St. Louis City at odds over multi-million dollar health insurance contract

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by Lauren Trager / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 9:57 PM

(KMOV) – News 4 uncovered a major mistake within St. Louis’ City Hall involving the multi-million dollar health insurance contract selection

Alderman Jennifer Florida who sits on the insurance selection committee says an error absolutely occurred in the process of choosing 2014’s health coverage for thousands of city employees.

Earlier in 2013, the committee reviewed two strong bids, one from current contract holder, Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield and one from United Health Care.

United came in at more than $850,000 less, which the committee agreed was the better overall option.

Soon after the deal was done, Anthem’s attorney said that the decision would violate the city’s own ordinance. The ordinance was written in 2008, allowing special consideration in the process to companies who pay city taxes.

At that time and as of now, Anthem is the only one that benefits from this ordinance.

When asked if this ordinance was a sweetheart deal to one company Florida said “Not that I know of. I have knowledge of that, it was my intention in supporting this ordinance.”

She adds that it gives a nod to local business but it’s not the final deciding factor.

Although the committee did not weigh the tax consideration into their decision this year and any contract they choose could be voided.

Now any company has the chance to take a crack at the contract bidding with the deadline on Friday at noon.

A representative from Mayor Slay’s office told News 4’s Lauren Trager it would be a good idea for the alderman to review the fairness of the ordinance that caused this whole issue. 

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