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The city's cost for employee health insurance is likely to go up next year, but life and long-term disability insurance costs may go down.

City board members are set to consider insurance contracts for both health insurance and for life and long-term disability insurance on Tuesday, according to the meeting agenda.

In a report to city directors, Adrienne Barr, human resources manager, recommends the city switch from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield to Cigna for health and medical insurance in 2020.

Cigna submitted the lowest bid of three companies for a $2,000 high deductible health care plan and a $1,000 deductible preferred provider organization plan (PPO), the report states. Nevertheless, Cigna's bid of $1.99 million represents a 19 percent increase from the current rate $1.67 million.

The other bidders were Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, with an increase of 25.5 percent, and United Healthcare with an increase of 20.5 percent, the report states. Arkansas Municipal League did not submit a bid but provided a quote for a PPO plan that represented a 5 to 28 percent increase from current rates, but that included severe limits on coverage, the report states.

In addition to being the lowest bidder, Cigna's network includes several local primary care physicians and Siloam Springs Regional Hospital, the report states. Their benefits are comparable to the city's current benefits and the company has committed $10,000 towards a Wellness Program the city can participate in, it states.

The city also published a request for bids for employer paid life insurance and long-term disability insurance since its contract with MetLife will expire on Dec. 31, according to a staff report prepared by Barr.

Lincoln Financial Group submitted the low bid of $82,435 for life and disability insurance, representing a reduction of 17.03 percent from current rates. The rate is guaranteed for three years.

Other bids were from MetLife, Ochs, The Hartford and USAble.

In other business, city board members will consider the following agenda items:

• Dedication of a drainage easement at 1206 E. Prospect St.

• A grant application to the Walton Family Foundation for Main Street Design Project construction drawings.

• The second reading of Ordinance 19-19 to rezone 927 S. Oak Hill and 900 S. Elm St. from R-2 (residential medium) to G-1 (general institutional).

• The second reading of Ordinance 19-20 to annex 19.94 acres on the 15000 block of Stephens Road.

• The first reading of Ordinance 19-21 amending City Code Chapter 6 concerning alcoholic beverages and liquor license fees.

• The first reading of Ordinance 19-22 vacating the right-of-way in Teague's Addition at 324 and 400 E. Twin Springs St.

• The first reading of Ordinance 19-23 vacating the right-of-way in Carl's Addition at 111 S. Oak Hill St. and 110 S. Garrett St.

• Resolution 32-19 for the significant development permit of Grace Episcopal Church at 617 N. Mt. Olive St.

General News on 09/15/2019

Print Headline: City health insurance costs likely to increase

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