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Healthcare costs increase in Addison



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June 04, 2014 - Addison Township officials approved another year's worth of healthcare for their full-time employees, which included elected officials on a 6-0 vote at the May 19 regular board meeting, but prices are going up.

"Healthcare is getting to be a real issue. The dynamics are changing," said Supervisor Bruce Pearson. "With Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) we are finding out that every day there is something different that we have to adhere to."

Pearson said they received a letter from their provider McLaren Health Plan stating that they are discontinuing the current plan that the township has after August 1, 2014 but because the township is renewing the current plan prior to August 1, McLaren agreed to uphold the plan for another year.

"A lot of these companies are starting to get out of the small (business) carriers and we'll have to tackle that when it comes and maybe by that time something will change," he added. "We don't know, but for now we have a one year agreement."

As is the trend of businesses everywhere, Addison saw a slight increase in their costs.

Medical increased approximately $570 per month with $1100 in gap insurance.

According to Clerk Pauline Bennett, out of the 10 employees, eligible for healthcare through the township and fire department, five currently have the healthcare, while five opted out. For those receiving the healthcare the township estimates a total cost of $5,572.27 per month, which includes vision and dental. The five employees who opted not take the healthcare receive a "in lieu of" payment of $577.64 per month. In total the township estimates $101,525.64 for both healthcare and "in lieu of."

With news that changes were coming when the Affordable Care Act was going into effect, Addison had originally budgeted healthcare costs rising 25 percent.

Treasurer Lori Fisher said they budgeted a total of $111,550 in healthcare for the 2014/2015 fiscal year. For the 2013/14 fiscal year they had budgeted $108,670 and spent $81,622.

"Accordingly it looks like we're going to have a 10 percent savings (to what we budgeted,) Pearson noted.

"For right now I think this is the best we can give our employees. We owe it to them and it hasn't changed too much from what we gave them last year," added Pearson. "Next year we're really going to have to work hard on this to figure out how we can provide the best healthcare for another year, but every year it's going to be a challenge."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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