PELHAM – At the
The payment would be in the form of a
"The benefits committee, one of the things we have been talking about for a really long time is doing an 'in lieu of' payment for people who are not on or don't choose to be on the city's health insurance," DiFante explained to the Council. "It's something that many of us have had in local government jobs and in private sector jobs. In reviewing this with our employee board, we've decided to propose beginning in
Hill then took over the proposal and explained employees would have specific requirements for qualifying for the stipend.
"Employees would be required to satisfy the requirements of other acceptable coverage in order to decline our insurance," Hill said. "We want to make sure people are covered, and their coverage is acceptable under the Affordable Care Act which means it's a qualified plan that meets the minimum essential coverage standards."
"So, if I'm an employee and I'm already covered under other insurance plans that comply with the Affordable Care Ac,t and I'm also participating in the city's health and dental plan, I would have the option of declining our coverage, and in return I would receive a stipend," Hill continued.
Hill said the city currently has six employees who have opted to decline coverage from the city.
The annual stipend of
"Right now, the annual cost in 2022 for single coverage, the premium will be
Hill said they anticipate eight to 10 additional employees would be willing to decline city insurance plans, and even with a conservative estimate the city would be saving a considerable amount of funds.
"Even though we think eight to ten will decline coverage, if only five employees decline coverage in addition to the six who have already declined, the total amount of stipend payments to 11 employees would be
Councilmember David Coram said he was most definitely in favor of the proposal, and said it was "a no-brainer." Councilmember Rick Wash concurred that he felt it was a "great" idea.
Councilmember Larry Palmer questioned whether the employee would be covered down the road even after retirement.
"Yes, they can opt out now and come back in at a later time when there is open enrollment," Hill responded. "If they enroll in the coverage when they near retirement if they want to and they stay on it for one full year, then they can continue that coverage after retirement."
"I'm excited for this," he said. "It gives us the opportunity to help all employees by making this change, and it seems to be a win-win for everybody."
The proposal is scheduled to be voted on at the next