ELSIE, Mich. — Switching to a new insurance carrier will shave up to $338,000 from the Ovid-Elsie Area Schools budget and help avoid teacher layoffs, according to a report in The (Owosso) Argus-Press.

Coverage will remain the same, but the health insurance plan for teachers now will be administered by SET SEG rather than the Michigan Education Special Services Association, The Argus-Press reported. District administrators and other staff switched to SET SEG several years ago, according to the report.

Superintendent Ryan Cunningham said that two reasons for the lower rates are SET SEG’s options for self-funding higher deductibles or health savings accounts, and also a significant demographic change among employees due to 13 retirements last year, The Argus-Press reported.

 In addition to lower premium costs, the switch will help the district qualify for up to $173,000 in “best practice” incentive funds from the state, according to The Argus-Press.

“It was the best thing to do. It was obvious we were saving the school a ton of money,” Ovid-Elsie teacher union President Doug Long told The Argue-Press.

SOURCES:

The (Owosso) Argus-Press, “O-E shaves deficit with insurance change,” June 27, 2011

FURTHER READING:

Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Extra K-12 Cash to Be Tied to Mandatory Health Care Cost Sharing and Other Reforms,” May 22, 2011

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