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Crown Point tweaking employee health insurance plans

Updated: March 5, 2013 6:15AM



CROWN POINT — City officials made some tweaks to the Employee Handbook and health insurance plan in anticipation of compliance requirements of the Affordable Healthcare Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

The Board of Public Works and Safety Wednesday approved the changes that will bring the city more in line with what will be federally required when the law takes effect and ensure the plan is not considered a “Cadillac plan” on which employees are required to pay taxes.

“We are trying to stay ahead of the curve,” said Dana Cooper with Neace Lukens, the city’s insurance broker.

Among the changes is a $500 incentive for employees who are able to completely opt out of the city’s self-insurance pool because they have access to another source of insurance. Interested employees would have to provide proof of insurance and fill out an affidavit prior to qualifying.

A second change is a spousal “card out.” This means working spouses of city employees must take the insurance offered through their own employment as their primary coverage. The spouse still would be able to use the city’s coverage as a secondary plan.

Cooper said almost 80 percent of the city’s health insurance claims are for spouses and dependents. The change is not intended to cut spouses and dependents from the plan but will bring it in line with what is required in the Affordable Healthcare Act and what private sector insurance plans have been doing for years.

Mayor David Uran said the changes are necessary to help minimize the impact of claims on the insurance pool.

“When families have multiple options in insurance, you don’t want to put the burden on one (plan),” Uran said.

Cooper said since Indiana defaulted to the federal exchange under the health care act, full details of what will be required are not expected until fall.

More changes could be coming. Other potential changes could include requiring employees to have an 80/20 percent coverage plan instead of 100 percent.

“We have to make sure you don’t have a Cadillac plan,” she said.



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