Affordable Health Care Act Costly To County Schools

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Affordable Health Care Act is already proving costly to the county schools, risk manager and insurance advisor Ed Adams said Thursday night.

He told school board members that a reinsurance requirement has a charge of $63 per employee - or an overall amount of $300,000 that must be paid to the federal government.

Also, the county schools this year will have to pay $1 per member covered by the insurance program under a PCORI requirement. That will be about $10,000 considering there are 10,000 people covered. It will go up to $2 per member - or $20,000 - next year.

Mr. Adams said at some point the county schools will have to move away from the current "Cadillac" insurance plan offered employees or face fines of $2,000 per employee. That will later go to $3,000 per employee, he said.

School officials said it has been difficult to alter the plan because it has to be done with the agreement of the teacher union.

Mr. Adams said the county school plan is "the state leader" in rich benefits. He said, "It is richer in every category."

He said deductibles are lower and monthly charges lower.

In order to meet one requirement of the new federal law, the board is going to start offering a third plan in addition to the Blue Cross PPO and the Cigna HMO. It will have a $5,000 annual deductible. The monthly charge will be $50 as opposed to the current $100 charge.

Officials said some younger and healthier employees may opt for the plan.

But even if no one applies, the county school system is still meeting its obligation under the law by offering it, officials stated.

Leon Rash of the finance department said, "Whether anyone takes it or not, it doesn't matter. We will be legal. We will be OK under the law." 


26,228 Cast Ballots In First 5 Days Of Early Voting In Hamilton County

In the first five days of early voting in Hamilton County, 26,228 have already cast ballots. That includes 2,200 ballots received by mail. There were 5,157 who turned out at early voting sites on Wednesday and 5,083 on Thursday. The total on Friday was 5,011, and it was 3,818 on Saturday. The turnout on Monday was 5,552. Sites: Brainerd 1,084, 1080, 1,030, 816 ... (click for more)

John Wilson To Autograph New Hiener Photo Book Of Historic Chattanooga On Tuesday At Zarzour's

John Wilson, publisher of, will autograph the new historic photo book being published by on Tuesday at Zarzour's Restaurant from noon until 2 p.m. Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga Photos features a wide range of interesting old Chattanooga pictures ranging from the Civil War to local personalities. Mr. Hiener, a longtime Chattanooga printer ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What Southerners Sing

Barry Norris plays the organ at Birmingham’s East Lake United Methodist Church and two days ago the church hosted what we used to call “A Singing on the Grounds.” Today it is called a “Hymnfest” and, believe it or not, it is has to be just as fun today as it was 100 years ago when our forefathers tied their horse and wagon to a tree. It just so happens I know a little bit about ... (click for more)

Taylor Luthringer, Thomas Porter Win Region Cross Country

COOKEVILLE – Tuesday was a pretty good day for the Signal Mountain cross country teams. Not only did they celebrate with both individual winners in the Region 4-A/AA races, but both teams finished in the top three and will advance to the state meet, which will be held as Nashville’s Percy Warner Park next Saturday. Taylor Luthringer and Thomas Porter captured the individual ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Draws Top Ranked Greeneville, CCS Opens With Madison Magnet

For the second year in a row, Notre Dame drew the top-ranked Greeneville in the opening round of the TSSAA Class A/AA state tournament.  Notre Dame is scheduled to play Greeneville on Wednesday at 8 p m. (EST)  in Murfreesboro. CCS will play Madison Magnet in the first round on field #1 at 7:30 p.m. (EST) . CCS and Greeneville met in the state championship game ... (click for more)