Health care premiums for Alvin ISD staff could rise in 2019-20

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Alvin ISD teachers and staff might have to pay more for health insurance in the 2019-20 academic year, but they are prepared to weather an increase to maintain the district’s popular self-funded program, school officials said.

“It’s been a tremendous benefit for our staff,” Assistant Superintendent Daniel Combs said during a May 6 budget workshop.

The self-funded health insurance program collects premiums to pays its own claims, officials said. The program needs an influx of $2 million-$2.5 million through employee payroll deductions to meet expenses for 2019-20 and pay claims, officials said.

AISD teachers and staff members want to avoid the state’s higher-cost benefit, district officials said.

AISD picks up more of the tab for health coverage than districts with Teacher Retirement System-Active Care generally do, officials said.

AISD contributes $421 monthly to a staff member’s insurance, but 80 percent of Texas school districts participating in TRS-Active Care pay $225, which is the minimum, according to a meeting slide.

Premium increases presented May 6 for trustees’ consideration ranged from $30 to $80 monthly for certain plans, according to a meeting slide. Staff members recommended maintaining the district’s $421 monthly contribution.

The district has about 2,800 employees participating in its health insurance program, Donnie Marek, AISD executive director of risk management, said.

That total comes to about 5,500 including spouses and dependents, Marek said.

School trustees will have a hearing on the budget and tax rate, and consider approving a budget at the June 11 regular board meeting.

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