Menomonee Falls — The Menomonee Falls School District has managed to find savings while increasing its benefit package for employees, according to a presentation to the School Board on Monday.
After going out to bid, district administration and the School Board Personnel Committee are recommending the board select National Insurance Services instead of WEA Trust to provide life insurance, long-term disability and, for the first time, voluntary short-term disability insurance. Short-term disability will be offered, but is 100 percent employee paid.
The board will act on the recommendations at its Oct. 28 meeting.
Comparing the WEA Trust renewal rate and the bid from NIS, the district will save nearly $150,000 and offer employees more coverage, according to School District documents.
By changing to NIS, the district can offer basic life insurance to every employee throughout the district, Director of Human Resources Christiane Standlee said. In the past, some employee groups were not offered life insurance. WEA Trust's proposed annual premium was $185,159 and the NIS premium is listed as $68,673 in district documents. Life insurance is offered at no cost to employees.
Switching to NIS for long-term disability insurance will produce a cost savings of $26,622.
The School District is planning to stay with Humana as its health insurance provider, though the plan options are changing slightly for active employees. Currently, the district offers two plans to active employees — one with a lower deductible and higher premiums and one with a higher deductible and lower premiums, known as Plan 3.
Administration is proposing that they remove the low deductible plan as an option, as 92 percent of employees selected Plan 3 in 2013, and add a new option called Plan 3A. The two plans are the same, except Plan 3A offers reduced premium costs, but does not offer any new health reimbursement arrangement dollars. An HRA is a health benefit plan that reimburses employees for out-of-pocket expenses. The reimbursements are district funds and not deducted from the employee's pay check.
Plan 3 does offer HRA dollars. In plan 3, the HRA would reimburse employees for the second half of the deductible. In plan 3A, employees would not receive any new HRA dollars, but they could use any rollover HRA dollars they have from the 2013 plans should they choose Plan 3A. Aside from not offering HRA dollars, the plans' covered benefits are the same.
"It's really great to be able to increase benefits and reduce costs for employees," Standlee said. "We're hoping employees are excited about it."
If the School Board approves all of the changes, the School District could save a total of $900,000, Standlee said.
Open enrollment for district employees begins in November, with coverage beginning Jan. 1.
BY THE NUMBERS
percent of employees offered life insurance
basic life Insurance savings
long-term disability savings
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