There is something suspicious about the Sequoia Healthcare District's flip flop on policy regarding health insurance benefits.
At their April 3, 2013 board meeting Web Link
the majority approved agenda item 5c:
A subcommittee of the Board consisting of Directors Kane and Faro and Mr. Michelson, conducted additional research regarding the premium amount allowed for health care and dental insurance for directors and staff. The subcommittee’s recommendations are as follows:
1. Medical and dental premiums are to remain at a maximum of $1,500 per month as approved in December 2012; however, effective July 1, 2013 participating directors and staff will be required to pay 10% of the premium expense with the District paying 90%. In the instance of CalPers Health premiums paid monthly by the District, directors and staff will reimburse the District 10% of their individual premium cost.
2. Effective July 1, 2013 the inlieu benefit offered to employees who opt out of the District’s benefit plan shall be reduced from $400 to $200 per month. (Employee Policy 5.05)
3. Effective July 1, 2013 Employee Policy 5.10 providing reimbursement of $40 per month for gym membership shall be eliminated.
4. Effective July 1, 2013, the District shall offer employees a paid term life insurance policy valued at $50,000 at no cost to the employee. Employees cannot increase the value of this policy by paying an additional premium. This benefit will cease upon termination of employment from the District.
Upon approval of the above recommendations, Board Policy 15.2 and Employee Policy 5.05 will be amended accordingly; Employee Policy 5.10 will be eliminated; Term Life Insurance
Benefit will become Employee Policy 5.11.
Effectively, this reduced the subsidy for Directors from the recently (January 2013)raised cap of $1500/month to $1350/month, with the exception of yours truly. I had chosen coverage with Kaiser with premiums <$800/month. The new policy now would require me to reimburse the District 10% of my premium.
Ironically, this reduction in benefit was determined by District counsel Hudak to only apply to newly elected directors. At my request, Mr. Hudak provided me with an Attorney General's Opinion supporting that determination. He has yet to provide similar support for a determination that the December_increase_was immediately applicable to current directors.
When I first was elected to the Sequoia Healthcare District Board of Directors, some Directors were costing the district more than $2,000/month for their health insurance.
Several years later, the District changed its policy and put a $1200/month cap on the subsidy.
At our December meeting, that cap was raised to $1500/month. I challenged the applicability of that increase for current Directors.
District counsel, Mark Hudak, was tasked to research the issue.
________MINUTES FROM DECEMBER MEETING
5.e. Consider Increasing Premium Amount Allowed for Health Care
Insurance for Directors and Staff
Director Kane reported she surveyed several special districts and in an environment of increasing healthcare premiums, to add dental and vision coverage she suggests raising the amount reimbursed to directors and staff to $1,500 a month.
Motion: To approve an increase in amount reimbursed to directors and staff to $1,500 a month effective January 1, 2013. By: Director Kane
Seconded by: Director Faro
Director Hickey asked that the maker of the motion amend it to no reimbursement for healthcare premiums for directors and that they receive a stipend for meeting attendance.
The suggested amendment was not accepted by the maker of the motion.
Vote: 3-1-1 with Director Shefren abstaining and Director Hickey opposed.
Additional research will be conducted by a subcommittee of the Board and item shall be placed on the February 6, 2013 meeting agenda for re-evaluation. Mr. Hudak will research to determine if increase is applicable to current directors.
The increased cap of $1500 was applied to Directors effective January 1, 2013.
No item reporting on the research conducted by the subcommittee was placed on the agenda for the February meeting Web Link, nor do the minutes show any determination by Mr. Hudak as to the applicability of the increased cap on board health insurance subsidy.