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View Full Version : What's REALLY Happening in WI!!!



road kill
03-23-2012, 04:06 PM
Granted, this is not from "Mother Jones" or "The Daily Koz'" but it is directly from the folks living it.





Health insurance changes to net big savings for school district
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 19:23
PW-S officials consider changing carriers, plan to cut cost by as much as 21%

The Port Washington-Saukville School District may be able to save nearly $1 million by switching health insurance carriers and making relatively minor changes in the plan it offers employees, a consultant told School Board members Monday.

Hays Companies, an insurance and employee benefits consulting firm hired by the district, presented preliminary bids from four insurance providers showing that the competitive bidding process alone will save the district money.

For instance, WEA Trust (owned by DA UNION), the longtime provider of insurance for the district, initially told school officials to expect an 8% increase in premiums this year. But when the company was informed the district was shopping for insurance, it revised its proposal to show a 3.3% decrease in the premium, Sara Hames, vice president of employee benefits for Hays, said.

“This decrease was due to competition alone with no changes in the plan,” she said.

United Health Care and Humana both submitted preliminary bids offering 7% decreases in premiums without plan changes.

A 7% decrease in the district’s total $5.27 million annual health insurance premium would result in a savings of $368,993.

The district can double, possibly even triple, that savings if it makes minor changes to its insurance plan, Hames said.

“First we were thinking about significantly higher deductibles, like $1,000, but then we thought we’re not going to go there this year, so why bog the process down,” she said. “I do think it may be time to start thinking about moving the deductible or out-of-pocket (maximum) a bit.”

Under the district’s current WEA Trust plan, employees pay a deductible of $100 for single coverage and $200 for family coverage in network, with identical out-of-pocket maximums. Claims are covered at 100% after deductibles.

The current plan covers preventative care at 100%, does not have an office visit co-pay and offers a four-tier, $0/$10/$25/$50 prescription drug benefit.

Employees pay, or will pay depending on whether they are still covered by a contract, 13% of their insurance premium, according to an employee manual approved by the School Board last week.

By increasing deductibles to $250 and $500 for single and family coverage, respectively, introducing 10% co-insurance and $20 office co-pays and increasing out-of-pocket maximums to $500 and $1,000, the district could reduce its premiums by an additional 7% for an estimated total savings of 14%, or roughly $737,000, according to the Hays analysis.

A United Health Care HMO option promises to reduce the premium by an additional 7%, for a total saving of about 21%, or roughly $1 million, according to the Hays analysis.

The HMO would cover only services from providers in the United Health Care network, but Hames said the network is large enough to give both employees and retirees who live out of state plenty of options. She said the Milwaukee Archdiocese covers its 4,000 employees under an HMO and has had no problems.

School Board members, all but one of whom participated in Monday’s Personnel and Programs Committee meeting, said they are willing to change carriers and plan designs. They instructed Hames to solicit final bids from United Health Care and Humana, which appear to be the two frontrunners, as well as WEA Trust.

“You have to realize that they (WEA Trust) came in with an 8% increase before they knew we were accepting bids,” board member Myron Praeger said. “I don’t feel obligated at all to stay with them.”

Board members also said they would likely seek some sort of two-year rate guarantee, most likely in the form of a rate increase cap, to ensure they are not wooed by a vendor who offers significant savings one year and steep increases the next.

“We don’t want to get ourselves in a situation where we’re switching insurance companies every year,” Supt. Michael Weber said.

School Board members are also debating whether to decrease the district’s cash in lieu of health insurance benefit.

Currently, employees who opt not to use the district health insurance are paid up to $8,380 annually, which is equal to the district’s portion of the single coverage premium.

Part-time employees who work at least the equivalent of half time are eligible for health insurance on a prorated basis as well as the cash in lieu of insurance benefit adjusted for the amount of time they work. That seemed to be a revelation for some board members.

“I wouldn’t think that would be necessary,” School Board President Patty Ruth said.

Of the 280 district employees who qualify for health insurance, 61 currently opt for the cash in lieu of benefit, Director of Business Services Jim Froemming said. Of the 25 part-time employees who qualify for health insurance, 16 elect to receive a cash payment instead.

The cash payment was designed as an incentive for employees who have spouses with access to health insurance to use those plans, theoretically saving the district the difference between its share of the family premium, which is $18,960, and the $8,380 payment.

Froemming said a recent “unscientific” survey of employees revealed that most of those receiving the cash benefit would opt for insurance coverage if the payment was eliminated.

A recent survey of seven North Shore school districts showed the Port-Saukville cash in lieu of benefit was the third highest and nearly $3,000 more than the payment in a similar sized neighboring district.

The district is also considering so-called carve-outs, or ways in which it can discourage employees whose spouses have access to insurance from covering their families on the district’s health insurance.

“I want to do something with the cash in lieu option, but I need some time to think about it,” board member Jim Eden, chairman of the Personnel and Programs Committee, said. “While cash in lieu sounds bad to the public, there is some benefit to it.”

School Board members plan to review final proposals and decide if they will change the cash in lieu benefit on Monday, March 26.

On April 16, the board will interview the top two insurance providers. By that time, at least two new board members will have been elected to succeed Ruth and Praeger. The new members will be invited to the interviews so they are prepared to vote on the insurance package prior to May 1, Weber said.

New members take office April 23.






and so it goes..........
http://i704.photobucket.com/albums/ww42/sbx1/santarecall.jpg



RK

Gerry Clinchy
03-23-2012, 07:10 PM
That was really quite interesting. Did you all catch the same details I did?

For teachers with families, the SD pays $1580 per month. For single teachers, they pay $615/mo. Presumably the SD pays the full premium (or same percentage for both). So, it costs the SD $10,000 more to have a teacher with family coverage.

Their present plan sure is the "gold standard" with such low deductibles and no co-pays. This is way better than most plans I know of.

Now, considering the pretty substantial plans that will be encompassed by Obamacare, I'm wagering that the costs they are now expecting (2X the original) will look even worse with time.

JDogger
03-23-2012, 08:38 PM
Stan, you are surely becoming the new UB. Your copy and paste from Faux news is becoming redundent. No one (notice, it's not spelled noone), really gives a FRA about your opinions, or what goes on in WI.
Are you seriously trying to change anyone's mind, or do you just want a slap on the back from the mindless righties who follow your pap?

I will include here, numerous :):) and winks ;-);-) so you don't hae too get too :mad:.

The best to you and E. JD

road kill
03-24-2012, 05:42 AM
Stan, you are surely becoming the new UB. Your copy and paste from Faux news is becoming redundent. No one (notice, it's not spelled noone), really gives a FRA about your opinions, or what goes on in WI.
Are you seriously trying to change anyone's mind, or do you just want a slap on the back from the mindless righties who follow your pap?

I will include here, numerous :) and winks ;-) so you don't hae too get too :mad:.

The best to you and E. JD

Why JDogger, are we cross?
I just don't know what I would do if I thought we were cross!

I would comment on the content of your postings, but alas, they are vapid.

My advice, you would do well based on the above comments to avoid any thread or post I make.
I am certain the quality of your life would improve exponentially!!:D

Oh, and I do appreciate the spelling tips from the master!
HAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:rolleyes:

As far as Fox (not your smarmy Faux, or did you misspell two words??:D) Bill Schanen IV works for the Ozaukee Press.
You could look it up;
http://www.ozaukeepress.com/



RK

PS--I do hope Uncle Bill is not offended by the comparison.

Matt McKenzie
03-24-2012, 07:29 AM
Stan, you are surely becoming the new UB. Your copy and paste from Faux news is becoming redundent. No one (notice, it's not spelled noone), really gives a FRA about your opinions, or what goes on in WI.
Are you seriously trying to change anyone's mind, or do you just want a slap on the back from the mindless righties who follow your pap?

I will include here, numerous :):) and winks ;-);-) so you don't hae too get too :mad:.

The best to you and E. JD

And there you have a textbook response from the left in one incredibly beautiful example.
1. Does not address the content of the article or discuss the issue in any way
2. Expresses anger that you would even have the audacity to post something that runs counter to the liberal belief system
3. Compares the poster to someone else not held in high regard by liberals
4. Attempts to discredit the information by questioning the legitimacy of the source
5. Goes on an angry and disrespectful attack using terms like "nobody gives a FRA about your opinions" (FRA stands for F*!king Rat's Ass for those of you who may not communicate in crude terms) and even attacks the poster's spelling!
6. Groups all those who disagree with the liberal perspective as "mindless righties".

Perfect. You can look at almost any liberal response to any statement made by a conservative or libertarian about liberal policies or Democrat politicians and find some or all of these same tactics. Every time.
As I've said before, it's easy to be a liberal because it requires no research or rational thought. All you have to do is "feel". Evidently this one isn't "feeling" very good about RK.
Oh, and surprise, surprise; J-Dogg doesn't speak for everyone. I actually to give a "FRA" about RK's opinions and what goes on in WI. Every good citizen SHOULD care about what's going on in WI. But what do I know, I'm just a mindless rightie.

M&K's Retrievers
03-24-2012, 08:05 AM
And there you have a textbook response from the left in one incredibly beautiful example.
1. Does not address the content of the article or discuss the issue in any way
2. Expresses anger that you would even have the audacity to post something that runs counter to the liberal belief system
3. Compares the poster to someone else not held in high regard by liberals
4. Attempts to discredit the information by questioning the legitimacy of the source
5. Goes on an angry and disrespectful attack using terms like "nobody gives a FRA about your opinions" (FRA stands for F*!king Rat's Ass for those of you who may not communicate in crude terms) and even attacks the poster's spelling!
6. Groups all those who disagree with the liberal perspective as "mindless righties".

Perfect. You can look at almost any liberal response to any statement made by a conservative or libertarian about liberal policies or Democrat politicians and find some or all of these same tactics. Every time.
As I've said before, it's easy to be a liberal because it requires no research or rational thought. All you have to do is "feel". Evidently this one isn't "feeling" very good about RK.
Oh, and surprise, surprise; J-Dogg doesn't speak for everyone. I actually to give a "FRA" about RK's opinions and what goes on in WI. Every good citizen SHOULD care about what's going on in WI. But what do I know, I'm just a mindless rightie.

You left out his jab at Uncle Bill.

Matt McKenzie
03-24-2012, 08:09 AM
You left out his jab at Uncle Bill.

see number 3