With health care costs constantly on the rise, the Warren County School District may have found an avenue to save some money.
Currently, the agreement between the district and administrative, or Act 93, staff, includes a provision where employees can opt out of the district's health insurance program. As an incentive, administrators who opt out qualify for a $1,000 payment.
That payment was "interpreted as a one-time deal in the past," Superintendent Brandon Hufnagel said. But, he noted, the contract "wasn't being read that way."
A memorandum of understanding was then drafted to clarify the point. "It is agreed that the Warren County School District Act 93...employee group will receive $1,000 each year they choose to opt out of the Warren County School District medical plan," the memorandum states.
"There are three administrators who opt out," Hufnagel told the district's board of directors on Monday. "One would have if the buyout was there."
The buyout isn't just a financial benefit to administrators. It's also a cost savings to the district.
"For the Act 93 group, single coverage costs the district approximately $389.00 per month per covered employee," Director of Business Services Jim Grosch said in an email on Wednesday. "For family coverage, the cost to the district is approximately $1,160.00 per month per covered employee."
After the buyout is paid, the district stands to see approximately a $3,500 cost savings for single coverage employees who opt out and $12,000 cost savings for an employee with family coverage.
Board member Nancy McDanel asked on Monday whether administrators who decline coverage are required to submit proof of insurance. "We haven't, but we can," Hufnagel said.
"That's usually required" as a way to limit liability, McDanel added.
Hufnagel said before the vote was taken on the agreements, that a procedure would be established requiring those who opt out to sign a document indicating that they have refused district health insurance.
Two memoranda, essentially identical, were approved unanimously by the board. One covers certificated administration while the other addressed non-certificated administrators.