Friday, July 15, 2011

COSA Seeks Health Insurance Bids that Hold or Lower Costs

The City of San Angelo published a request for proposal for health insurance for 2012.  Health insurance premiums have recently risen 25% for other employers.  This seems lost on the City, which specified four medical plan options.

Given the city's stated interest, three of the four plans should be the 2011 budget amount or lower.  Given the rapid rise in health care costs, it means less benefits, greater premium payments by employees/retirees or fewer people covered.

The City's criteria for selecting a plan reinforces the cost focus:

Here's the timeline.

The City is currently working on the budget for FY 2011-2012.  Their plug amount and budget assumptions remain to be seen. Despite a direct request to City Budget Analysts, HR stated budget numbers depend on bid results, which arrive mid August.  The public will find out in October.

Last time I checked with Ty Meighan, the City had not applied for any Early Retiree Reimbursement Program funds.

The purpose of the reimbursement is to make health benefits more affordable for plan participants and sponsors so that health benefits are accessible to more Americans than they would otherwise be without this program

The City drove 147 dependents from health insurance coverage as of January 1, 2011.  ERRP money is supposed to help employers maintain coverage, not cut it.  The feds can audit an employer to see how funds saved retirees money.

If the City were serious about ERRP participation, it would've included assistance with data submission as a specification.  It's omission could be an oversight or telling.  Might City leaders toss in the ERRP towel and ask for termination of participation with HHS?  Let's hope they get a check or two first.

Update:  City Council minutes from June 28 state regarding the upcoming budget, "Council recommended and directed staff to bring back budget cuts with significant impacts."  That should extend to health insurance expenditures.  Also, the City filed an addendum for the RFP.  It changes the location of documents from the city's website to their Holmes/Murphy representative.

No comments: