by Keith Beebe
MAPLE PARK—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 4-0 to approve a health insurance renewal that will allow the board to eschew its grandfathered status within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 in order to eliminate any unnecessary financial burden.
Board Members Gale Pavlak and Joe Oberweis chose to state “present” during the vote. Board Member Tony Valente was absent from the meeting.
With the health insurance renewal, the School Board of Education approved renewal rates for 2011-12, including life insurance, medical and dental. The board will also implement a four-tier structure for health insurance premiums that will go into effect on Nov. 1, which will allow employees to have rates from the two-tier system for a third of the upcoming year. The four-tier system would be implemented for the latter two thirds of the year.
“Health insurance costs continue to challenge the School District,” Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “The amount of money allocated to health insurance benefits is something we will need to carefully monitor in the coming years, as it will impact our ability to allocate resources to other areas of our educational program.”
The reason for retaining the two-tier structure for one third of the year is to ease the financial impact that staff in the Family tier for health coverage will experience in a four-tier system (18.2 percent, or an increase of $567.60 per year).
Staff members included in the Employee and Spouse, and Employee and Children tiers will see a decrease of 52.3 percent ($1,629.84 a year) and 59.4 percent ($1,849.44 a year) in the four-tier system.
“The committee worked hard this year to explore cost containment strategies,” Schuler said. “That will need to continue as we look to future years.”