As Bend prepares its biennial budget, officials are projecting that employee health insurance costs will be $1.3 million lower than they would be if the city faced a premium increase and employees remained on traditional health insurance plans.
City employees started moving to a high-deductible health insurance plan in 2010, and all employees transitioned to the plan by 2011, according to a city press release. The city also set up health reimbursement accounts to help employees cover medical costs.
In the first year that Fire Department employees moved to the high-deductible plan, the city saved more than $200,000 on insurance premiums. During the first year all city employees were on the high-deductible plan, the city saved roughly $850,000, according to the press release. Employee health insurance claims also decreased.
“This reduced claims experience resulted in a low premium increase at renewal for 2012, and this year the city expects to realize a savings of almost $930,000 over the traditional plan premiums,” according to the city. City health insurance premiums will remain flat for the upcoming year.
The city credited employees for collaborating with management to achieve the savings.
— From staff reports