The Louisiana Office of Group Benefits announced the selection of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana as the third-party administrator of the self-funded health plans that government employees, retirees and their dependents can rely on for their health coverage.

According to the state's Division of Administration, Blue Cross was awarded a three-year contract that will go in effect Jan 1, 2016 with two one-year renewal options. The estimated annual cost of the contact is said to be approximately $35 million. Services that Blue Cross is expected to render through the contract agreement include claims processing, subrogation, population health management, reporting and customer service.

Four bids were submitted during the RFP process.  Of those considered, Blue Cross offered the lowest administrative and claims costs, as well as the largest provider network.

Though Blue Cross has served as the Office of Group Benefit's third-party administrator since 2013, officials are expecting administrative savings totaling more than $18.4 million over the next three years when compared to the current contract rates.

The selection committee included members from all areas of state government, including representatives from the Department of Transportation and Development, the Department of Health and Hospitals, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Insurance, the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association, the Office of Group Benefits, the Division of Administration and OGB’s Policy and Planning Board.