June 10--Chatham Area Transit employees will pay higher insurance deductibles -- and possibly higher co-pays for some -- as part of a new medical plan approved by board members Monday during a special called meeting.
The board voted 9-0 to increase the deductibles for individual and family coverage from $500 and $1,500 to $2,000 and $6,000, respectively. The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia plan eliminates the option to participate in a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan in favor of a Blue Cross Blue Shield single point of service (POS) plan.
The total cost of the group insurance coverage for about 165 CAT employees is just more than $1.9 million, a 3.8 percent increase over current health care expenditures. Blue Cross Blue Shield dental rates are to remain unchanged.
The new plan becomes effective July 1.
CAT hired Seacrest Partners Inc., an Atlanta-based insurance consulting firm, to solicit proposals and recommend options after it said it faced a 21 percent cost increase to renew its current policy with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
CAT Executive Director Chad Reese told board members renewing the current plan without changes would likely have resulted in employee layoffs and service reductions.
Still, some board members expressed concern about the increase in deductibles. CAT staff said a health reimbursement account program funded by CAT will be implemented to assist employees with paying their deductibles.
Three weeks ago, board members approved a fiscal year 2015 budget of $19.6 million, a 9.4 percent increase over its current budget.
Copyright 2014 - Savannah Morning News, Ga.