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February 17, 2019
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Health Insurance Update
Updated On: Feb 05, 2019
The City’s leadership has finalized the health plan that is likely to replace Fortress, pending council approval on Tuesday evening. In preparation for this final decision, we know how important it is to share the recommended plan so you can make an informed decision. Immediately upon learning that our current insurance carrier was abandoning its agreement with the city, the City reached out to Alliant Insurance Services. Alliant was one of the firms that responded to the City’s request for proposals in 2017; they ranked second behind the Foy who is the one that was selected and brought us Fortress. In pursuit of finding the best possible coverage for employees in such a rush, Alliant went to the market for quotes. Only two companies responded with quotes, Aetna (with a 105% increase in overall premiums) and Cigna Direct (not associated with Fortress, with an increase of 90.5%). In addition to going to the market place, Alliant obtained quotes from a prominent joint powers authority called CSAC Excess Insurance Authority (EIA). EIA offers insurance plans through Anthem, Blue Cross, and Kaiser. EIA was formed in 1979 and finds cost-effective insurance solutions and risk management services for California local governments. EIA provided quotes for two options under the Anthem network, one with an increase of 55.4% and a second option for 49% increase in total premiums. The recommendation is to join EIA, and obtain health insurance through the Anthem network with an increase of 49% in overall premiums. The new Anthem plan will replace the Fortress plan, and Kaiser will remain as-is. The new coverage: As expected, there will be a significant increase in rates over what we experienced these last few years. There will be an Anthem PPO and an Anthem High Deductible Plan (HDHP) plan. The Human Resources team is working on a plan summary and all of the corresponding documents, and will get them out to you prior to the emergency open enrollment period, which begins February 7 through February 13. This will be a full open enrollment; as such, you will be able to move to or from any plan, including Kaiser and opting out. This new election will cover you through December 31, 2019. Because of the abrupt nature of the situation and the short time employees have to prepare for this change, the City Council is posed to adopt a measure to provide temporary relief for those on the Fortress plans. Since the Fortress contract will end as of March 1st the relief will go toward the difference in employee premiums through June 24, 2019. Employees will continue to pay their current out of pocket premium deduction, and the City will cover the increased portion for a four-month period. Effective the pay period starting June 25, 2019, employees will be responsible for the full employee premium increases.
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