Pasco administration, union hash out insurance details
After weeks of negotiations, the Pasco County district/union health insurance committee reached a deal that would allow the district to balance its budget while also continuing to provide at least one fully paid insurance plan for all employees.
The agreement includes the $1 million budget cut that has officially been referred to as "Item 1," which several officials have suggested is the deletion of a $150 flexible benefit check for every district worker.
"While there will be some plan design changes, and additional employee contributions will be needed for 2 out of the 3 health plans that will be offered, employees will still have the option of enrolling in a no cost HMO," district director of administration Kevin Shibley wrote in an email to School Board members. "As directed, there was also specific conversation about the terms of the Board’s funding of the reserve account and the District’s expectations moving forward relative to that 'loan.'
"Employees will also be eligible for additional incentives to complete individual health risk assessments," Shibley continued. "These assessment help individual employees manage their own health and wellness, while also providing the District with aggregate data that can be used to direct our wellness efforts. We also plan to be offering the Legacy Life insurance program which will provide employees with additional life insurance at no cost to them or the Board."
The agreement will be part of the district's economic package at contract negotiations, which continue this week. The United School Employees of Pasco is waiting for the district's response to its pay proposal.