Health insurance for city employees was discussed extensively by the Philadelphia Mayor and Board of Aldermen Monday night as they considered passing along some of the rising costs.

Officials talked about passing on a share of an anticipated 15 percent increase or $68,400 in health insurance premiums to city employees beginning in January.

Ward 4 alderman Cecil Nichols voiced opposition to it.

"You can scratch that off," he said.

Ward 3 Josh Gamblin disagreed.

He told board members that the county passed an increase in health insurance down to its employees a few years ago.

"The county we live in does it," he said. "They are managing their services better than us."

Alderman-at-large Willie Jackson said he agreed with both Gamblin and Nichols.

He recommended that the board address the increase later in the year and look at such things as a gap or bridge plan.

The board discussed increasing the deductible from $500 to $1,000 and dropping dental and vision coverage which would save the city about $47,000.

They also discussed asking city employees to pay 12 percent of their health insurance coverage after the first of the year but no decision was finalized.