.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

City to save $100,000 on insurance

-A A +A
By Moreland Jeff

The city of Campbellsville will save approximately $100,000 it had planned to spend on health insurance increases for employees in the coming year.

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, the city’s insurance broker, Kelly Hardy, presented proposals for employee insurance rates to the council from two companies, Humana and United Health Care.

The city had budgeted for an increase of 15 percent in insurance premiums for the coming year with Humana, its current provider.

Hardy presented numbers that offered two options that would save money from that budgeted amount.

According to Hardy, Humana offered the city a rate that equated to an increase of 9.9 percent, while United Health Care’s proposal was for a 5.5 percent increase.

Hardy said there was little difference in the coverage provided by the companies. He added that the savings between the two plans would be about $49,000 for the city if the council elected to go with United Health Care’s proposal over Humana’s.

Mayor Tony Young said the savings are actually greater than represented, because Humana’s first offer was for an increase of 12 percent. Young said Hardy negotiated and received the 9.9 percent increase rate offer from

Humana, but could not get a number as low as the 5.5 percent increase offered by United Health Care.

Hardy said staying with Humana would not be a bad move, and there is a level of comfort by that being the company currently serving the city’s insurance needs.

However, he stressed that United Health Care is the largest provider in the nation, and offers a strong network of doctors and hospitals.

He said United Health Care had previously been the provider for Taylor Regional Hospital, but there has been a change to that recently. He said he believes part of the reason for the 5.5 percent offer was in an attempt by United Health Care to re-establish a presence in Campbellsville.

City Council member Stan McKinney asked Hardy how many employees the city had that were being insured, and Hardy said the number was around 120. He confirmed to McKinney that the city is paying approximately $6,000 per year for insurance for each of those employees.

Hardy said regardless of which plan the city chose at this time, insurance rates will continue to increase in the future.

Council member Randall Herron said taking the savings seemed like a move the council needed to make.

“If these plans are essentially the same, and we can save $50,000, I think we would be fiscally irresponsible not to take that,” Herron said.

McKinney asked Hardy if the rate offered by Humana would be about $400 per employee more than the rate offered by United Health Care, and Hardy confirmed that number.

“I would rather switch to United Health Care than to pass on that $400 per employee,” McKinney said. He then made a motion to go with the United Health Care offer, and the motion was seconded by council member Mike Hall.

With all members present, the council voted unanimously to go with United Health Care as the city’s insurance provider.

In other business
• Young said the city had looked at property, which is Lot #12 in the Medical Office Park that could be used for a future water storage tank. He said rather than sell the property to the city, Taylor Regional Hospital has offered to donate the property.

“The hospital was so kind, and that’s not really fair enough to justify my feelings toward them for what they have done, but they are so kind to offer this land free of charge, at no cost whatsoever,” Young said.

“The only thing they are requesting is that we place Taylor Regional Hospital’s logo on the tank, which I think is great.”

Young said the additional tank is a continuation of an infrastructure plan put in place by his predecessor, Mayor Brenda Allen, and he commended her efforts and planning.

McKinney asked Young about the city’s ability to construct another water tank, and Young said the money is almost all in place due to funds received from a USDA low-interest loan, as well as grant money.

“We have enough to build this tank we are getting ready to start, and enough to almost build another tank. Not quite, but we’re close to being able to build another tank,” Young said.

The proposed tank at the Medical Office Park would be on a lot measuring just over three-quarters of an acre, according to a letter written to the mayor by Jane Wheatley, CEO of Taylor Regional Hospital. Young said the tank will be identical in dimensions to the 1-million-gallon tank being constructed on Highway 55.

Council member David Nunery made a motion to accept the land, and council member Richard Jeter seconded the motion.

Council Member Patti Phillips asked about signage on the new water tank, as well as on two other large tanks owned by the city. Young said the council had previously voted to place the logo of Campbellsville University on the new tower being built in Highway 55, and he added that the city’s water company logo is on a current tower.

Phillips was the only member to vote against the motion, which passed. Following the meeting, when asked why she voted against accepting the property, she said it was a vote against the logo, and not the property.

“It’s just that we have three towers, and they’re all being named after the university or the hospital, and I don’t know if I agree with the signage,” Phillips said. “It’s not the property, but the signage. There needs to be one that says ‘City of Cambpellsville,’ because that’s what we represent.”

• In a second reading of an ordinance, the council voted to accept the proposed real and personal property tax rates, which are the same as last year’s.

During a special meeting on Aug. 20, Campbellsville City Council members had first reading of an ordinance that keeps the city’s real and personal property rates the same as last year at 19.2 and 17.9 cents per $100 assessed value, respectively.

Though last year’s rates were 19.1 and 18.1 cents, the differences in property value will produce about the same revenue as last year, at $5,000 more revenue for the new property located in the city limits.

Council members were presented with three options, including taking no increase or raising the rate to increase revenue by 2 or 4 percent.

Law allows rates that would increase revenue by 4 percent without being subject to voter recall. A rate increasing revenue by 4 percent requires a public hearing.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the ordinance passed by a vote of 9-2, with council members David Nunery and Richard Jeter being the two opposed.