The number of large health insurance claims along with the rising cost of pharmaceuticals have caused the fund to continually decrease for several years, Finance Director
"It's really nothing that can be foreseen," Hodge said. "It's just the nature of the beast."
A proposed resolution suggested pulling the addition funds from a section of general funds, the flexible funding, that has not been used since 2014. Several council members, including Mayor
"It's a matter of how you want to word it, but the fund's in trouble and we need more money," Crane said. "...We're going to have to fund this program better in the future."
Jeffrey and Brubaker suggested the city continue to look into ways to reduce insurance costs.
"We're not just spending this money," Crane said. "We're having employees that are getting sick and having claims. We're going to have to look at ways to reduce costs. That's going to involvement benefits, deductibles, copays and coinsurance."
Another cost saving method the city employed recently is mandatory health screenings each year for all city employees. The city has also changed health insurance providers within the past few years to help save on the cost, Crane said.
"I feel very strongly about the benefits," Kimmons said. "They're very important to the function of our city and the welfare of our employees. They're expensive, but everyone has this problem. We didn't create it."
The issue will be brought to the next council meeting, as suggested emergency funding to replenish the health trust. Until the next meeting, the city will calculate the amount of money it would take to stabilize the fund.
"We think we need to take action now so we can pay November's bills," Crane said.
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