Press-Republican

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January 14, 2014

BCSD considers changing retiree health insurance

BEEKMANTOWN — The Beekmantown Central School Board is considering switching some retirees’ health insurance from Plan A to Plan B.

The move, which would affect the school’s retired support staff and teachers, will be part of a continuing discussion at a meeting set for 6:15 tonight in the main campus auditorium.

Some retirees have spoken out against switching to the alternative plan, which carries lower premiums but higher deductibles and co-insurance costs.

In addition, noted a press release from Beekmantown Central retirees who belong to the Champlain Valley Council of Retirees, “unlike Plan A, there is no limit or cap beyond federal law on out-of-pocket prescription costs. This will have a most devastating impact on the most vulnerable retirees.”

‘ERROR BY PROVIDER’

Along with the financial impact, the release said, “due to a more involved process and only select pharmacies being allowed to fill prescriptions, medications under Plan B will be less readily available than they are on Plan A.

“This has already been experienced when some Beekmantown retirees tried to get medications and found they had inadvertently been placed on Plan B as of January 1, 2014.”

BCSD Superintendent Daniel Mannix said the insurance provider, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, mistakenly switched all of the retired teachers and support staff to the alternative plan instead of only the active employees, who recently negotiated a move to Plan B.

“We worked hard to fix it,” said the superintendent.

Mannix added that he received word Friday that all retirees had been moved back to Plan A, and the insurance company is sending a letter of apology to all those affected.

REIMBURSEMENT AGREEMENT

While there are higher deductibles and co-insurance costs associated with Plan B, Mannix continued, the board is considering a health-reimbursement agreement for retirees —  which would keep those costs the same as they are under Plan A.

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