“By opening the clinic at Eagle Park, Hammack said the impact on the school district’s health insurance fund has been “profound.” “We are sitting right now with a health insurance fund of a little over $700,000. It’s an extraordinary thing,” she said. “… It’s almost a million and a half dollars that is a total amount saved. That’s massive in this short amount of time.”
- County government’s health insurance fund has been stretched as well. For 2018, the county has had to appropriate almost a million dollars to help cover health insurance, including $800,000 just in September.
Aug 10, 2018, SUPERINTENDENT’S CORNER: Health care spending decreasing for school district By LAURA HAMMACK, guest columnist
- When the school board and I first began working together in July of 2016, one of the first areas of concern that we identified was the cost of health insurance benefits and the subsequent negative impact on our budget.
- Before we made changes to our plan, our district had a massive deficit in the health insurance fund. We were in a situation where we had to make substantial lump sum payments to our “third-party administrator” (TPA) to catch up on bills that were due.
- We have “lived” our new plan for just over one year. I am thrilled to share that the results have been extraordinarily positive. We have moved from a situation of paying annual lump sum payments totaling over a half a million dollars to pay the bills to a situation where we have a reserve of well over the same. This translates into a million-dollar impact in just one year.
- All people — whether they’re associated with the school district or not — will be able to use the services at Brown County Health and Wellness Center through a membership arrangement, Brown County Schools Superintendent Laura Hammack said.
- School district employees will have access to the clinic through their medical coverage, while the general public can pay for a membership to the clinic in what’s known as the direct-primary care model. Memberships are month to month and can be canceled at any time.
- Brown County Schools employees and retirees will be paying more for health insurance next year.
- In addition to the new premiums, the school board also approved a contract with Anthem for a Brown County Schools Health Benefit Trust. The trust will allow the school district to build up money to be used for emergency medical situations by raising premiums and school board contributions, Superintendent Laura Hammack said.
- Previously, those types of emergency medical bills were paid for out of the general fund, which has a deficit of more than $1 million.
- Premiums for a single person with a $1,000 deductible increase from $132.80 to $139.44, based on 18 pays. A single retiree with a $1,000 deductible will pay a $371.85 premium compared to $231.92 premium in May 2016 after VEBA Bridge Coverage.