Monday, March 15, 2004
The bennies are here! The bennies are here!
Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Nebraska has announced its health-care insurance rates for the 2004-05 school year. These rates affect every public-school employee and taxpayer in the state.
Study the rates set by the Educators Health Alliance (EHA) Board of Directors at:
The rates represent a reported increase of about 10 percent for at least one mid-sized Nebraska school district, and possibly more in other locations.
Note that the premium cost of this important fringe benefit is the same to any school district, large or small, in Nebraska, on a per-employee basis. That's because the rates are negotiated for the state's public-school employees as a whole, year in and year out.
So in the big cities, where average staff salaries are a lot higher than in the smaller cities and rural areas of Nebraska, the health-care benefits represent a noticeably smaller percentage of the overall compensation package, per employee.
Another way of putting it: the city mice taxpayers are subsidizing the health-care benefits of the country mice, in the field of public education.
That's not good. Neither are consistently high cost increases, year after year.
Education is in a money crunch, no doubt about it. What to do?
Can you spell "self-insurance"?
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