Archive for Wednesday, October 10, 2001

School district changes health-insurance firms

October 10, 2001

According to one school board member, the Tonganoxie district needs to tie up health insurance negotiations earlier in the year.

"I think we need to start as early as we possibly can and push the envelope on this thing," Rick Lamb told fellow board members Monday night.

Lamb said a district employee had complained to him that insurance cards had not yet been issued for insurance coverage that took effect Oct. 1. Employees have been covered since the effective date.

Superintendent Richard Erickson acknowledged the inconvenience of not having insurance cards in hand, but said he expected they would be issued within two weeks. Changing insurance carriers caused the delay, he said.

"There's always some down time in setting up a new plan," Erickson said. "But it certainly is more effective than trying to accept a large increase in health insurance premiums."

A year ago, the district contracted with Aetna, which would have increased rates by 70 percent this year. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas bid an increase of 15 to 20 percent, Erickson said.

"So there was a significant savings by changing plans," he added.

The district pays $100 per month toward health insurance for certified employees and up to $50 per month for classified employees, Erickson said.

Monthly BCBS premiums this year will be: single, $183; employee with children, $347; employee with spouse, $393; and family, $553.

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