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Increase won’t be as high

Council gets update on employees’ health insurance

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act will not impact health insurance costs as much as some predicted.

Brown/Raybourne Insurance representative Dave Brown on Thursday presented Ironton City Council with insurance quotes for 2015. The only change from last year’s policy, Brown said, is prescription drug co-pays will count toward the policy’s $2,200 out-of-pocket deductible.

“If you recall, last year we were looking at a 20 percent increase for medical benefits and our deductible going to $2,000 from $500,” he said. “We told (Anthem) we have to have a single-digit number and asked them to give us their best-case number and they came back to us with 8 percent and I was tickled to death.”

Brown said all of Anthem’s group policies covering fewer than 100 eligible individuals are given a community rate based on geography, age and whether one smokes.

“I feel really, really fortunate to have gotten by this year and we were really concerned about (the ACA) being a big hurdle for us,” Brown said. “I know it’s not pleasant to pay 8 percent more for anything but in relation to everything that’s going on around us I’m very pleased and I feel, without question, we got the best deal we could have garnered.”

Council member Bob Cleary asked what the monthly premium totals will now be for individual and family policies, to which Brown said it will be $1,535 for a family and $563 for an individual. The 8 percent equates to a $96,654 overall cost increase for the year. Brown said 4.26 percent of the 8 percent increase is directly from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

If the current health insurance proposal is not adopted by Feb. 1, the increase will go from 8 percent to 17.5 percent. Council’s finance committee favorably recommended the proposal in a meeting that took place after the regular council meeting.

The lone agenda item, resolution 15-01 amending or restating the city’s existing pickup plan for the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund, was adopted unanimously.

Council previously adopted a pickup of 2.5 percent of the 11.5 percent mandatory employee contribution to the pension fund. The city will now only pay the state-mandated 24 percent. The 2.5 percent pickup was phased out by a 4.5 percent wage increase agreed to during negotiations.

In a joint meeting with the Upper Township Trustees prior to the regular meeting, council member Dave Frazer was re-appointed to the Woodland Cemetery Board.

Trustee Bob Ackerman made a motion seconded by trustee Craig Thomas to appoint Frazer. Trustee Don Klaiber was not at the meeting.

Frazer served a partial term on the board after he was appointed as council’s representative to fill the vacancy created when Mike Lutz did not seek re-election. The appointment is for four years.

Blankenship requested the re-appointment of John Smith to the civil service commission. Smith’s appointment is for a three-year term and was approved unanimously by council.

Council meetings will again be broadcast on channel 25. Anthony Poff recorded the meeting and said time slots when the meetings will air have not been determined but predicted Thursday’s meeting will be begin showing today.