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School Boards Abandon Union Run Health Plans to Save Money

John on July 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Hat tip to Byron York who points out that the Journal Sentinel seems to have buried the lede on this story. Yes, the Wisconsin union run health insurance plan is trying to hold onto money it may not deserve, but the real story is that so many districts are switching to non-union plans and expecting to save a ton of money:

In a March letter to Schilling, Otto wrote that the WEA Trust had applied for and received funds from the federal government on the district’s behalf, “which we will be passing on to you.” The letter said the Hartland-Lakeside district was “eligible to receive $46,103 in the form of a premium credit to be used during your 2011-’12 WEA Trust plan year.”

The Hartland-Lakeside district now stands to lose that money because the School Board voted Thursday to drop WEA Trust. But by switching to United HealthCare, the district still expects to save $690,000 in the new fiscal year, which started Friday, Schilling said.

“If WEA Trust is a nonprofit, why are they so expensive?” Schilling added.

The Hartland-Lakeside district serves the village of Hartland and the towns of Delafield, Merton and Pewaukee.

The Pewaukee School District could lose nearly $60,000 because its School Board voted Friday to switch from WEA Trust to United Healthcare. The switch still will offer the district $378,000 in savings for next year, said Assistant Superintendent John Gahan…

The Hartland-Lakeside and Pewaukee districts were able to switch insurance providers because their teachers union contracts expired Thursday. School districts no longer have to bargain over health insurance under the state’s new collective bargaining law, and many shopped for less expensive plans because they faced deep state funding cuts.

The Menomonee Falls School District is losing more than $100,000 in federal money because its teachers union agreed last month to a switch from WEA Trust to Humana. But the provider change otherwise will save the district $1.3 million in the new fiscal year, according to school officials.

Sort of sounds like the removal of union control is working out for the good in these districts. It’s actually saving them a lot of money. Interesting how that works.

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Category: Energy & Economy |

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