By BRADEN LAMMERS
JEFFERSONVILLE — The Jeffersonville City Council agreed to allow a third-party review the city’s health insurance program.
City Councilman Dennis Julius introduced the proposal that would allow an outside health care consultant to examine the city’s health care plan. He offered that the council needs to discuss what aspects of the contract could be reviewed and whether any savings could be realized by an independent party because Jeffersonville is partially self-insured and it is renegotiating its deals with the police and fire department merit commissions.
“I think this is an avenue that we could possibly save a lot of money,” he said.
The contract presented was a $30,000 deal with Jason Weilage of Brown and Brown Insurance.
“This is pretty standard in the industry to have somebody impartial come in and do this,” said Jeffersonville Human Resources Director Kim Collabro.
She said it was an opportune time to conduct a review of the city’s policy because of the pending negotiations with the police and fire merit commissions, as well as the upcoming change in health care laws with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“There’s a potential big impact there,” Collabro said.
But another concern was offered about how potential changes in the city’s health care plans would be relayed to employees.
“I don’t doubt for a second that you’ll come in and find some things that we can change that will save us money,” said City Councilman Bryan Glover. “I think the problem comes in implementation. It’s one thing to get the information, it’s another to disseminate that to people and make them understand it in a way [they] can deal with it.”
Weilage explained that there is an educational component to reviewing the city’s plans, and a review board would be formed to help inform city employees. He said the examination of the city’s policies and to provide recommendations would likely be a six-week process. By doing the review now, the city would have time to amend its health care policies before next year’s renewal is due.
Mayor Mike Moore will still have to sign the contract with Weilage. The approval by the council dedicated the $30,000 in funding to pay Weilage for the investigation of the city’s policy.
City salary changes
Amendments to the city’s salary ordinance were approved on its second, third and final readings Tuesday night. Changes include the addition of another kennel attendant for the animal shelter, the addition of two chaplains for the police department and a switch that moved an engineering technician under the engineering department and a collection system utility worker under the sewer department. The changes were unanimously approved.
Public safety purchases
Purchases to be made by the Jeffersonville Fire Department and the Jeffersonville Police Department were approved Tuesday night.
Fire Chief Eric Hedrick said while the department is in need of four vehicles, it only requested the purchase of two vehicles at a total cost of $60,000. The vehicles are Chevy Silverado pickup trucks, which will replace a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria, and a 2006 Chevy Impala.
Up to $321,000 was also approved for JPD Chief Chris Grimm to purchase about 10 patrol cars. Grimm said he has purchased four vehicles already and plans to purchase another six with the approval. The money to buy the cars is set to come out of the Local Option Income Tax fund.