• 52°

Council adopts employee insurance plan

With a Feb. 1 deadline looming the Ironton City Council on Wednesday had a special meeting for the sole purpose of adopting a new health insurance plan for employees.

An insurance proposal made by Dave Brown of Brown/Raybourne Insurance at council’s regular meeting on Jan. 8 carried an increase of 8 percent from the previous year. If not adopted by Feb. 1, the increase would go from 8 percent to 17.5 percent.

In the absence of coincil member Dave Fraser, council adopted the insurance plan with a 6-0 vote, which negated the need for another special meeting that would have taken place today.

“I think it’s the best we were going to get,” Rich Blankenship, Ironton mayor, said. “Because of the Feb. 1 deadline we had to have the special meeting. Compared to where we started a few months ago with a 17 percent increase and we got 8 percent I’m very happy with it.”

The only change from last year’s policy, Brown said, is prescription drug co-pays will now count toward the policy’s $2,200 out-of-pocket deductible.

“We have the benefit of the out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions counting against the deductible, which we have never had before,” Blankenship said. “With everything costing more these days, I think that’s a pretty good thing.”

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 from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.