The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 13, 2013

City Council: Committee OKs changes

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — City employees could soon expect a change in their medical plans, a plan that will require a 3 percent contribution fee, if the Clinton City Council approves a recommendation sent forward on Tuesday.

The committee of the whole met Tuesday to discuss an issue that has been high on the priority list for the council and finally came to an agreement on the stipulations.

“This is back,” Clinton City Administrator Jessica Kinser said. “It’s back because there was a three, three tie vote at the last committee of the whole. Everything is still the same, so I didn’t know if there are any new questions that I could try and answer.”

The committee voted unanimously to move the measure forward.

Council members have debated the future of the city’s medical plan for several months and the last discussion on Oct. 22 left the city in a stalemate on whether they should implement an employee contribution or not.

The employee contribution option that tied at the Oct. 22 meeting asked for a 2 percent increase for five years, a suggestion by councilman John Rowland, but the contribution suggested at Tuesday’s meeting, also suggested by Rowland, asked for employees to pay 3 percent of their medical expenses.

“The PPO (preferred provider option) number one that was presented to us for single persons was listed at $674 per month,” Rowland said. “If I make a motion, which I plan to do, of 3 percent, the monthly out of pocket for an employee would be $20.22 per month.”

The PPO is one of two medical options that also was approved Tuesday, along with the employee contribution. The second is a high deductible plan that will require approximately $18.90 per month of out-of-pocket expenses for employees for a $630 per month plan.

“When we’re looking at ways to keep the premium down, our analysis so far has shown that we’re looking at not taking on that much more in additional claims for the risk and liability,” Kinser said. “That would go to the employee and that, the city wouldn’t assume in the design plan changes.”