Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Employee Needs

LISD Board Trustee Jose Valdez Sr. wants the district to cover the upcoming health insurance premium increase for employees.  Staff is looking at a 15 percent hike in the cost of continuing their health coverage.  Whether self-serving or not on the part of Mr. Valdez, it looks like he wants to help ease the burden that employees have to face.  The masses, judging from online message boards, view Valdez's move as a misappropriation of funds.  Apparently people have never heard of cost-of-living expenses. 

A curious passage in the LMT story is this:

For example, someone enrolled in the employee and family low plan would pay
$1,110 in monthly premiums, up from $849.
That’s if health insurance enrollment stays the same, a dubious prospect considering
the mandate of the federal Affordable Care Act that everyone be insured.
Higher enrollment would mean higher premiums.

Putting the numbers aside, it's curious how (the writer) school officials figure that scores of people will suddenly pour into the LISD health plan rolls.  And that that higher participation would be the reason for even higher premiums.

First of all, I find it hard to believe that LISD employees are currently going without health insurance.  And one talking point of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is that the more people that join the ranks of the medically insured means that prices will go down for customers.  We'll definitely learn more about this issue as LISD grapples with its finances.

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