Normal: Buy Chicago

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.

Side note:

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.

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8 thoughts on “Normal: Buy Chicago

  1. Must be nice being a “public servant.” $50 deductible healthcare, brand new office furniture every time you move, fat pensions, catered parties every month….none of which is available in the private sector.

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  2. This is all getting to the point of unbearable – It may soon be just people who work FOR government and people on benefits – wonder how long THAT “utopia” will work out for them? Oh and a few places for the people to eat – fast food/cheap food for the benefits class and ritzy “farm to table” over priced places for the government workers – I remember when the 6 doctors in my little town did pretty much everything and things were NOT outrageous, we had a nice little small town hospital where babies were born, heart surgery was performed, wrists and ankles were set in a cast, tonsils and appendixes were removed, and pretty much everything else, and all done by those SIX doctors. I’m so old I remember when there were a ton of “farm to table” restaurants, they were called diners and cafes and “Marge” got her tomatoes and stuff (in season) from Susan and Frank who had a nice garden and her beef from Mr. Jones who had cows, and her bacon from Mike just south of town who had pigs. Sorry, just musing here and prattling on a bit – “They” have messed up the entire country, and I can hardly stand it .

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  3. I think it important to clarify a distinction here: Health Care insurance and wellness are two separate animals. The wellness package does not include, nor is it the health care plan itself. The health care package requires employees to participate in the separate wellness program to receive the discount.
    It’s also important to understand what “wellness” really is.
    Here is a link that defines and illustrates the far-reaching affect and impact wellness will have over many areas of your life – areas that you may no longer have a say-so about once a participant in a wellness program.
    Want an eye-opener? Click on the link.
    http://www.nationalwellness.org/?page=Six_Dimensions
    Everyone should be healthy and do everything necessary to stay healthy, but this is government, again, controlling areas of your life they shouldn’t be involved in.
    It’s not just health care!

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  4. I QUIT shopping in “UPCHUCK” years back, when Koos started his “Grande facade” and they would up with a 3 year mud hole. He just gives the Renner Regime fodder!
    As for Durbin, he must not get out much, as now a days MOST cars don’t have bumpers, just a big old plastic back!
    BOTH towns have a health/retirement plan that is WAY out of line with the rest of the country-simply put. Does this plan encourage them to WORK HARDER-yeah right!
    Kick back in that new chair.

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