City to pay lots more for healthcare
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:00 AM
The city will see its annual premium for employee health insurance increase 13 percent, or about $51,000 for calendar year 2013, an agent from Philadelphia Security Insurance told the Mayor and Board of Aldermen last week.
Agent Allen Hardy told the board that employee claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield were about equal to the premium for the past year.
However, the increase will not be passed down to the nearly 100 city employees, aldermen said.
Ward 1 Alderman Joe Tullos and Alderman-at-Large Janice Payne told board members that they wanted the city to absorb the increase instead of placing the burden on its employees.
Payne said this would help offset the city not being able to grant employee salary increases again for 2013.
"We want this because of a lack of raises," Payne said.
Mayor James Young said the city has "some big ticket claims" from three or four employees that caused the premium to rise for 2012.
"Two had some major health issues," he said. "That cost was much different from what we paid premium wise so they hit us pretty heavy this year."
Young voiced support for not passing the increase down to city employees.
"I think this is a good move but yet again we are still struggling with the budget. Insurance is one of the things our employees really need for our protection and for their protection. The city pays 100 percent of the employee premium while they provide what family coverage they want themselves."
The city currently pays about $400,000 annually for employee health insurance.
Meanwhile, the city saw a $1 million shortfall in fiscal 2011. Unaudited figures show that city expenditures exceeded revenues by $500,847 in fiscal 2012.
Over the last decade, the city of Philadelphia has spent $5.9 million more than it has taken in and is gradually depleting reserves.
In other action last week, aldermen:
Reimbursed the state Treasury Department $12,558.85 for an overpayment on Hurricane Katrina damages in 2005.
Rejected all bids for a 2009 bulldozer because of an error in advertising. Aldermen board voted to readvertise for bids on Dec. 4.
Paid $9,768.76 to Waggoner Engineering for professional services on the FY12 Runway and Apron Rehabilitation at the airport.
Approved a $5,500 contract amendment #1 with Delta Constructors for the 2012 Water and Sewer Improvement project.
Paid $3,870 to BBI, Inc. for the yearly contract for the accounting/payroll program used in city hall.
Approved three Municipal Election Commissioners for the 2013 municipal election. They are Rebecca McClain, Jerry Smith and Rex Rounsaville.
Approved travel expenses for the Election Commissioners to attend a mandatory certification course.
Authorized Luke & Kaye Architects to proceed with advertising for bids on the Log Cabin project at Northside Park.
Paid Dickerson & Bowen, Inc. $131,327.33 for work performed on the Pecan Avenue paving project.
Accepted the resignation of Josh Hardy on the park commission after he cited a lack of time to carry out the duties.
Approved travel expenses, registration fees and association dues for Chief Bill Cox to attend a Police Chief's Conference in Olive Branch Dec. 9-13.
Promoted of Police Officers Desmond Jones to sergeant with a pay increase of 24 cents an hour and Wade Atkins to corporal with a pay increase of 39 cents an hour.
Employed Kinsey Triplett as patrolman first class effective Dec. 5.