Trenton R-9 School district: Health insurance to increase 26.7%

Trenton R-9 School District

The Trenton R-9 school district will pay over one point one million dollars in employee health insurance premiums for the fiscal year beginning July 1st.

That covers 174 full time employees who will notice a higher deductible and out of pocket expense as a result of a new health insurance plan. The R-9 board of education last evening accepted a quote from Blue Cross Blue Shield described as a 26 point seven (26.7%) percent increase in the premium. It’s another 110 dollars per month per employee.

The higher quote is cause the district had a lot of major claims: loss ratio of 108 percent.

The new base plan costs nearly 565 dollars per month per employee. The district pays 100 percent of the premium. The new deductible is 25 hundred dollars with the new out of pocket maximum five thousand dollars. There’s a 40 dollar co-pay, The board chose the option that still includes a buy-up plan allowing employees to pay just over 22 dollars a month to lower their deductible to a thousand dollars.

This option includes up to a ten percent refund on insurance premiums if claims fall below 75 percent of premiums. The total cost for health insurance ($1,165,706) represents an increase of over 256 thousand 600 dollars for premiums and the retirement match.

A second option reviewed would have cost ten dollars less per employee each month (flat rate of $553.49 each) same 25 hundred dollar deductible without a buy up provision nor refund opportunity.

The school board accepted the first option we described on a vote of five to one: Cliff Roeder was opposed; Martha Roberts was absent.

Six retiring employees were honored last evening for a cumulative 93 years employment with the Trenton schools. Ruby Walker (18), Kay Moore (18), Marjorie Kuehn (18), Shirley King (16), Don Scott (13), and Robin Brown (10) were given a school bell and first year membership paid with the retired teachers association.

One hundred seventy six full time workers were recognized during faculty and employee appreciation week.

Two grant requests will be submitted to the GEC Community Foundation.

Nancy Link seeks 940 dollars for supplies at the science, technology, and math event October 17th. Debra Young applied for 480 dollars for 20 electronic devices for pupils in Kindergarten to write with a stylus rather than a marker. There’s no local match.

Kris Ockenfels reported the district will buy new I-pads for the faculty; their used I-pads will be erased and re-used as classroom sets at Rissler School. With the purchase, he said the district will own 920 I-pad devices next year.

Ockenfels detailed summer projects including the addition of parking lot exit to Oklahoma Avenue north of the middle school to improve safety and alleviate traffic congestion; R-9 will match the Booster Club expense for a new LED sign on Oklahoma Avenue replacing the sign installed there when the high school opened; THS parking lot is to be asphalted in June; and new sound panels are to be installed for Rissler school gym and cafeteria.

Sixteen MSBA policy updates were approved; a title one reading and math evaluation was given by Whitney Olson; and the board was told the proposed 2016-17 budget will be presented at the June 14th meeting with adoption scheduled later in June.