Board to de­cide city’s 2019 health in­surance provider

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Hunter McFer­rin Staff Writer ■ hm­c­fer­rin@nwadg.com

City board mem­bers will con­sider ap­prov­ing a con­tract on Tues­day night that will de­ter­mine the health and med­i­cal in­surance provider for city em­ploy­ees for 2019.

The city re­cently pub­lished a bid re­quest to in­surance providers, and re­ceived bids from four com­pa­nies, ac­cord­ing to a city staff report. City staff is rec­om­mend­ing the low­est bid, which was sub­mit­ted by Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) in the amount of $1.71 mil­lion. This fig­ure re­flects the pro­jected an­nual in­crease for next year, which is de­ter­mined on the ba­sis of em­ployee par­tic­i­pa­tion rates in the in­surance plan.

The bid is three per­cent higher than the cur­rent plan, which amounts to $1.66 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to a city staff report. None­the­less, BCBS’s bid is lower than the other three bids sub­mit­ted, which re­quested in­creases rang­ing from 11.7 per­cent to 18.3 per­cent.

Ad­di­tional pro­vi­sions in the bid re­quest for the plan in­cluded a $1,000 de­ductible pre­ferred provider or­ga­ni­za­tion plan (PPO) and a $2,000 high de­ductible health plan (HDHP), ac­cord­ing to a city staff report.

Fol­low­ing this dis­cus­sion, the meet­ing’s agenda con­sists of six ad­di­tional items:

• The sec­ond read­ing of an or­di­nance that would re­zone the .49 acre prop­erty lo­cated at 817 N. Mt. Olive St. from R-2 (res­i­den­tial, medium) to R-4 (res­i­den­tial, multi-fam­ily), ac­cord­ing to a city staff report. The or­di­nance has re­ceived sub­stan­tial op­po­si­tion from res­i­dents who live near the prop­erty since it was first pre­sented to the plan­ning and zon­ing com­mis­sion dur­ing their June 12 meet­ing.

• The third read­ing of an or­di­nance that would amend city code to elim­i­nate an in­cen­tive cur­rently of­fered to in­dus­tri­alscale en­ergy users who own their

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