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Hagerstown to continue providing health insurance to employees

Health Care Committee will continue to monitor and evaluate cost-effective benefit plans

April 10, 2012

Hagerstown will continue to provide health insurance to its employees through a partially self-funded arrangement for fiscal 2012-13, according to city officials.

As a way to control costs, no changes to medical or dental coverages are being recommended. The city Health Care Committee will continue to monitor and evaluate cost-effective benefit plans for employees.

Under the current union contract, employee and retiree premiums will remain unchanged for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The committee also proposed a change to the city’s contribution to medical coverage for employees enrolled in the Plus Medical Plan.

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Rather than a flat $500 contribution to all employees per year, a $750 contribution will be made for an employee with a spouse, while family coverage would have $1,000 contributed annually.

The change is to entice employees to enroll in the higher deductible plans being offered, which would be more equitable for the city, officials said.

Small changes were also made to prescription plans and medical-management services for active employees and retirees under 65. The city’s medical flexible spending account maximum will drop from $5,000 to $2,500 a year, as part of the national health care changes.

Recommendations for approval are expected to be presented to the mayor and Hagerstown City Council in May.

— C.J. Lovelace

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