ND PERS to stay with Sanford as state employees' health insurance plan

Oct 27, 2016

Sanford will continue to provide health insurance for state workers – for at least two more years.

In 2014, the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System changed insurance carriers, picking Sanford over Blue Cross-Blue Shield.  The contract runs 6 years – but the Legislature passed a bill requiring a review every two years.

PERS director Sparb Collins said the bill laid out the review process, and if the board elected not to renew, there would have to be a new bid. Collins said the Board found no reason to disconyinue the contract.

Collins said when the change was made two years ago, there was a lot of angst among the employees and retirees. But he said it seems most people are happy with Sanford.

"The PERS plan covers 68,000 people," Collins said. "With that number, no matter who the carrier is, there are issues. But if you look at our survey, the majority indicated things were moving along."

Collins said premiums will increase 17.4 percent over the next two years. The state offers fully-paid health insurance to its employees.