MASSENA – The Morristown Central School District will be leaving the Saint-Laurent-Lewis Health Insurance Consortium, joining the Canton, Edwards-Knox, Ogdensburg, Madrid-Waddington and Heuvelton school districts that had previously withdrawn from the plan.
This leaves 12 participating districts and the St. Lawrence-Lewis Co-operative Educational Services Board in the consortium.
“One of the school districts, Morristown, is leaving the plan. This was discussed at this (quarterly) meeting. They had to send their notification before April 30 so that they could leave the plan by July 1, ”Massena central school principal Patrick Brady told members of the education council Thursday evening.
“There have been discussions about this process, but at the end of the day this district will be leaving the plan, which means we will be looking at 12 school districts and the BOCES that are part of the St. Lawrence. Lewis plan, ”he said.
Mr. Brady is the district representative on the plan’s board of directors.
He said the plan “was still seeing the overall impact of some COVID economy, as fewer people went to their medical providers for normal, routine activities.” But that is starting to change; it starts to go up a bit.
Mr Brady said incomes are currently low due to reduced enrollment and a slow conversion of some districts to low premium endorsements.
“But the overall plan is 9% under budget when it comes to medical. Prescription drugs start to increase by 3%. These are usually a handful of expensive, non-generic prescription drugs. They are brand names and they are expensive. But we are seeing a kind of return to normal when it comes to this, ”he said.
Excellus Blue Cross / Blue Shield took over the administration of health insurance for the plan effective January 1, 2020. This function was performed by staff of the St. Lawrence-Lewis Co-operative Educational Services Board working in the offices. administrative staff of BOCES for over 30 years. Locey & Cahill, LLC serves as a consultant for the plan.
Mr Brady said Locey & Cahill planned to seek proposals to review a Medicare benefits plan in the fall, to see if it would be beneficial for the plan as a whole.
“That would be to take those who are 65 and over and put them on a separate health insurance plan from the rest of the plan,” he said.
Locey & Cahill was also looking to audit Excellus.
“Now that Excellus has taken over the administration, they want to be sure that Excellus is administering the plan as it is supposed to. This is not an Excellus plan. It is still the plan for Saint-Laurent-Lewis and the districts there, but it is administered by Excellus and it uses the Excellus network, ”said Mr. Brady.
He said health insurance was one of the biggest costs in the district. The central school district of Massena is currently budgeting $ 12,594,723 for health insurance.