insured, so they pay the bills as they come in. Most providers accept Anthem's rates because they are higher. If Cigna's reimbursement rates are lower than what the provider is willing to accept, the city, being self insured will pay what the PROVIDER says, not Cigna. This is why this whole thing makes no sense. Anthem is being kicked out of Bristol Hospital because their reimbursement rates aren't high enough. If Cigna's rates are lower, who is going to coming up with the difference?

Anonymous said...

Bristol will be bankrup soon. Let the politicans finish us off. Then they cant give there friends and school board any money. Lets finish Bristol off spend it all .

Anonymous said...

9:31

Why do you think he was picked by Ward?

Anonymous said...

10:51

I thought that the city was self insured, and this was just for administrative expenses?

Steve Collins said...

Poboy -- I have to write two stories a day. Tell me just exactly when I would do the research to figure out dental costs to the city, a major undertaking. Let's get real.
You have to understand that I work for someone. I don't just do whatever I want. If I did, I would choose differently, though I'm quite sure I still wouldn't put in the hours to figure out dental care savings.
I'm all ears, though, if you'd like to delve into the details and explain why Klocko is wrong. You say it all the time but never produce a scintilla of real evidence for your assertions.

Steve Collins said...

By the way, the city pays the provider, but at the negotiated rate that Cigna has, not the rate that any schmuck walking in off the street has to pay.
That's why Cigna can, in theory at least. undercut Anthem. It has negotiated a better deal in terms of reimbursement.
I haven't seen any evidence yet, however, that Cigna's network is much different than Anthem's. That wasn't the case with the dental coverage, where half the dentists who took Anthem did not take MetLife.

Steve Collins said...

As for the hospital, I have no idea if Cigna pays it more than Anthem or not. But the hospital is eager to break the stranglehold that Anthem has on insurance in the region so that it has to negotiate instead of dictating what it will pay.
So even if Cigna doesn't pay as much as Anthem, the hospital may not mind. It might give the hospital more clout to cut a better deal with Anthem (and, ultimately, with Cigna, too).

ligsin said...

"As for the hospital, I have no idea if Cigna pays it more than Anthem or not."

Don't you even read your own articles? That is Klocko's stated reason for switching - Cigna"s LOWER lower reimbusement rates. If you don't believe what Klocko is telling you, why do you print it?
Incredible that you could make such a statement.

Anonymous said...

I have MetLife dental and there are plenty of dentists locally on the plan.

Anonymous said...

Steve - your story was about coverage not about claims being paid. So, whats the story? Coverage or claims?

Steve Collins said...

11:19 -- City officials said Cigna pays less to providers than Anthem. That doesn't necessarily mean it pays less to every provider. I have no idea whether the hospital gets more from Cigna or from Anthem.

Anonymous said...

Steve, why do you respond?

Can't the city,Ward, and his mentor Klocko, speak for and defend themselves?

Why put yourself in the middle?

Anonymous said...

Don't less some jerks get under your skin, Steve. Ignore them.

tired of idiots said...

2:22 - can't you get off your dead ass and ask ward, klocko and whomever else these questions by phone or face to face rather than relying on steve and hiding your ignorance on a blog?
steve is trying to help you and you continue to break his chops - you pretty much sound to me to be a bigoted blabbermouth, with no guts, who can't stand on their own two feet.
grow up - fool.

Anonymous said...

7;45

I thought that the newspapers were supposed to keep people informed!

Or are they just supposed to provide sports news to Bristol?

Poboy said...

"2:22 - can't you get off your dead ass and ask ward, klocko and whomever else these questions by phone or face to face rather than relying on steve and hiding your ignorance on a blog?"

I am not the one calling himself a reporter. A real reporter does real research and seeks out the truth. Steve just regurgitates unsubstantiated and unconfirmed tidbits and quotes ( pretty much the same as I do for free) that turnout to be wrong as many times as they are right. He is not a news man by any stretch, if he was he wouldn't be stuck writing for the Press.

Anonymous said...

7:45 AM - You nailed it!

arguing with morons said...

March 27, 2010 7:45 AM, AKA tired of idiots:

You are a prime example of the cliche' "the pot calling the kettle black".

But you're too damn stupid to see that obvious fact. You are pathetic.

Anonymous said...

7:45

And how would the rest of the public get tthe information?

Maybe we don't need newspapers after all.

Anonymous said...

Poboy,
Shut the hell up.

Anonymous said...

"Poboy,
Shut the hell up."

Tell your buddy Collins to ask Klocko about his relation to Aon Consulting. They put this healthcare scheme together and get a percentage of every healthcare dollar that Bristol spends. Klocko has been involved with Aon since at least 2006.

Anonymous said...

Glad the city smartened up. I worked for a private company that supplied MetLife. They were the worst!! The company had to get rid of them because the rates kept going up for them and the coverage was the worst. There was no savings in the end.

Poboy said...

"Tell your buddy Collins to ask Klocko about his relation to Aon Consulting. They put this healthcare scheme together and get a percentage of every healthcare dollar that Bristol spends. Klocko has been involved with Aon since at least 2006."
You don't think Collins would follow up on a lead that might make Klocko the infallible ( in Collins eyes) look bad. For that matter would Collins ever get off his fat butt and follow up on any real news? Not likely.