Due to increases in health care costs and use of benefits; the claims paid exceeded the premiums collected which resulted in the rate increase. Blythe reports the good news is “the MIIA health trust to which we belong had an overall good year, and the Board of Directors had capped rate increases at 10%. If we had not belonged to the trust Upton could have been looking at a 17% rate increase.” Blythe will be calling a meeting of the Insurance Advisory Committee to see if any design changes to the current plan can be made to lower the increase.
The Town made changes to the plan design in July, 2012 to lower premiums by 5.4%. Joining the State Group Insurance Commission (GIC) was considered at that time, but rejected because it could not be confirmed that there would be savings from the current plan (employees can choose from a variety of plans the GIC offers and some cost more than what we have now) and the premium share for retirees would have to increase from 50% Town/50% Retiree to what the Town and active employees pay (75% Town/25% Employee).
The 10% increase in health premiums will be split at the 75/25 rate between the town and the employees. In other words, for every dollar increase in premium the town will pay 75 cents.