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Germantown School Board wants to provide two health care insurance options

Members leaning toward WEA Trust

July 31, 2012

Germantown - The Germantown School Board plans to stick with WEA Trust for its health insurance; however, they were not quite ready to vote Monday night.

Though WEA Trust came back with the lowest bid that would save the district 2.19 percent - $135,811 - compared with last year, the board wants to see if WEA can offer employees two options instead of one. This could subsequently save the district additional money, said insurance consultant Greg Kamps with Gallagher Benefit Services. How much additional savings depends on which plan employees select.

Bids provided by other health insurance carriers were higher than the current rates and the renewal rates if the WEA Trust plan remained unchanged.

Plan would be 80/20

Last week, the insurance committee sent a positive recommendation to the board for the selection of the WEA Trust Base $1,000 deductible 80/20 option for non-AFSCME employees. This would change the preferred plan to a base plan and goes from a $500 individual deductible to a $1,000 deductible.

Family coverage would change from a $1,000 to $2,000 deductible. Once the deductible is met, employees still have to cover 20 percent, while insurance covers 80 percent. The existing plan for AFSCME employees remains the same.

Investigating more choices

Board member Diana Kline proposed asking WEA Trust if offering a second base plan for employees to choose from is possible.

The School Board directed Kamps to consult WEA Trust to see if they could offer non-AFSCME employees dual choice options. If WEA comes back with a positive answer, Kamps said the second option would include a $2,000 deductible with 100 percent coverage once the deductible is met. The family deductible is $4,000 under this plan.

"I'm not sure if WEA will provide two options with one group (non-AFSCME), they don't have a history of doing that, but it's a very fair idea," Business Manager Ric Ericksen said.

If the School Board only has the option of accepting the WEA Trust Base $1,000 deductible 80/20 option for non-AFSCME employees, the 2.19 percent savings for the district is slightly less than what was initially budgeted for in the preliminary budget. However, Ericksen said the district came in better than expected financially June 30, which marked the end of the last fiscal year.

"I'm able to adjust the budget in a more favorable manner for the year we just started," he said. "I'm not concerned with this savings as a result of a new plan, which is a little bit less than what we might have wanted to achieve, but we'll be just fine."

Kamps said he will have the answer from WEA Trust by the next School Board meeting on Aug. 13, where a final vote on health insurance is anticipated.

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