Council rescinds motion, insurance savings will not be realized
Tuesday, July 02, 2013 8:29 AM
The Spring Grove City Council called an emergency meeting on June 26 and immediately went into closed session to discuss potential litigation.
City attorney Joe Hammell summarized the situation when the meeting re-opened.
"The possibility of proposed litigation would be about the health plan that the city has with its employees," he began.
"The city had made a motion to go with a new health (insurance) provider at the last regular meeting of the council."
On June 4, the council originally discussed an alternative health insurance plan with Health Partners of Minnesota, which was cited as offering the same coverage for employees as the city's current plan while saving city coffers $14,000 annually.
At that point, the union was offered the plan as an option. On June 18, the council noted an appeal from the union to include a health saving account option.
Council members turned down that request and moved to institute the new insurance plan "unless it can be proven that the two plans are not equal by July first."
Hammell reported on June 26 that a meeting had been held with union representatives earlier in the day. Upon review of the contract, however, the whole idea of changing plans took an about face.
"The bottom line is that it's really impossible to change health providers at the present time because of our existing union contract signed in 2012," Hammell said.
"We also discovered that the city really couldn't save the $14,000 that it had hoped to save by changing health care providers because of the existing contract.
"On the flip side, there are some positive things that came out of the meeting today. The employees are ready, willing and able to discuss looking at the health care provider, looking at the plan itself and looking at the possibilities of changing at some time in the future.
"At this time, it would be my advice to the city council that someone make a motion to rescind the motion made at the last meeting to change health care providers."
Members did exactly that, voting unanimously to overturn their earlier action and then adjourned.