Thursday, November 24, 2011

City Employees Get Health Insurance Turkey

City Leaders and Council failed to inform the public of drastically lower health insurance costs for the year ended 9-30-11.  The City expected to pay out $7 million but costs came in at only $5.88 million.  As nearly 200 people dropped health insurance in January 2011, premium revenue fell short, coming in at $6.83 million.  The difference resulted in a $950,000 windfall to the City.

For the third year in a row the city will provide roughly $4.7 million in contributions to the health plan.

Employee/retiree contributions nearly doubled over the five year period, only getting a slight break in 2012.
The City took $950,000 in savings without a public mention.  To the city's credit it added roughly $600,000 of that amount to the health insurance fund balance.  Add in nearly $500,000 in ERRP funding and $300,000 in 2012 expected Aetna EPO savings and the total comes to $1.4 million. Of $1.6 million in two year savings, COSA shared $200,000 with employees/retirees, a mere 12.5%.  The City is keeping 87.5%.

For two years the City acted like it had empty pockets on health insurance.  That wasn't true in 2010, despite Council's gross mischaracterization.  In November 2011 Mayor New made a motion to take health insurance savings and buy a fire truck.  While New later withdrew his motion, shifting benefit money to purchase capital items needs to be watched.

Update 12-7-11:  The Standard Times ran a piece by a dependent of a city worker.  Two days later, the paper published another letter.

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