Louisiana ends insurance-related contract for cost concerns

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Because of cost concerns, Louisiana has scrapped plans for an outside company to develop a computer platform to handle enrollment for the state employee health insurance program.

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration hired insurance company Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana to develop the enrollment tool for the Office of Group Benefits. Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration says development was taking longer and costing more than expected.

Tommy Teague, Group Benefits’ CEO, told lawmakers that after spending $1.4 million, the enrollment platform “wasn’t anywhere ready to be used.”

At the Edwards administration’s request, the House and Senate budget committees agreed to scrap that portion of the agency’s contract with Blue Cross — and to stop charging those insured by Group Benefits 98 cents per month to pay for it.