School Employees Insurance Significantly Increases

Private Cigna Insurance is being considered

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Five Points Insurance Company based out of Franklin, Tennessee met with board members to discuss employee insurance policies. The State of Tennessee has decided not to continue the GAP program the district began participating in four years ago and to significantly increase insurance premiums.

The company representative proposed going with Cigna, a private insurance company but before the district can move away from the state plan they have to be able to offer employees an equal or better plan and receive an approved vote of over 50% of the certified employees.

District employees would see little to no increase in monthly premium insurance costs going with the Cigna Insurance Package with Five Points Insurance Company. The school district pays a percentage of employee insurance premiums depending on the plan chosen.

Increases in state insurance coverage will pose a problem if the school district retains its currently policy. In order to continue with the current plan the district will have to seek approval of the county commission to use an additional $500 thousand dollars from their fund balance to offset the increase in employee premiums.   Otherwise employees will have to assume responsibility for their insurance premiums because the district budget doesn’t retain the funds necessary to offset the cost associated with the increase.

If the district receives approval from county commission to use the requested funds district employees could still have an increase of up to approximately $100 dollars to monthly premium costs.

Members of the board fear if they aren’t able to offer a different insurance option or commission denies the requested funding the district will lose teachers to other districts offering better incentives and pay wages.

-Tonya Steele

Article printed in the September 9, 2016, of the I-24 Exchange Newspaper and can be found at www.exchangehotspot.com.

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VIATonya Steele
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