Insurance Committee meets about premium hike

CEO Larry Livingston

Members of the Haywood County Board of Education Insurance Committee Allen Currie, Harold Garrett, CFO Larry Livingston and Benefits Specialist Amy Webb, along with Debbie Benard, met with Superintendent Joey Hassell about an increase in insurance premiums. Livingston and Webb gave everyone a copy of the state insurance plan that will be effective January 1, 2018. The new premiums include a 7 percent increase over the premiums for this year.

The report also showed that the net cost for this increase would be $129,312, and the effect of the district absorbing the total increase of premium. Livingston reported that the state estimated that the system would receive additional BEP funding of $63,089, so the net impact on the Haywood County School System would be $66,223. The premiums for the covered employees will not increase if the board votes to absorb the premium increase. Garrett made the point, and others agreed that benefits are an important part of school employees’ salary package. Looking at a chart made by Livingston and Webb, the school system pays from 64 percent up to 83 percent of the employees’ insurance premiums each month. At the end of the year, this can mean from $5,340 up to $19,000 more in their salary package. Mr. Livingston added that Haywood County pays a bigger percentage of employees’ insurance premiums than most school systems in this area.

Mr. Livingston said that there is money in the budget for the increase that the county will absorb, if approved. The Insurance Committee will recommend to the board on Thursday night to approve absorbing the increase in insurance premiums that will begin on January 1.