PLEASANT VIEW — For the first time, the city has received a rebate from its health insurance carrier, Public Employees Health Program, the mayor says.
Now the council needs to decide how the unexpected money will be used, Mayor Doug Clifford said recently.
The windfall will come to between $32,000 and $36,000, said City Recorder Laurie Hellstrom.
Clifford suggested that, because employees covered by the health insurance pay 10 percent of the premium, a lump-sum payment of 10 percent of the rebate — between $3,200 and $3,600 — could be divided among them.
“The city has been paying 90 percent of those payments,” he said. “The taxpayer has been paying the cost of that. The employee has been paying about 10 percent on their own.”
Clifford said it seems fair to consider a rebate to the insured employees because “the employees have been very careful about what they have used. The claims go into a pool. If the pool doesn’t spend all the money, it gets rebated back.”
He suggested the council think about that, and “next time we meet, come up with some kind of proposal, a way to give back to employees what they’ve contributed to that fund.”
Clifford also said, rather than paying a lump sum, the council might consider giving employees a little “payment holiday” from their insurance payment.
Regarding the bulk of the rebate, he said, “the insurance carrier gave us back a whole bunch of money. Most should go back to the taxpayers who paid it.”
Councilman Michael Humphreys said the same thing could happen next year and “could be something new we’ve started.”
No decision has been made as to whether employees will receive a portion of the funds.
The city has 97 employees, but only 23 are full time.