- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Lafayette Parish School System employees and retirees won’t face any changes to their health insurance premiums or deductibles next year.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1YTL6JZ ) the school board voted 7-2 Thursday night to retain current premiums and deductible rates, passing on another proposal that would have cost the school system only half as much.

But the board will revisit the issue for 2017.

The monthly premium is $149 for individual coverage for active and retired employees not on Medicare, $87 for a retiree on Medicare and $608 for family coverage.

The annual deductible is $950 for individuals and $2,850 for families, with a potential reduction of the deductible for those who earn a $250 wellness credit.

The board’s decision was the top recommendation of the employee insurance advisory committee, which favored the option to allow a year for a thorough review of other plan options through a request-for-proposal process. The decision will cost the school system about $1.3 million.

The plan goes into effect January 2016 through December 2016. Meanwhile, staff will ask the board at its Oct. 14 meeting to issue a request for proposals to hire a consultant to guide it through the insurance plan selection process for 2017, Superintendent Donald Aguillard said.

Prior to Thursday’s vote, Board member Jeremy Hidalgo had asked the board to consider another option: the insurance advisory committee’s second choice, which would increase deductibles but would lower premiums for most plan holders except retirees on Medicare. His suggestion was debated by the board and retirees in the audience for nearly an hour.

That option increased premiums for retirees on Medicare by $20 a month, so Hidalgo proposed the board subsidize that increase.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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