October 03, 2012 - The Mehlville Board of Education voted 6-0 last week to modify the school district's self-insurance medical plan and increase employee premiums.
Board member Rich Franz abstained. He told the Call he believes district employees should be required to "bear more of the financial burden for their insurance."
However, Franz said he believed that would contradict his vote in favor of a 2.5-percent pay raise for certified employees.
"In the interest of consistency, I thought it more appropriate that I abstain," Franz said. "My other reason is that I think we need to do more research to find out how we can cause our employees to be more invested in controlling costs associated with the insurance."
The approved changes are:
• The cost of the point of service plan increases to $540 from $460 for a single employee. The district previously paid $427.50 and the employee paid $32.50. Under the approved plan, the district will pay $468 and the employee will pay $72. More than 1,000 employees use this plan.
• The health maintenance organization plan will continue to have no out-of-pocket costs due to having a different class of benefits.
• Health savings accounts also will continue with no out-of-pocket cost. However, the district now will place $125 into an HSA account for employees on the plan, up from $100.
Employees under all plans pay additional costs if coverage includes family members.
Benefit changes, which include increased costs for office visits, emergency room co-pays and the additional deductibles, which is a first for district employees, also are included. The boost in cost is estimated to save $325,000.