MASSENA – Massena village administrators have approved a change in health insurance coverage for village employees, retirees and eligible dependents, which will save both the village and individuals money .
Trustee Francis J. Carvel, a village retiree, abstained from voting, and Trustee Christine M. Winston was excused.
Effective January 1, the Village will cancel existing health insurance coverage through the Excellus SimplyBlue Plus Platinum 2 plan and provide health insurance coverage through the Excellus Bronze 4 PPO plan for active employees and their eligible dependents and for non-Medicare-eligible retirees and their eligibles. dependent.
As part of the change, the Village will provide a health reimbursement arrangement covering 100% of the deductible for each employee and their dependents, and they will continue to provide health insurance coverage through the Medicare Advantage plan with United Healthcare for all Medicare-eligible members and their eligible dependents.
“Retirees eligible for Medicare see no change. This is a key detail. Retirees who are currently eligible for Medicare, their plans remain the same,” Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire said.
In the current village regime, there are no individual or family franchises. The village pays $3,025,454 in annual bonuses for 119 employees.
Under the Excellus Bronze 4 PPO plan presented to administrators last month by Zachary Zuckerman, employees would see a deductible of $7,500 for singles and $15,000 for families, both covered by the village. The village would pay annual premiums of $1,738,641, a drop of 42.5%, according to documentation provided by Mr. Zuckerman, vice president of USI Insurance Services.
Mr. LeBire suggested a modification to the plan, which was approved by the directors.
“Number three, provide health reimbursement coverage for each employee and their dependents, should there be a statement as defined by collective agreements or the employee personnel handbook in the absence of CBA language ( collective agreement)? I just know that in eight years such a simple word has a variety of meanings,” he said.
Mayor Gregory M. Paquin said they were looking at certain criteria in deciding whether to make the change. Among them, he said, it benefits taxpayers as well as employees, with their contribution decreasing if they pay a percentage of the cost.
He said they have scheduled meetings to explain the change to employees, retirees and dependents, in addition to the meetings he has already held.
“We have tentatively scheduled two days for employee training, November 3 and 4, and it’s all day long,” Paquin said.
These will take place at the fire station, the Department of Public Works and the police station.
“We’ll make sure we have a letter that we send out to everyone about this,” Paquin said. “I’m grateful to have the opportunity to meet with the groups to discuss this. Nobody likes change. I’m not going to say they sat there and clapped my hands by any stretch of the imagination.