Cohasset could realize significant savings from new health package

Seventy-five retirees participate in the managed group for seniors. According to MIIA spokespeople single payer savings under Medix 2 would be over $600.00 a year Monthly town savings would be $4,265 or $51,179.00 a year.

Town Manager Chris Senior told selectmen last night he has committed 95% of the FY15 budget to an Excel format. He hopes to give the board an easy-to-read Excel budget with backup as early as this coming Tuesday (3/25).

Last Tuesday MIIA (the town’s health  agency) addressed the town about alternative plans that the Town can enter into that will save both the town and retirees serious money

Senior said the significant savings in health could be applied toward the town’s OPEB debt and other town services, such as Human Resources, IT.  Also, Senior said a rapid increase in old debt is falling of the books…”This is timely and positive. We should put more money into the stabilization fund and make a practice of budgeting regularly.”

A single payer who is now paying $351.49 would pay $237.76 under the proposed plan, and the co-pays would be the same. Savings would be achieved by carving out the prescription benefit (Medex 2 as opposed to Medex 3). Under Medex 2 retirees would use the Blue Medicare RX vendor and would carry two cards, one for the doctor and another for prescriptions.

Seventy-five retirees participate in the managed group for seniors. According to MIIA spokespeople single payer savings under Medix 2 would be over $600.00 a year Monthly town savings would be $4,265 or $51,179.00 a year.

Senior told selectmen that after the new plan was implemented (endorsed by the town’s OPEB committee) the town could address the teacher retiree component and realize additional savings.

MIIA spokespeople said it appeared that the majority of the retirees would realize the first category of savings. MIIA said it has been seeing a reduction in pharmaceutical costs for the past three years with this past year being even lower because of the Affordable Care Act.

If the alternative health care option were adopted the town would start realizing savings around the middle to end of October 2014.

At Selectmen’s 3/20 meeting Senior told selectmen that it was important they create policies around debt management and cash investments. He called the plan foundational.  “We need a map telling us where to put one-time revenue, and how much of it to put there.” Particpating in that meeting were Treasurer/Collector Paula Linhares and Town Accountant Mary Gallagher.

Unemployment is up, but Senior said he needed to take a hard look at individual cases, and said some of that may diminish as the economy improves.

Senior will be asking April 28th Annual Town Meeting to vote a lot of money out of stabilization and into town accounts where it can be more easily utilized. “I have a whole list of requests,” he said. 

© Copyright 2014 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed
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