No increase in health insurance rates for active employees in the city in 2022 | Burlington
BURLINGTON – City officials recently presented the board with an overview of proposed health insurance rates for 2022 for current and retired city employees, which saw members approve user-friendly rates.
As was the case last year, city treasurer / tax collector Gay Gianino first declared “good news” to the select committee, saying city officials and unions had worked diligently throughout. of this year to ensure that all parties were satisfied with the health. rates and insurance plans. There are over 1,000 active employees on the city’s insurance plan.
The average increase over the past six years is just over 3%, and the city’s current budget for health insurance is around $ 13 million (10% of the city’s operating budget which was approved at the municipal meeting last May). The trust fund right now is just over $ 7 million.
Gianino explained the health care premiums for active and retired employees.
The proposed rate increases for the two health insurance plans for active municipal employees are 0%. These plans include Blue Care Elect PPO, Blue Cross HMO Blue, Harvard Pilgrim Best Buy, and Harvard Pilgrim HSA Plan. These plans are for city employees under the age of 65 (people not eligible for Medicare).
“This is good news for us and good news for the employees,” said Gianino.
Health insurance rates in communities across the country are expected to increase by at least 10 percent in 2022, so Burlington is certainly in the most ideal situation at 0 percent.
“Compared to other communities, [Burlington] works very well with our employees to sort out the contract situation and try to meet their healthcare needs so it doesn’t affect the rates as a whole. The 0% increase was recommended and appropriate for 2022, ”commented Gianino.
The deductible formula for independent plans is a $ 1,000 deductible, in which the city pays the first $ 500. For family plans, the deductible is $ 2,000 and the city pays the first $ 1,000.
Plans for retirees
Retired employees (people over the age of 65) can choose from five different plans, called supplemental Medicare plans.
Health insurance plans for the elderly are community rate increases because the city is not self-funded in retirement programs. The city is self-funded when it comes to active employees in the scheme. The plans are Tufts Preferred HMO (up 4.4%) and Tufts Preferred Supplement (up 3%).
“The rates are set by the health insurance funds and we must pass them on to our retirees and the health insurance plans for those over 65,” Gianino recalled. “But that’s just the result of what the federal government does with the funding. Rates are set regionally based on claims experience over the past 12 months.
A positive trend appears to be continuing as a decrease in employee claims has again occurred, which is the result of the board vote in favor of a high deductible plan seven years ago. One of the main goals is to try to reduce drug claims.
The city has also been vigilant in promoting employee wellness education, including smoking and diabetes education programs to help guide employees in the right direction in terms of good health.
“We have been successful with these wellness education programs because the complaints have decreased in recent years,” Gianino explained. “Medicare is generally a budgetary tool for communities. Fortunately, we have very accommodating municipal employee representatives working with us. Everyone realizes that we have a great plan, but they also realize that it is a very expensive plan for the taxpayer, so everyone is trying to make it as cheap as possible.
The Select Board was satisfied with the rates for active employees.
“I would like to thank all parties involved for spending their time in securing these rates,” said Joseph Morandi, Member of the Board of Directors of Select. “It doesn’t happen overnight. It will continue to be great for the city.
Michael Runyan, selected board member, added: “0% is remarkable. This is good news and a great job for you and your staff. We live in a big city.
Gianino has officially requested a vote from the board of directors to authorize health insurance rates for 2022, which will take effect on January 1, 2022. Any percentage increase will be deducted from each paycheck one month in advance for pay the premiums.
By a unanimous vote, the board of directors approved the proposed health insurance rates for 2022 for active and retired municipal employees.