Employees of the City of Vandalia will see little change in the city’s health coverage, other than a roughly two-and-a-half times increase in their coinsurance and deductible.
City Administrator Alan Winders said health care coverage will be from the same provider, American National, under the “Lifestyle Base Plan,” which required a 1-2 percent increase in cost to the city.
He said weekly employee contribution cost will stay the same. The board unanimously approved the plan.
The deductible under the city’s base plan increases from $500 to $1,500 with the coinsurance increasing from $500 to $1,000.
Winders said only major medical incidences will count toward the deductible.
He said if an employee would like coverage greater than the city provides, the employee can purchase greater coverage at their own expense.
“Through the carrier, the employees could reduce that deductible and coinsurance by buying-out at their own cost,” Winders told the board on Tuesday, December 11. “It’s the same old story, we can keep costs the same but benefits are reduced. What we’re working on with employees is that they can keep their cost the same, the city keeps its cost the same, and the benefits are reduced. Or, if you want to protect yourself against a higher deductible or coinsurance, you have to pay more money.”
He said employees can also opt-out of the city’s insurance plan, in which case Vandalia will pay $500 to the employee.
Before the vote, Alderman Ron Stallcup questioned whether the plan is needed, liked by and affordable for city employees.
“I think we need to provide coverage for our employees,” Winders replied. “We’re not a premium wage-payer so this is one of the benefits we need to provide.”
He said if the cost continues to increase, maintaining coverage may not be sustainable.
“We have been very up-front with our employees about that,” Winders said.
The board unanimously approved the following:
• An alcohol and drug testing renewal contract with the Audrain Medical Center
• The recommendation that city employee holiday bonuses be paid in the form of “Vandalia Chamber Bucks” to encourage local spending
• The sale/transfer of a 1978 Chevy rescue truck, for $4,500, that had been shared by the city and the rural fire department; a newer vehicle was purchased for $5,000
• The authorization of lake pumping and water plant improvement costs to be paid from the capital surcharge paid by water customers — $200,000 will be used toward improvements at the water treatment facility
• Updating language of the “Discontinuance of Utility Service-Reconnection” portion of the city code to accord with state law and city practice.
Winders reported he had been approached by a board member of the Modern Maturity Center regarding the possible donation of the Modern Maturity building to the City of Vandalia with the board voicing approval of the donation.
He said results for the YMCA feasibility study were received with overall positive results and some concern about fiscal support. He said a separate financial feasibility study will soon be under way.