Trenton R-9 Board of Education rescinds selection of United Healthcare for health insurance coverage

Health Insurance paperwork with Stethoscope

The Trenton R-9 Board of Education rescinded its selection of United Healthcare for employee health insurance coverage and the cap for next school year at a special meeting Thursday afternoon.

This happened after President Doug Franklin explained that after the board’s special meeting Monday, Blue Cross told the district it would offer the same premiums United Healthcare offered. This included $601 per month per employee and a buy-up plan of $695.57.

On a vote of four to three, the board approved staying with Blue Cross Blue Shield and capping the amount the district would pay at $602 per month per employee. Board members Marcie Cutsinger, David Whitaker (who attended the meeting by phone) and Corey Leeper voted no.

Before the rescinding and new selection, Franklin told the board he talked to attorneys about options it could take and was told the district had three options which included refusing all bids and rebid, go with Blue Cross, or go with United.

Franklin said there would be a risk of a lawsuit from either Blue Cross or United saying its plan was the best if the other company was chosen. An attorney said there would be less risk if the district stayed with Blue Cross. Leeper said he was worried that if United Healthcare brought a lawsuit against Trenton R-9, the money would come out of the district’s budget.

Board Secretary Susan Leeper invited school administrators to share questions they had collected from employees. They said most employees would prefer to stay with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Trenton R-9’s health insurance broker Justin Mitchell said it would take about two weeks to rebid for health insurance. Cutsinger asked if the district could specifically accept bids for one week, and Mitchell said it could.

Rissler Elementary School Principal Tiffany Otto asked if rates would change if the board went out to bid again on health insurance coverage, and Mitchell said it was a possibility.