Massena Central super says St. Lawrence-Lewis Health Insurance Consortium in good shape
BY JEFF CHUDZINSKI
North Country This Week
MASSENA — Massena Central School District and other districts in the St. Lawrence-Lewis Health Insurance Consortium are in good shape after officials announced the consortium is in a “healthy financial position.”
Superintendent Pat Brady said the worker’s compensation plan is in very good shape, saying the consortium is very likely to recommend a 0% rate increase this year.“They are seeing somewhat of an increase in claims over last year. There was a major dip as there was with medical when we were in the COVID phase. But, they feel even if that trend continues with workman’s comp, they have plenty of funds in their budget to cover that. So, I don’t think we’ll be looking at an increase there,” Brady said.
Medical claims have jumped 23% in the last year, which is 7% over what the budget called for, Brady told board of education members recently.
In regards to large claims that were filed, some are being covered by stop-loss insurance that wasn’t reflected in the report, Brady said.
Brady said the consortium is not sure if the rise in claims is just a first quarter occurrence or if it is a developing trend.
Revenue came in above budget as well, Brady said.
Edwards-Knox Central School’s intention to reenter the plan is credited for the rise in revenue.
Locey & Cahill LLC, who are consulting on the plan, requested proposals recently for a Medicare Advantage Plan and Employer Group Waiver Plan (EGWP). The intent is to handle the prescription drug plan for Medicare-eligible members, officials say.
Brady said Locey & Cahill LLC did receive proposals for the request and a meeting was held following that.
“The recommendation was to not move on the medical side at this time. There was not enough savings to the plan to recommend a major change on the medical side to a group of individuals 65 and above where that type of change would not be well-received. So, the recommendation was not to move on that,” Brady said.
The consultants did recommend that the board of directors approve a prescription drug plan that was slated to save Medicare age members around 3.7% on all prescription drug costs.
“That’s largely based on rebates that they would receive through the federal government and also negotiations. The federal government does allow for private insurers, including our St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, to get involved in Medicare on the medical side, as well as prescription drugs,” Brady said.
Information will soon be sent to those 65 or older but Brady reiterated the plan will not change, nor will the co-pay change.
“The only change would be that there may be some limited drugs that aren’t on the formulary. But, that formulary can change each year through ProAct anyway,” Brady said.