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Germantown School District changes insurance carrier

Board selects Humana as provider, faces 3.37 percent rise in premiums

Aug. 27, 2013

Germantown — Germantown School District employees will have a new health care provider starting Oct. 1, district officials decided Monday.

The Germantown School Board selected Humana as the district's health care provider for a plan with a $1,000 deductible. Historically, the district received insurance through WEA Trust. By changing providers, premiums will increase by 3.37 percent, or $165,290. If the district renewed with WEA Trust it faced between a 12 and 14 percent increase in premiums, said School Board member Tom Barney.

Comparing the Humana $1,000 deductible plan to the WEA renewal rates for their $1,000 deductible plan, there is a savings of $294,347.

No changes were made Monday to employee contribution rates. Non-AFSCME employees currently pay 5 percent. However, the AFSCME employee group is moving from a 3 percent to a 5 percent contribution rate on Oct. 1 and will be provided the same benefits as all employees in the district, said Greg Kamps with Gallagher Benefit Services, the School District's insurance consultant.

So far, employee contribution rates for non-AFSCME employees will stay the same. However, this could be a point of discussion moving forward. There was a 2.5 percent premium increase included in the 2013-14 preliminary budget. The budget would be balanced if employee contributions were increased from 5 to 6 percent, Barney said. No direction was taken on Monday.

There are currently three plans offered in Germantown. Now, there will be one, $1,000 deductible plan that is similar to the $1,000 deductible plan currently offered through WEA Trust.

"It's essentially an identical plan to what was offered previously with WEA and overall only has a 3.37 percent increase versus a 12 and 14 percent (increase) that we would have seen with a WEA renewal" Barney said.

School Board President Bob Soderberg said it's an "apples to apples" comparison between plans.

The co-pays, providers and in-and-out-of-network rates are comparable between insurance carriers, Kamps said. This means employees will not have to switch doctors.

Switching to Humana has its benefits. First, Kamps said the renewal rates are expected to be lower from year to year.

"On those large claims they will be working with your employees more to make sure that they're getting the proper care and getting it for a reasonable cost, so those things will come into play when they develop your rates for the next year," he said.

Second, Humana has one of the best wellness programs in the country, Kamps said. Humana will offer Germantown employees an incentive-based wellness program in an effort to promote and reward healthy behaviors. Employees have the opportunity to participate in different wellness activities, such as preventive care, training for a marathon, or buying healthy food. They will receive points with each activity.

In return, employees receive different rewards such as an iPad or Amazon gift card.

School district administration will begin meeting with staff to discuss insurance changes this week.

BY THE NUMBERS

3.37

Rise in premiums

165,290

Dollar annual increase

294,347

Savings by choosing Humana over WEA

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