Puerto Rico Board and governor clash on health insurance

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The Puerto Rico Oversight Board and governor quarreled Friday about payments for health insurance, their latest clash over government policy.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló sent out a press statement saying he was extending employer contributions for employee health insurance, specifying that the extension was inconsistent with the board approved fiscal plan, which calls for the employer contributions generally to be reduced.

The governor said that a 2017 law barred lowering employer contributions to employees of public corporations.

The certified fiscal plan says that Puerto Rico government employees currently receive between $100 and more than $1,000 per month in medical benefits, depending on what part of the government they work in. “To ensure fairness and reduce expenditures, the government must implement its proposal to standardize the health insurance received by each employee so that everyone receives $125 worth of benefits per month,” the plan states.

In a response to the governor’s press statement, the board said it is “analyzing the announcement, but it appears to contradict the certified fiscal plan. We will request an explanation with regard to how the proposed extra unplanned and unbudgeted cost can be fit within the certified budget.”

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