I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Benefits Premium Schedules for 2012 Plan Year Approved by Board

At a special meeting of the Escambia County School Board on Friday evening, the premium schedule for the 2012 plan year was voted on and approved by the School Board.

The meeting, which began at 5PM and ran about 45 minutes in length, featured union representative Bill Vincent speaking out saying he felt the district could have put more money into the plan.  Superintendent Thomas also spoke, expressing a continuing committment to put an RFP out for the 2013 plan year in the hopes of finding a better solution.  The superintndent also said the employee walk in clinic idea was moving forward and a feasibility study was already in the works regarding the clinic concept for the district.

Members of the board also spoke, with board chair Jerry Boone expressing dissatisfaction with the communication between the superintendent's office and staff and the board. 

Patty Hightower expressed disappointment with the fact that more money could not be found to augment the district's contribution.  Mrs. Hightower also suggested that 2 Employee family premiums (currently free for the first two levels of coverage) may need to be looked at for next year

Kevin Windham, district Risk Manager, and I had a back and forth dialogue where the issue of equity of coverage percentages was discussed.  I stated that I felt like everyone needed to pay something for their coverages, to have some "skin in the game".  I also said that I felt the two employee family coverage for free was problematic and needed to be looked at for next plan year.

I expressed my disappointment with the overall process--but I also re-stated my belief that as bad and as dysfunctional as it was, the expedited impass resolution process worked for this year.  If it could work this year--with the numerous big problems addressed--it was a process that needed to be kept in place, in my opinion.

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