Top of the agenda for the Caliente City Council meeting Nov. 5 was a discussion of the city’s health insurance for employees.
The city currently uses Assurance, which has gone bankrupt due to low rates and because the company was paying out on a lot of claims. National Guardian has bought Assurance out. A quote for self-funding health insurance was higher than what the city currently pays with Assurance – $12,000 a month for employees, compared to $9,000. The only change in the insurance would be a chance, with good health, the employees could get part of their premium back from the insurance agency.
If the employees are healthy there would be a pool of a certain amount of money for the cost of medical care. When that pool is empty then the insurance would kick in. Mayor Stana Hurlburt was on the fence because of the gamble with the pool.
The city is also considering Sierra Health and Life, which has an array of coverage in Nevada but not as large of coverage in St George, which would be a problem for most of the city employees. Most of their doctors are in Cedar City or St George. Another concern for employees is high deductibles with Sierra.
There was a meeting earlier in the day with city foreman Jerry Carter and other employees about the insurance coverage, and they have stated through the Teamsters there are other options for health insurance. The options were not shared with the council, but the city employees thought it may be better to look into those options.
The subject has been tabled for next month so that the employees can gather their information and make a decision as to what they feel is their best option. Hurlburt wanted to make sure before the council makes a decision to give the employees a chance to share their thoughts on what is best for each individual.
In another discussion, Adam Katschke requested approval for some revisions of the parcel maps of his property. Katschke also proposed a section of new land he will be donating to the city. The map parcels were approved.
Also discussed was the possibility of updating the city office’s computer program in order to cut back the time it takes for daily work and reports. The upgrade would cost $16,000. Employees believe it would take the staff from two days to complete paperwork down to just hours. The upgraded system would also offer a time clock app that would take the city employees from paper to computer time tracking. The upgrade was approved and will be implemented.