September 20, 2013

City School talks potential health-insurance savings


---- — PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh City School estimates it could save nearly $1.3 million annually by switching its employee health insurance from Plan A to Plan B.

That figure represents the potential savings associated with moving all of the district’s active and retired employees to the alternative plan, PCSD Associate Superintendent Jay Lebrun told the Press-Republican in an email.

For 2013-14, he said, the full cost of Plan A premiums is $20,578 for family coverage, $7,907 for individual and $6,488 for Medicare Primary.

Plan B premiums for the same year, Lebrun continued, are $16,704 for family coverage, $6,418 for individuals and $5,267 for Medicare Primary.

“For each coverage tier, Plan B represents an 18.8 percent discount over Plan A,” he said.

The district, Lebrun added, pays 100 percent of the full premium rate for New York State United Teachers and School Administrators Association of New York State retirees, as well as for Civil Service Employees Association retirees with individual coverage; 95 percent for active CSEA employees; and 85 percent for active NYSUT and School Administrators Association employees.

“The total premium cost of all policies for all PCSD insured for 2013-2014 is $6,340,675,” he said. “Of this total, the district’s share is $5,975,704.”

Based on those figures, switching to Plan B, Lebrun noted, would reduce the district’s share by $1,123,432.

“However, the district currently also pays out $919,323 in buyouts, which are tied to healthcare premium amounts,” he continued. “So if the lower Plan B rates were to replace Plan A rates, we would also expect to see an 18.8 percent savings in this category, resulting in potential savings of $172,833.

“The sum of the direct premium savings plus the savings associated with the buyout is just under $1.3 million.”

Lebrun noted, however, that there are numerous legal and contractual obstacles associated with making such a switch.

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