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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco health insurance costs to jump 13 percent




The amount of money the Pasco school district has available to give to employee bonuses or raises is about to shrink.

The district's insurance committee has recommended a plan that will cost $6.19 million more than last year. The School Board set aside just $3.37 million for increases in the plan.

That means the board will have to tap into the $9.1 million that it had been holding originally for state cuts that appear not to be coming. Superintendent Heather Fiorentino has recommended using a portion of the amount to pay out employee bonuses, but only after the district pays its health insurance bill.

Board members have made it a priority to keep every district employee fully covered. The new amount would be $5,799.29 per employee per year, up from $5,132.07. Premiums for dependents would rise 13 percent.

It could have been worse, said Mary Tillman, director of employee benefits.

"We're staying self-insured," she told the Gradebook. "When we talked to Blue Cross about our claim situation, they said we'd be looking at a 22 percent increase if we were fully insured."

(Photo from

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:36am]


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