By: Diane Benjamin
The Normal Town Council had a long meeting last night by their standards. They discussed employee health benefits and wellness programs at length. I didn’t write about it before the meeting because I was waiting to see their comments.
Normal has worked with Advocate for over a decade developing a wellness program that all but about 5 employees participate in. It cost a little over $100,000 a year.
Around Christmas when Mayor Koos starts telling citizens to buy local, remind him of the Council vote last night. Normal won’t be paying Advocate the $100,000+, they will be sending it to Chicago! They hired the company who also advises them on employee benefits. It will cost the Town around $1000 more a year for the privileged of exporting your tax dollars, and NOBODY on the Council questioned NOT buying local. Since they don’t care about supporting local business, you don’t need to either. Buy Amazon! The vote for resolution to switch providers was never in questions – it was pre-written. See PDF page 231 http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2672
It gets better:
Normal offers 3 different health benefit plans to their employees. The one most employees sign up for is: employee pays $0, deductible is $50 a year. The documentation starts on PDF page 219.
Employees pay half the cost for dependents. The documentation says Normal is the ONLY $50 deductible plan administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield. No surprise there. They want to eliminate this plan by 1/1/2020 and shift people to one of the two other plans. The second plan gets that deductible all the way to $500! They quoted a 2016 national survey of government health plans, $500 was the average. There was little mention last night of what the private sector deductibles are! More proof government exists for government employees, not for the people paying the bills.
The third plan involves Health Savings Accounts funded by taxpayers (to start) so the employees aren’t afraid of getting sick before they have thousands of dollars saved up. Individuals would get $2000, families would get $4000 put in their account and maybe more next year. Additional papers were handed to the Council last night that weren’t in the packet, the included documentation doesn’t say what the deductible for this plan is. I believe one of the speakers mentioned $5000 something for family coverage.
Taxpayers will be paying for Life coverage for all employees. It is not only an additional benefit, but it saves them from having to do a payroll deduction. Coverage amounts weren’t included.
Retirees also get a sweet deal since they have been using the Town continued coverage for drug expenses instead of buying a Part D plan like most Medicare recipients are forced to do. They will be getting their own plan – see page 225 for details.
One thing Normal did right was increasing the fee for NOT participating in the wellness program. Individuals will pay $60 a month (up from $40), spouses will pay the same. One speaker claimed serious health risks have been caught early because of the screenings, so expense has probably been saved overall. 100% participation may be possible by coercion. Coercing employees to save taxpayers money is the right thing to do.
Lots of information is missing from the documentation. It’s more than obvious that even with the changes Normal has Gold Plated insurance.
Tricky Dickie Durbin was on WJBC this morning lying about the amendment Ted Cruz submitted allowing insurance companies to sell non-compliant ObamaCare plans. Dickie compared it to buying a car without bumpers. He claimed when the insurance was needed it wouldn’t cover anything.
Dickie doesn’t seem to understand men don’t need pregnancy insurance. Women don’t need prostate coverage. ObamaCare required them to buy it so people who couldn’t afford coverage got it free or cheap.
It’s called wealth redistribution, also called socialism. Americans want an American plan Dickie, not European socialism.