SYRACUSE — City officials will take a closer look at potential cost savings by offering some city workers incentives to opt out of the city’s health insurance program.
Finance Director Stephen Marshall outlined the general parameters of a potential opt-out option for city workers during a recent work session, suggesting the city could offer as much as $300 per month to employees as an incentive to some workers to not participate in the program.
He recommended the city council move forward with a review of the option so that it could start next year during the open enrollment season. The city currently has five full-time employees who opt out of the program because they are covered on a spouse or parent’s insurance plan, according to Marshall.
Marshall suggested the opt out ends up benefiting both the city in saved costs and the employee. He said it saves the city $11,651.52 per year, per employee, under the opt-out outline he presented.
As part of his presentation, Marshall showed what the opt-out option has done for Ogden, Salt Lake City and North Logan.
Marshall said the biggest single cost increase for municipalities each year is the rising cost of health care. He said Syracuse costs went up 5.4 percent during the current fiscal year, which is low in comparison to other communities.
It costs the city $1,270.96 per month to provide insurance for an employee.
There are issues the council would have to deal with before choosing to enact such an option, Marshall said. They include contract revisions and assumed costs, city liability under the new Affordable Care Act, what to do with current full-time employees not enrolled and when it would be best to implement a plan.