Albany Commissioners approve insurance increases - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany Commissioners approve insurance increases

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

In a split vote, Albany city leaders have approved hundreds of dollars in insurance premium increases for city workers.

Wednesday, commissioners voted 4-3 in a special called meeting for an increase to the public health care plan after lengthy discussion. Under the approval, single employees under a base plan will pay roughly $14 less per year for the same plan, but employees with families under the city's buyout plan will see an annual increase of $900 for the same plan.

The increase will be split by Water, Gas and Light, the City of Albany, and public workers.
 
The Public Group Health Care plan cost the city $14.7 Million last year, three million more than expected. Consultants said the same plan would have cost the city $15.8 Million next year without any changes.

Commissioners first discussed the issue in the September 3rd meeting, but delayed their vote because of concerns for the city's lowest earning employees who are paid $19,000 annually. They said an increase of a few hundred dollars a year could bury those employees in poverty, especially because they haven't had a pay raise to help with rising costs of living.

90-percent of the city's workers are enrolled in the plan. And commissioners said they hoped the wellness center could have reduced rising health care costs.

City leaders said programs promoting exercise and healthy eating habits could help fight rising health care costs.

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