Brookfield health insurance costs to see modest rise
Projections show 2.6 percent increase
The city of Brookfield anticipates a 2.5 percent increase for health insurance expenses next year.
At the recommendation of the Human Resources and Public Safety Committee, the Common Council on Monday adopted a resolution approving the 2013 health insurance program for city employees and retirees.
The resolution specifies that the city will continue the self-funded plan with its current providers - United Medical Resources, which has served as its claims administration provider since 2010, and Symetra, its stop-loss insurance provider beginning in 2012.
Non-represented employees will continue to contribute 20 percent toward the cost of monthly plan premiums for medical and pharmacy coverage. The contribution is reduced to 10 percent for those who participate in the city's wellness program. The employee portion of monthly premium rates reflects an increase of about 2.4 percent to 2.5 percent from the current level, which amounts to less than $5 per month for each of the three plan options: employee, employee plus spouse, and family.
In committee discussion of the proposed program, Human Resources Director Jim Zwerlein said the city considered bids from three insurance providers, of which the current provider was the most competitive.
Based on the claims incurred so far this year and previous projections from the city's actuarial consultant, Zwerlein and Finance Director Robert Scott said they are confident in the projections provided for 2013.
"The actual year-to-date (cost per member) is flat compared to last year, which we budgeted a zero percent increase," Scott said of the 2012 numbers. "So, based on that, we're going to be basically right on."
Although the city has seen an increase in the number of large claims filed so far this year - a total of 17, amounting to nearly $826,000 paid by the city - it is still in good shape with regard to health insurance costs incurred, Zwerlein said.
With stop-loss coverage of about $60,000 per participant, the city is reimbursed on the portion of any large claims exceeding that level, Zwerlein said, which so far in 2012 has included a reimbursement of about $353,000 on a total of seven claims.
"Despite the fact that we have close to twice as many large claims this year than last year, we're still having a most excellent year in the health insurance area," Zwerlein said.
The new health insurance program will begin Jan. 1, and remain in effect for one year.
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