The House has approved a bill to have the state adopt a self-insurance health plan for state employees.
Right now, Sanford Health is the insurance carrier. It has a contract until 2019. The bill would end the contract by January 2018. Supporters say adopting a self-insurance pan would save the state $12 million, and employees would not see a change in coverage.
"We have a responsibility to our hard working public employees to get them the best health care coverage possible," said Rep. Mike Lefor (R-Dickinson). "That's the number one goal"
But Lefor said the Legislature has the fiduciary responsibility to find the most competitively priced insurance plan.
"House Bill 1436 is a step in the right direction," Lefor said on the House floor.
Rep. Pam Anderson (D-Fargo) saids her objection to this bill is the timing.
"If the current carrier doesn't give us a six-month extension, July first we don't have any insurance," Anderson said.
The measure passed 71 to 19. It will now be considered by the Senate.