The Standard Times reported the "positive side" of city operations:
We didn't put any increases in with health insurance accounts, either," Dominguez said.While area employers face 20-25% health insurance increases, the City budgeted zero or no increase. That translates to a cut in benefits or a second year of draconian premium sharing with employees and retirees.
Employees will have their $920,000 pay raise to put toward increased premiums. Retirees won't. Health insurance bids are due to the City August 19.
"Positive" City leaders expect no increase while other employers face runaway health insurance costs. That positive scenario might call into question their sanity and/or mendacity. However the city has two trump cards, savings from 45 employees dropping coverage last year and federal Early Retiree Reinsurance Program funds. They stand to provide a combined $350,000 to $575,000 to weather the coming storm.
Recall what Human Resource Manager Lisa Marley said when the feds approved the City's ERRP application:
“It will either be a better benefit or their premiums can be lowered. Those are the two choices we have to use the funds for,” said the city’s Human Resource Director Lisa Marley.
Better benefit, premiums lowered? Hardly....