South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

MFPD board eyes OK of ’13 health benefits

Medical insurance premium could increase by 8.8 percent

Employee health benefits for 2013 were scheduled to be considered this week by the Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors was scheduled to meet Wednesday — Nov. 7 — after the Call went to press.

USI Insurance President Dean Eggerding presented his company’s recommendations to the board at its meeting last week.

For the fire district’s health insurance, Eggerding recommended Coventry out of five companies: Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the district’s current carrier; Aetna; UnitedHealthcare; and Cigna.

Coventry is “really, by far, the most competitive,” Eggerding told the board Oct. 29.

Coventry’s annual premium total for combined plans totals $1,055,179, $85,348 — 8.8 percent — more than what the district currently pays.

Anthem’s current annual premium for combined plans totals $969,831. For 2013, Anthem proposed a 19.5-percent increase — to $1,158,949 — for its premium.

Anthem’s current plan includes:

• $3,000 deductible for a single individual or $6,000 for a family.

• $3,000 out-of-pocket for a single individual, or $6,000 for a family.

• 0-percent deductible for inpatient hospital, outpatient surgery, primary care/specialist office visit, preventive services, emergency room, urgent care and prescription drugs — 31 days.

• 100-percent preventive services.

The proposed Coventry plan includes:

• $3,000 deductible for a single individual, or $6,000 for a family.

• $3,500 out-of-pocket for a single individual, or $7,000 for a family.

• 100-percent preventive services.

• 0-percent deductible for emergency room and urgent care.

• $12, $30 or $55 for prescription drugs — 31 days.

For dental insurance, Eggerding recommended Delta Dental, which proposed an annual premium of $120,990.

Delta Dental would decrease the cost by $2,012, or 1.64 percent, compared to the district’s current provider, Humana, whose annual premium totals $122,911.

“The dental market is still pretty aggressive and basically we have Humana out there at (an) 11-percent increase,” Eggerding said. “We don’t have a firm number if they’re going to come down significantly from their renewal. However, we have an extremely competitive bid from Delta Dental.”

For vision insurance, Eggerding said MFPD’s current provider, Humana, which is “still, by far, the lowest bidder,” is “definitely the way to go.”

Humana offers a $10 co-pay for eye exams, $15 co-pays for single lenses, bifocal lenses and trifocal lenses, a $50 allowance for frames and a $150 allowance for contact lenses. The annual premium totals $16,017.

For basic life, accidental death and dismemberment, or AD&D, and long-term disability, or LTD, Eggerding recommended Unum. The fire district has used Standard for many years, according to Eggerding, but Unum put a “very aggressive bid out there on the package.”

“The life would go up, the LTD would come down significantly, basically to a net savings of just over $13,000,” he said. “… As you guys probably remember, we made some subtle changes a few years ago to enhance that contract, and Unum has pretty much agreed to match it word for word anything that’s in there. So there’s no holes, basically.”

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