By: Diane Benjamin
A Work Session was held before the Council meeting. The most remarkable discussion was started by Alderman Fruin. It pertained to employee benefits. Watch his comments starting at 15:30, other people join the conversation, so keep watching. Jim actually stands up for citizens! That’s until he gets to an off-hand comment about citizens may question paying penalties for excessively generous benefits. Listen for at least 7 minutes. The person on the phone is a consultant who couldn’t attend the meeting. Video below.
If you don’t work for government, you are probably aware the Affordable Care Act is only affordable for the new crop of people receiving Medicaid. Premiums for private insurance plans are frequently MUCH higher than before ObamaCare while deductibles have doubled or tripled. Even if your insurance is through your employer, you are paying much more for insurance and out-of-pocket expenses.
If you are a government worker, not so much.
The City has to come up with a plan by 2018 to avoid a 40% penalty caused by their “Cadillac plans”. That means the City provides benefits in excess of $27,500 for families or $10,200 for individuals. Worse, the City has not been checking eligibility for spouses who have elected to be on the City plan instead of their employer’s plan. Yes, the private sector does check. I have to complete a form every year saying I am still self-employed and not eligible for any other employee plan.
The City heard presentations from two consultants. One for benefits and one for pensions. Hales needs to explain why the City has very well compensated employees who aren’t capable of doing the job – therefore consultants are hired to parse the data and report to the Council.
The documents presented by the pension consultant weren’t in the packet! City: If you really hate FOIA requests, put the documents on-line.
The pension data provided in the packet is interesting only if you like numbers. You can see the entire packet here: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9308
One piece of news from the meeting: The financial statements for the City (and hopefully the Coliseum) will be available at the next meeting.
That’s more than 6 months after the year ended!