On Wednesday, city finance director Preston Cobb said a proposed new insurance plan would begin open enrollment for city employees the second week of May to see how many would benefit from the new tiered plan. .
Currently, there are 259 city employees covered, which does not include retirees or outside agencies that participate in the city plan.
City Manager Daniel Estes said insurance for Blue Cross and Blue Shield employees, which was originally expected to be a 15% increase, was negotiated down to a 6.9% increase. He shared the information during Tuesday’s city council budget workshop.
During the insurance conversation, Estes shared the proposed plan creating four tiers of health plans with a proposed additional plan for drug benefits – all benefiting employees.
“In the current plan, there are only two tiers – employee and employee and family, with the family plan being quite expensive,” Estes said. “The City covers the entire premium for an individual employee only, while premiums for children and spouses are paid partly by the city and partly by the employee, but with the basic plan offered, the employee would have three additional options at a lower cost to them.”
The proposed plan would cover the following:
Employees and their children at a cost of $273.64 per paycheck.
Employee and spouse for $394.11.
Employee and his family for $444.44.
Redemption plans would increase all costs for each level.
The proposed drug benefit would allow employees to pay $10 for generic drugs, $20 for preferred drugs, $75 for non-preferred drugs and $150 for specialty drugs. Mail-in prescriptions would remain at 2x the copayment.
“The board seemed to like the new plan during the workshop,” Cobb said. “We will take the post-registration numbers and bring them to first reading at the June Board meeting to allow the Board to approve the proposed plan based on the enrollment numbers to see how employees respond.”