Proposed insurance plan offers more tiers and lower cost for city employees

Published 6:06 pm Wednesday, April 27, 2022

On Wednesday, City Finance Director Preston Cobb said a new proposed insurance plan would begin open enrollment for city employees the second week of May to see how many would take advantage of the new tiered plan.
Currently, there are 259 city employees covered, which doesn’t include retirees or outside agencies that participate in the city plan.
City Manager Daniel Estes said that employee insurance from Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which initially was projected to be a 15 % increase, has been negotiated down to a 6.9% increase. He shared the information at Tuesday’s City Council budget workshop.
During the conversation dealing with insurance, Estes shared the proposed plan creating four tiers of health plans with an additional proposed plan for pharmacy benefits – all benefiting the employees.
“In the current plan, there is only two tiers – the employee and the employee and his family with the family plan being quite expensive,” Estes said. “The City covers the whole premium for individual employee only while premiums for children and spouses is paid partly by the city and partly by the employee but with the proposed base plan, the employee would have three more options at a lesser cost to them.”
The proposed plan would cover the following:
  • Employees and their children for a cost of $273.64 per paycheck.
  • Employee and spouse for $394.11.
  • Employee and their family for $444.44.
  • Buy-up plans would increase all costs for each tier.
The proposed pharmacy benefit would allow employees to pay $10 for generic, $20 for preferred, $75 for non-preferred, and $150 for specialty drugs. Mail order prescriptions would remain at 2x the copay.
“The council seemed to like the new plan during the workshop,” Cobb said. “We will take the numbers after enrollment and bring those to first reading in the June Council meeting to allow the Council to approve the proposed plan based on the enrollment numbers to see how the employees respond.”

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