It started out as a discussion between the city’s Internal Operations Committee and two state entities that provide insurance and workers’ compensation coverage.

By the end of it, the three-member committee decided it wants city department heads to continue conversations with the city’s insurance agent, Julie Bray of A.C. Root in Clinton, and representatives of the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool and the Iowa Municipalities Workers’ Compensation Association to see if the city has the right insurance, if it has what it needs and if there is a way of recouping some of the $4.5 million the city agreed to pay to settle a Medicare billing lawsuit last fall.

 ICAP was designed in response to Iowa legislation that authorizes and permits Iowa entities to form a local government risk pool. ICAP offers property and liability coverage to public entities and special districts. Clinton has had coverage through ICAP since 1987.

IMWCA is a self-funded risk sharing pool that provides workers’ compensation coverage to local governments including cities, counties, other political subdivisions and entities formed by intergovernmental agreements. IMWCA is organized under Chapter 28E of the Code of Iowa and currently covers more than 49,000 employees of nearly 500 members. Clinton has had this coverage since 1981.

The three committee members were given explanations of what the city currently has, with Human Resources Director David Geisler suggesting that the committee may want to go to the marketplace and see what else is out there for coverage.

The committee ultimately decided it didn't want to take the risk of getting a low cost from a new provider one year only to see that rate greatly hiked the next year based on claims.

Instead, that committee said it wanted to learn more about what coverage the city is getting under the current policies, something they said they are unclear about because the city’s former finance director, who each year reviewed the policy with Bray, did not pass that information along to the council.

The department heads will work with Bray and the two insurance entities to see what the city has and what is needed and also what can be written to make sure there is proper workers’ coverage for police officers and firemen, who are covered differently.

Committee member Jennifer Graf also asked if the city has error-made-by-public-official coverage such as  to cover a former department head.

She also said she wanted to learn if any claims can be made based on the $4.5 million Medicare settlement.

Kasi Koehler of ICAP said a claims manager can travel to Clinton and see if anything can be done.

The city’s insurance renewal date is July 1 so department heads will be working on their part of the plan with the hope of being ready for an early June meeting to decide if there are changes that need to be made before the renewal date.