Lafayette Parish school system officials proposed Wednesday a compromise to help offset the impact of a higher deductible attached to proposed changes to the School Board’s employee and retiree insurance plan.
The proposed higher deductible relief is specific to retirees without Medicare. It offers a $600 wellness credit — rather than a $400 wellness credit — for retirees without Medicare to help offset a deductible of $1,500 for an individual and $4,500 for family coverage. With a $600 wellness credit, retirees without Medicare would pay a $900 deductible for individual coverage and a $3,900 deductible for family coverage.
The committee accepted the staff’s proposal and revised its recommendation that will be considered by the full School Board on Thursday to include the $600 wellness credit.
The School Board’s insurance committee previously recommended two insurance plan options for the full board to consider at a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. One of those options retains the current premium and deductible rates and will go to the board Thursday as the committee’s first choice for consideration.
The committee’s second choice would slightly lower premiums but increase deductibles and also would increase premiums by $20 for retirees on Medicare. The committee’s second choice appeared to be supported by staff, which offered the wellness credit to offset the deductible increase in response to some concerns about the financial impact retirees would face by the deductible increase.
Staff proposed subsidizing the wellness credit by an additional $200 for retirees not on Medicare by redirecting $200,000 from the total $400,000 that was earmarked for a trust account for unfunded liability for retiree benefits.
Current monthly premiums are $149 for individual coverage for active and retired employees not on Medicare; $87 for a retiree on Medicare; and $608 for family coverage. The current deductible is $950 for individuals and $2,850 for families. That deductible can be reduced by $250 if employees earn a wellness credit.
The committee’s second-choice option set premiums for individuals and retirees without Medicare at $110; $107 for a retiree on Medicare; and $500 for family coverage, but increased deductibles to $1,500 for an individual and $4,500 for a family.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.