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Abbeville Council renews health insurance

Despite some changes that had to be made, City of Abbeville officials feel they were able to maintain the best possible health insurance plan for employees and their families.
Lloyd Campisi, the city’s insurance broker, presented details of the renewal during last Tuesday’s regular city council meeting.
Councilman Brady Broussard Jr., who serves as the chairman of the city’s Insurance Committee, said after the meeting that the renewal faced a tougher road than in years past.
“Each Spring, the Insurance Committee meets with UMR representatives and our insurance broker Lloyd Campisi, in preparation for the process of renewal proposals next policy year,” Broussard said. “Recent claim history in our program was higher than normal but has stabilized closer to historical norms in our current policy year.
“It was difficult, and not without many attempts and contacts to numerous health insurers, before we could finalize a favorable renewal with TokioMarine HCC, our current insurer.”
Campisi said large claims factored heavily into the renewal process.
“What’s driving all of these costs are the number of people who have serious medical issues that require lots of medical expenses,” Campisi said.
Campisi did note that the losses taken by the reinsurer decreased this year. During the previous year, those numbers were between $400,000 and $500,000. That went down to between $100,000 and $200,000.
“This year was better,” Campisi said. “It is my hope that what we are seeing is the beginning of a decline in our group health insurance cost, in terms of large claims.”
As for the renewal, Broussard said an important part is that it has the same deductibles and co-pays for employees. Broussard said other changes were made to help regulate costs.
“To lower the cost of the renewal,” Broussard explained, “modifications to the plan were made like joining United Healthcare’s Choice Plus Network and joining the UHC Premium PDL formulary. In the event someone becomes ill, the co-insurance goes from an existing 80/20 to 70/30 and single maximum out of pocket increases from $5,400 to $6,400. The maximum family out of pocket will be $12,800 in this renewal.”
Another positive aspect has been added through a local partnership.
“Other good news on this renewal is the City’s active role in creating a close working relationship with Abbeville General Hospital for a City of Abbeville wellness program,” Broussard said. “We will offer and encourage that to the participants in our program to create opportunities for healthier lifestyles and diets. This renewal will also offer health coaches who can contact our employees by phone to encourage the right choices in medication, diet and exercise.”
Councilman Francis Touchet Jr. said after looking at the renewal, it’s difficult not to feel good about what the city is able to provide the around 400 people who are under the city’s plan.
“This is still a Cadillac plan,” Touchet said. “Even with these adjustments, this is good stuff. I think the Insurance Committee came away with a great plan.
“With what’s going on out there right now, we’re lucky we have this.”
Broussard agreed.
“With these features such as those in the health insurance renewal,” Broussard said, “we feel there is great value at a time that healthcare expenses are rising across the nation. The creativity of this renewal has never lost focus on the importance of the city employees and their families and the opportunity to be healthy.”

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