Archive for Thursday, June 30, 2005

School district may change health insurance provider

June 30, 2005

Lansing School District employees may be dealing with a new health insurance company come August.

Lansing Schools Superintendent Randal Bagby said brokers for the district were in the process of soliciting costs and receiving bids from insurance companies.

Bagby said the district's brokers shop for health insurance every year. This year the district wants to change providers because the district's current health insurance provider, Humana, will be raising its rates in the neighborhood of 30 percent, Bagby said.

He said he was alerted to a possible rate increase a few months ago.

"You kind of expect (increases) every year, but nowhere near 30 percent," he said.

Changing insurance plans is nothing new for district employees; Bagby said the district usually gets a new plan every year or two. For the 2004-05 school year, teachers had a Humana Preferred Provider Organization-only plan. The year before, they had the choice of Humana Health Maintenance Organization or Humana PPO.

Missy Allen, registrar at Lansing Middle School, said she and her husband Don, a science teacher at Lansing High School, have a family health insurance plan through the district. She said the changing plans didn't bother her much.

"We have to have insurance," she said. "As soon as they find something, we'll sign on to it."

Allen said the frequent changes hadn't caused her family any problems.

Bagby said he hoped to have the bids reviewed in time to recommend the best plan to Lansing School Board's next meeting, which will be Thursday, July 7, to accommodate all board members' schedules.

Bagby said he would ask the board to take action at the July meeting on the plan he presents. If the board accepts the proposal for a new insurance provider, the plans will go into effect for the 2005-06 school year, Bagby said. If the board for some reason rejects his proposal, Bagby said, the district would stay on with Humana, and employees would be forced to pay the higher rates, he said.

"I don't think any board would choose to inflict that kind of damage on everyone," Bagby said.

Currently, the school district contributes $150 for each employee on a single plan and $242 for each worker on a family plan. The district contribution will stay the same with the new insurance provider, Bagby said. However, he said that board members had expressed an interest in making a larger contribution if more funds become available.

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