BREAKING NEWS 2-City’s health insurance

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2016

City’s health insurance bill increasing by 25 percent

By John Howell
Batesville faces a 25 percent increase for employee health insurance in the 2017 fiscal year.
Clark Insurance Agency representative Brad Clark and Morgan White representative Brad Camp reported to the Batesville City Board last week. The insurers handle employee health and benefit insurance for the city.
The city provides Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance for approximately 200 full-time employees and city officials.
“We’re still $75 a month per employee less than what we were six years ago,” Clark said, speaking to the mayor and aldermen at their March 15 meeting.  “You’re still $12,000 a month in premium less than you were.”
“You’ve had decreases every year,” Clark said.
“Forty-five percent total,” Camp said.
“Why did we go up this year?” Mayor Jerry Autrey asked.
“Loss ratio,” Clark said.
“In eight years this is the worst y’all have ever (run) consistently on large claims,” Camp said. “We’re running 116 percent loss ratio.”
“We’re looking at three other companies,” Clark told city officials.
Responding to a question from the mayor, Camp said that 58.2 percent of city employees had undergone a “Healthy You” physical exam during the year prior.
“We’ve really made strides,” Camp said. “Three years ago there was 19,” referring to participation in the free annual physicals.
Other matters considered by the mayor and aldermen during their Third Tuesday meeting:
• Aldermen approved Batesville Civic Center Director Roy Hyde’s recommendation that the April 23 Convoy of Hope be allowed to use the facility at the reduced fee that has been offered to other local non-profit organizations;
• Aldermen also approved Deputy Police Chief Jimmy McCloud’s recommendation that a 2012 Chevy SUV be converted for use by D.A.R.E. officers at schools. The preparation includes a “vehicle wrap” for $3,055 that enhances officers’ visibility. The converted vehicle will replace a D.A.R.E vehicle that has been surplussed.
At the conclusion of McCloud’s presentation, Alderman Stan Harrison asked for increased police enforcement against vehicles with loud or missing mufflers;
• Fire department equipment approved by aldermen for disposal as surplus include a 1984 Ford Pierce pumper that Panola County may use for reserve pumping capacity. Fire Chief Tim Taylor made the recommendation for disposal of the used equipment.
Aldermen also approved Taylor’s request to be allowed to purchase a Bullard Thermal Imaging Camera for $8,461. The camera will replace one of three 16-year-old cameras currently in use. Firefighters use the cameras to identify “hot spots” where fire damaged structures are likely to reignite;
• City officials will contact owners of property that join Gowdy Street. Tommy Caine has asked that the city close the street to allow construction of homes on property he has bought behind the Eureka Building. The city may abandon the street if adjoining property owners agree and waive compensation, assistant City Attorney Colmon Mitchell has said;
• Phase I of construction that will allow Hunter’s Trace subdivision residents to connect to the city’s sanitary sewer system has been completed and the city will begin notifying residents that they can connect, City Engineer Blake Mendrop said. Phase One completion will allow “not quite half” of the subdivision’s residents to connect, Mendrop said;
• The Mississippi Transport Exchange Network has notified the city about plans to build a 120-foot communications tower on city right-of-way near Walmart, according to a letter from the company. City officials expect to learn more during the permitting/zoning process.
“They’re going to have to tell us who they are,” Alderman Eddie Nabors said.
• Following an executive session, city officials, after a hearing that included BCC Director Hyde and a BCC employee in a personnel matter, voted unanimously to dismiss a civic center employee.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox