After taking a second look, the insurance committee of the Ascension Parish School Board on Tuesday sent changes to employee health insurance coverage to the full board for a vote, set for its Aug. 4 meeting.

The board will be looking at rate increases, provider discounts and changes in deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums to cover an estimated $7.8 million deficit the School Board faces in its health insurance plan by the end of October, unless changes are made.

“It’s been brought before us for several years now we were starting to slip” into a deficit, said board member John Murphy, who chairs the insurance committee.

“We have to react now,” Murphy said.

The changes were first proposed to the insurance committee at its June 7 meeting by employee benefits specialist Len Fontaine.

If approved by the board, the changes would mean a 15 percent or 30 percent increase in premiums for School Board employees, depending on which of two insurance plans they’re in.

For employees with dependents, the premium increases would be 20 percent and 35 percent, depending on the plan.

For those in the basic health insurance plan, for example, the monthly premium for an employee who’s single would go from $35.87 to $46.63; for an employee adding a spouse to the plan, the rate would go from $149.84 to $202.28.

“You still have a very rich plan at a very affordable rate,” Fontaine said at Tuesday’s meeting.

The next enrollment period for the School Board’s health insurance, which covers approximately 7,500 people, will be from Aug. 11 to Sept. 11.

Follow Ellyn Couvillion on Twitter, @EllynCouvillion.