SHREVEPORT, La. — As City of Shreveport employees and retirees wait to see their health plan options for next year, Mayor Adrian Perkins is still defending the process that has yet to result in a plan. .
Perkins called local media to watch a recording of the Healthcare Trust Fund board meeting last week. That’s when a representative for Aetna — the Willis-Knighton Health System’s insurance partner — said they had never received a formal RFP — or RFP from the city or its insurance broker.
Willis-Knighton complained of an unfair process that tipped his proposal higher.
After the video was shown at the press conference, Perkins then withheld what he says was Aetna’s proposal, saying it was received by Gallagher in mid-July in response to a request for proposals .
But an Aetna attorney countered Perkins at the ensuing city council meeting.
“I want to dispel the mayor’s misinformation,” Jennifer Herbert told council as Perkins looked on. “Aetna never received a formal request for proposal from the City of Shreveport, Gallagher or any representative. It was not a fair process. It was not a fair process,” Herbert continued.
Mayor Perkins replied, “She just merged two different documents.”
Perkins held up a bundle of papers he says were Aetna’s informal April presentation. In his other hand, he holds up what he says is their July proposal.
About this second set of documents, Herbert fired back, “This document says April 2022.”
Herbert showed us what she says is the copy of the July reply, which has the date April 2022 on page two. This would have been before any RFP process claimed by Perkins.
The Perkins administration did not produce an actual tender. Perkins blames that on Gallagher.
Meanwhile, meetings are scheduled for next week to continue the process of developing a health care plan for 2023.
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