by Caitlin Huston
City employees are taking steps towards becoming healthier with the city’s new health insurance plan.
The city changed insurance policies Jan. 1 and under the new plan employees have the option of taking part in working with health coaches for a discounted plan. Mayor Ted Franklin said he hopes the health coaching keeps the employees healthy and keeps healthcare costs down.
Franklin said he asked for bids from insurance companies as their one-year contract with Anthem was set to expire. He said he chose Consolidated Union because of the expected savings as well as their health plan.
“It gives our employees a chance to be proactive in their health,” Franklin said.
The plan still includes major medical, dental, vision and supplemental coverage, as well as health screenings, according to Michael Bowditch with Consolidated Union.
“We utilize Logansport Memorial Hospital to help us do some proactive tests to help manage the costs of healthcare claims,” Bowditch said.
The health screenings include routine meetings with health coaches to talk about health issues, and more frequent meetings if there were prior health issues.
If an employee chooses to participate, they save $36 a month, Franklin said.
Franklin said a majority of the 109 city employees on the plan chose to take part in health screenings.
“I believe it’s running at about 85 percent,” Franklin said.
The city is also expected to save $340,000 with the new plan, Franklin said.
He said the saved money will be returned to the city’s health savings account.
“It’s definitely worth the investment,” Franklin said.
Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.