Raises all around

Friday, November 30, 2018

Employees of the City of Alta will see their health insurance rates go up January 1.

Health insurance plan costs for city and utility employees went up about 8 percent. Since the plan previously used by employees is no longer available, some changes will go into effect on top of that raise.

Deductibles will go from $1,000 to $2,000. Out-of-pocket costs ($4,000 for single plans or $8,000 for family plans) will remain the same. Emergency room co-pays are now $400, a raise of $50. The co-pay for prescriptions is now $500, up 66 percent from the previous $300.

All other coverage in the PPO plan remains the same. Preventative care will continue to be covered under the plan without the deductible kicking in, but if something is discovered during a preventative care visit, it is no longer considered “preventative.”

An insurance representative told the City Council and the Board of Trustees for Alta Municipal Utilities that Alta could offer up to three different plans, if employees were interested. However, the one selected had the lowest deductible. Other plans had deductibles of $4,000 and $5,500.

The city briefly considered offering a higher deductible plan and subsidizing it as necessary, but eventually found that to not be beneficial. “I don’t think the city wants to go back to a system where employees pay part of the deductible,” said Brian Walsh on the board.

Per recommendations from employees and the Board of Trustees, the lower-deductible plan was selected.

The city elected to raise code enforcement officer Matt Hess’ pay 50 cents per hour, at his six-month tenure. The manager for the shelter house also received her first pay raise in five years, bumping her total pay to $1000 per year, up from $750. Both raises will be effective immediately.