Click to Learn More
Milford Town Crier


Town Crier Publication Dates
Town Crier Newspaper Advertising Rates

Town Crier Publications

Promote Your Page Too

Latest News


Milford Saves $1.5 Million on Health Insurance Costs

The town's new medical insurance plan agreement with its 12 unions will result in a savings of $1,495,000, with employees sharing half that amount, according to Town Treasurer Barbara Auger. The savings was mentioned as Auger and insurance consultant Brian Boyle met with the Board of Selectmen at its January 23 meeting to gain its approval for new dental insurance and life insurance rates for Fiscal Year 2013, which begins next July 1.

Selectmen unanimously approved a 3.5 percent increase in dental insurance premium costs and a zero increase in the life insurance premium costs, both of which are split evenly between the town and its employees.

During their meeting, the officials said that Milford is one of only a handful of cities and towns in the state to take advantage of a new state law passed last year – Chapter 32B – that changes how health insurance benefits are negotiated. "We had a great success in working under Chapter 32B," Auger said of the negotiating process. "It went extremely well," she said. "It went smoother than I expected."

Town Counsel Gerald Moody and Auger negotiated an agreement with the unions that avoided a 6.2 percent cost increase in the medical insurance by accepting new Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans with tiered deductibles and increased co-pay charges. The new agreement provides for each individual coverage member to receive a one-time, $145 "premium holiday" and each family coverage member to receive a one-time, $380 "premium holiday," the treasurer said. In addition, the town will set aside $100,000 in a fund that will help "high users" once they pay their first $500 in deductible costs by paying their next $500 in deductible costs, Auger explained.

Chairman Dino DeBartolomeis said the goal of the health insurance negotiations was for both the town and its employees to save money. "I think we have achieved that," he commented. Figures provided by Auger showed individual and family premiums dropping between 7.38 percent and 7.42 percent.

"You've helped achieve a remarkable result for all those involved," commented Selectman Brian Murray. "You quarterbacked it," he told Auger. "What it comes down to is hard work. It was no easy feat." Murray termed the savings as "cost avoidance" for the town.

Selectman William Buckley wanted to know whether the agreement would result in additional cost-savings in future years. "We've pushed back the curve by about a year," Boyle responded. "I think we'll eventually catch up to where we are." One major intent of negotiating the new health insurance plans is to motivate people to change their behaviors by using hospitals that are more cost-efficient, the consultant said.

It could take as many as five or six years for premiums to catch up to where they would have been without the new health insurance agreement Boyle explained. "I think we deferred the bullet for a few years," he said. "With health insurance costs, there is a method to share the burden a little bit differently than in past years."

Auger said she planned to use $300,000 of the health insurance savings to fund the "OPEB" (other post-employment benefits) account, which is used to pay benefits such as life insurance, healthcare premiums and deferred compensation for retired employees.




[back]




Click to Learn More

Click to Learn More

Click to Learn More

Click to Learn More

Click to Learn More

Click to Learn More

Click to Learn More

HOME | CALENDAR | NEWS ARCHIVE | EDITORIAL | PHOTO GALLERY | SPORTS | ADVERTISING | ABOUT US

Town Crier Publications, Inc. · 48 Mechanic Street, Upton, MA 01568
Phone: 508-529-7791 · E-mail: sales@towncrierpubs.com

  Copyright © 2019  Town Crier Publications, Inc.
 All rights reserved.  ·  Login

Website designed and hosted by Standing Stone Designs.