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Colfax considers group health insurance for employees

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — To stay compliant with the federal Affordable Care Act, the Colfax Village Board has started to consider offering group health insurance to village employees.

Trent Kado and Amanda Webb, both of Kado & Associates out of Menomonie, spoke to the Colfax Village Board and the personnel committee March 24.

The village board’s personnel committee is a committee made up of the entire village board.

Up to this point, the village contributed $900 per month per employee for a Health Savings Account (HSA), but health savings accounts are not legal unless the employer also offers group health insurance.

Kado and Webb told the village board that they had “shopped” for insurance rates with six carriers that do business with Kado & Associates and that the best rates came back from Medica, a company based in Minneapolis.

Medica quoted rates for two different plans, an HSA Silver with a deductible of $1,750 and an HSA Bronze with a deductible of $4,950.

Monthly premiums for full-time employees for the Silver plan range between $1,100 and $1,200, and monthly premiums for the Bronze plan range between $700 and $1,000.

Under the Silver plan, the employee would be required to pay all medical expenses up to $1,750, and once the deductible is met, the employee would pay 25 percent of the medical expenses, up to a maximum out of pocket of $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family.

Under the Bronze plan, the employee would pay all medical expenses up to $4,950, and once the deductible is met, the employee would pay 50 percent of the medical expenses, up to a maximum out of pocket of $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family.

The village would be required to pay 50 percent of the premium but could agree to pay 80 percent or even 100 percent, Kado said.

The employee would pay the premium for a spouse or dependents, he said.

Open enrollment for the insurance plan would be available one time each year, or if there is a “qualifying event,” such as a loss of insurance for a spouse or for new hires, Kado said.

If the village board decided to go with the Medica plan, the effective date would be May 1, and Kado & Associates would need applications filled out by village employees, Kado said.

The insurance could become effective as early as April 1, but identification cards and information packets would not be available for employees by then, he said.

The Affordable Care Act requires the village to offer health insurance to the employees, but the employees do not have to accept the health insurance, Kado noted.

The rates would be good until May of 2015, although the deductible goes by the calendar year and then starts over again on January 1, Webb pointed out.

Village board members agreed they would like to see a cost analysis for the village paying 80 percent, 90 percent and 100 percent of the health insurance premium.

“I want to give them the best plan possible. Whether they take it is (their choice),” said Annie Schieber, village trustee.

Group health insurance will be included on the agenda for the Colfax Village Board’s next meeting on April 14.

Other business

In other business during the village board’s regular meeting that followed the personnel committee meeting on March 24, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved paying $375 to Berg’s Bobcat Service at the request of Algie Ziebell for a grave site at Evergreen Cemetery that was the result of miscommunication.

• Approved a resolution adopting the North Shore Bank post employment health care reimbursement plan. The plan for village retirees is intended to permit an eligible employee to obtain reimbursement of medical care expenses on a nontaxable basis from the Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) account.

• Approved a resolution that amends the village’s current deferred compensation plan to appoint North Shore Bank as an additional provider serving Colfax and its employees as custodian and administrator for all investments provided within the plan.

• Approved a job posting for a casual part-time general laborer that pays $12 per hour. The position is typically for Monday through Friday day shifts for up to 40 hours per week but generally 20 to 30 hours per week with flexibility based on department needs. The term of the employment is from May 1 to October 1, with the potential for occasional, on-call duties throughout the remainder of the year.