WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Macomb's Health Care Costs to Rise

Jan 11, 2012

The City of Macomb and its workers are preparing to pay more for a key employee benefit.

The plan calls for the city and workers to each contribute an added 6.5% to the Health Insurance Trust Fund beginning February 1.

City Administrator Dean Torreson said the increase is necessary to prevent the fund from being vulnerable in the event costly claims need to be paid out.

“Our goal here is to keep a good cash balance in our Trust Fund,” Torreson said.

A memo from Torreson said the increase along with a bit of interest income should be sufficient to keep Trust Fund balance level. The memo indicated the total expected liability is $1,557,217, while the total revenue (including the 6.5% increase) is $1,554,319.

A newly created insurance committee of employees endorsed the change. Mayor Mike Inman said its members worked through the changes with Torreson and Dave Thompson, who is the city's insurance consultant.

“Their interaction was good, participation was good, and the response was good,” Inman said. “They (now) have a better understanding.”

The committee consisted of eight non-management employees from several departments.

Aldermen will be asked to give final approval to the change during next week's meeting.