School Board Delays Decision On Big-Ticket Health Insurance Item For 1 Week

Thursday, August 21, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to delay a vote on a new insurance plan for employees until next Thursday.

Sandy Hughes, president of the Hamilton County Education Association, said, "I have a difficult time trying to think of what priority in spending is more important than the well-being of your employees and their children...You've not given us enough amount of time for the employees to even check."

 She asked the board to wait until next week so that employees would have time to see how their plans might change and to give input.

 Board member David Testerman said, "This is something that impacts our employees.They need to understand what's about to take place."

 Board member Rhonda Thurman said she had received many calls asking why the plan had to be changed at all.

 She said, "To do nothing is not an option. We have to do something. We have to do something because the school system cannot afford to keep going down this road. The school system cannot continue to absorb these costs. If we just sit back it will eventually eat up all of our budget."

 She continued, "None of us like doing it, but we're going to have to do it."

Ms. Thurman said the annual health insurance costs were "eating up any growth we get."

Consultant Ed Adams said the increase has been about six percent per year, and may be seven percent or more next year. 

 Board member Dr. Jonathan Welch made a motion to add a Health Savings Account to the third plan option, a high-deductible plan. However, the motion failed.

Option 1:

Increase premium for spouses by $100 - save schools from $2,040,000 to $3,040,000. 

Change BlueCross plan from Network P to Network S (with fewer physicians and hospitals) - save schools $1,334,816. Parkridge and East Ridge Hospitals are not in Network S.

Increase the emergency room co-pay on the HMO plan from $100 to $250

Change pharmacy on BlueCross plan from CVS Caremark to BCBST - save schools $1 million.

Total savings to the county schools would be $4,572,11- to $5,072,110

Officials said potential savings could be higher if high-expenses spouses leave.

Option 2:

Working spouse affidavit (self-employed spouses could stay) - save $924,720-$1,541,200

Increase drug co-pays - save $1,059,430 to $1,588,351

Change BlueCross plan from Network P to Network S (with fewer physicians and hospitals) - save schools $1,334,816. Parkridge and East Ridge Hospitals are not in Network S.

Change HMO emergency room co-pay from $100 to $250 - save schools $197,294

Change pharmacy on BlueCross plan from CVS Caremark to BCBST - save schools $1 million.

Option 3:

Deductible: $2,600 employee only/$5,000 family

Coinsurance: 80 percent in network/60 percent out of network

Annual premium: $600 employee only/$3,600 family

Health Savings Account employer contribution

Assume: $750 employee only/$1,500 family - save schools $2,557,500

Change from Network P to Network S

Pharmacy 20 percent generic/30 percent preferred brand/40 percent non-preferred brand

Must meet deductible first for pharmacy coinsurance

This model is for total replacement of the BlueCross PPO plan

 Chairman Mike Evatt was also honored at the meeting because of his upcoming retirement.

 He told everyone, "Thank you for the honor. It's been a honor and a privilege to serve."


Chattanooga Police Investigate 11 Robberies, 32 Burglaries July 21-27

Chattanooga Police investigated 11 robberies and 32 burglaries, from July 32-27. Robberies were at: 4518 HIXSON PIKE. 7/21/15 8:53 120 120 ROBBERY 3 37343- 1001 Broad ST 7/21/15 21:29 120 120 ROBBERY 3 37402 906 WAUHATCHIE PK. 7/22/15 4:15 120 120 ROBBERY 3 37419- 4810 Rossville Blvd. 7/22/15 1:08 120 120 ROBBERY 3 37407- 6398 LEE HWY, CHATTANOOGA (HIGHWAY 153/CUSTOMER ... (click for more)

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Vice Chairman Freeman). III. Minute Approval. IV. Special Presentation. “City of Akron, Ohio – Resolution No. 233-2015” By Chairwoman Carol Berz V. Ordinances – Final Reading: (None) VI. Ordinances – First Reading: (None) VII. Resolutions: FIRE ... (click for more)

Chattanooga's Memorial Day - And Response

It is recorded in the Fourth Chapter of the Book of Joshua, that after the nation had crossed the River Jordan, Joshua would receive a divine commandment to choose 12 men from among the people and tell them to take 12 stones from the middle of the river.  Each man placed a stone on their shoulder which represented one of the tribes of Israel, and served as a memorial ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: They Still Love The ‘Lickers’

When Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fl.) introduced the 2015 version of the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” in Congress this week, he already had a bipartisan crowd of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats as co-sponsors. That’s hardly amazing. Today there are over 280 organizations, associations, veterinary and animal advocates who vehemently support the legislation, because it is well documented, ... (click for more)

Justin Brown Signs With Hiwassee College

Only weeks after signing Red Bank's Jalen Moore to a scholarship, Hiwassee head baseball coach Shane Gardner was back in Chattanooga on Wednesday evening. This time he was in the Scenic City looking for a player he described as "a spark plug, someone who could boost our team and contribute right away." He believes he's found that young man in former Chattanooga School for the ... (click for more)

Robert Powderly Still Active After All Of These Years

It didn’t take long for Robert Powderly to get fully involved in the running boom back in the late 70s. Millions of Americans joined the parade back in those days where running was their main source of physical fitness and Powderly was a big part of it. Powderly is now 68 and retired from U.S. Pipe where he worked in the accounting department.   He’s also had a couple ... (click for more)