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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Colfax will pay a $1,000 stipend to village employees who do not have the village’s health insurance to compensate them for the benefit they would have received if they had signed up for the insurance.
Employees who have insurance through the village received $1,000 in a Health Savings Account to help them offset the deductible of the health insurance plan, but employees who do not have insurance through the village do not receive the benefit, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, at the Colfax Village Board’s May 13 meeting.
The village’s insurance company is concerned about discrimination regarding the HSA payment and those employees who do not have health insurance through the village, she said.
Colfax Police Chief William Anderson pointed out he had raised the issue earlier when the village board had approved paying money into an HSA for employees.
Police Chief Anderson also pointed out that since he does not have health insurance through the village, Colfax is saving the $10,000 the village would have paid for a health insurance premium for him.
The village’s share per month for health insurance this year is $10,471, with a total annual premium of $125,658.
Colfax pays 90 percent of the health insurance premium, and the employees pay 10 percent.
The new health insurance policy approved by the village board last fall increased the amount paid by employees for the deductible.
The new insurance increased the deductible by $1,000 for an individual within the network and increased the deductible by $2,000 for an individual out of the network to $3,000 and $6,000, respectively.
The family deductible increased by $2,000 in the network and by $4,000 out of the network to $6,000 and $12,000, respectively.
The previous health insurance plan, representing an increase of 3.9 percent, would have cost the village $147,088 this year.
The village board could opt to compensate the employees for the HSA who do not have health insurance by paying a stipend annually, quarterly, monthly or per paycheck, Niggemann said.
The amount would work out to be $38.46 per paycheck, or $83.33 monthly, she said.
The stipend would be available to full-time village employees who do not have health insurance through the village.
The village board did not discuss the number of employees who would be compensated by a stipend for the HSA benefit.
The Colfax Village Board approved a motion to pay the stipend every two weeks in the village employee paychecks.
Village President Scott Gunnufson and Village Trustees Mark Halpin, Carey Davis, Annie Jenson and Margaret Burcham voted in favor of the motion.
Village Trustee Keith Burcham voted against the motion.