The Beauregard Parish Police Jury learned this week that it’s looking at a health insurance rate increase for 2018 of less than 4 per cent, compared to estimates a month ago that the premium could jump as high as 18 per cent.
Kathy Sonnier of Insurance Resource Group brought “fantastic news” to the jury’s Insurance Committee meeting Tuesday.
“Blue Cross quotes under 5 per cent premium increase on both plans, right now about 3.8 per cent,” she told the committee. At its September meeting, the panel heard Sonnier explain that a significant jump, perhaps 15-18 percent, could occur as a result of the jury’s negative experience rating for the year.
As a result of that news, the committee asked Sonnier to shop the business to other carriers to get a lay of the land rate-wise.
She did, and reviewed various quotes at length for the committee Tuesday. All in all, committee members were most comfortable with sticking with Blue Cross.
The jury picks up the entire health insurance premium, rather than sharing a portion of the cost with employees. The proposed rate increase would put the annual cost at about $444,000.
Also through Blue Cross, the parish pays for an employee dental insurance plan and for life insurance for employees. A vision plan is offered, but the parish does not pick up that premium.
The committee authorized Sonnier to explore with Blue Cross the cost of the vision plan should the parish pay the premium, in effect creating a 109-member group for it. Under current pricing, Sonnier said, the premium would be about $12,000.
Also Tuesday, the jury resolved questions about membership of the board which oversees the Covered Arena.
Until recently, jurors thought each had an appointment to the board, a total of 10. But research by Asst. DA Steve Landreneau at the Personnel Committee’s request showed a legislative bill stipulating that had never become law. Under current law, the membership is the jury president and four others, appointed by the jury.
Who those four would be was resolved by asking for and receiving resignations from the most-recent appointees.
The Covered Arena discussion prompted jurors to wonder if the Airport Board and the Hospital Board are properly constituted and the committee asked Landreneau to research that. He returned later in the day with the answer that both are.