Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough schools weigh leaner health plan and budget

TAMPA — Hillsborough County teachers and staffers will get their first glimpse today of a more frugal health care plan, part of the district's effort to close a shortfall of more than $41 million in next year's budget.

The 3 p.m. School Board meeting also will include the first of two public hearings on the district's tentative $2.8 billion budget and property tax levy. The hearing is at school headquarters, 901 E. Kennedy Blvd.

The school's portion of the property tax is proposed at $7.59 for every $1,000 of taxable value.

Under the Humana health plan up for adoption, the district will still pay the full cost of a comprehensive policy, as required under its contract with teachers. But co-payments will rise, and employees on that plan will lose the ability to see out-of-network doctors or specialists. Those who want that option can pay more for a premium plan.

"I don't think there's any scenario in which any employee won't pay more," benefits manager Deborah Henry told the St. Petersburg Times last month. "Even if there's a zero premium, the co-payments are going up."

District officials were shocked to learn that claim costs had shot up by around 12 percent. Keeping the existing health plan without changes would have added $29 million to last year's total of $120.4 million.

Coming on top of increases in electricity, utilities and retirement costs, such health care increases would have been impossible to bear, said finance director Gretchen Saunders. As it is now, next year's Humana plan will cost $129 million.

Tom Marshall can be reached at or (813) 226-3400.

Hillsborough schools weigh leaner health plan and budget 07/26/10 [Last modified: Monday, July 26, 2010 11:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals


    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates


    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears


    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'


    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]