GREENSBURG — Keeping the same health insurance plan for St. Helena Parish Police Jury employees another year will mean paying a 22.5 percent rate eincrease, agent Denny Ebersole told jurors Tuesday night.

The parish’s contract with Blue Cross is not a profitable one for the insurance company, Ebersole said. Blue Cross paid out $2.19 in claims for every $1 in premiums paid during the past 12 months, he said.

Ebersole said Humana has offered a competitive quote, and he hopes to solicit firm quotes from Aetna and Coventry as well before the Police Jury’s Personnel Committee meeting on March 22, when the matter will be discussed further.

The parish’s current contract with Blue Cross expires May 1, Ebersole said.

Other business coming before the Police Jury included:

PAY RAISES:All Police Jury employees will receive a 4 percent pay increase following a 5-0-1 vote Tuesday night, although jurors could not say what the total cost to the parish payroll will be.

Juror Major Coleman moved to have the matter added to the jury’s agenda amid discussions of a requested pay raise for a specific employee.

Accountant Terry Sibley previously told the jurors they had an additional $300,000 in the budget, Coleman said.

The last round of across-the-board raises was three years ago, he said.

Juror Thomas Wicker abstained from the vote, saying he was not opposed to pay raises but he didn’t want to vote without knowing the bottom-line cost.