The Commerce Journal

August 26, 2013

New provider saves city funds

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — The Commerce City Council was able to save the city more than $50,000 in employee medical insurance for next year by switching to Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) as its primary provider.

The council voted to change to BCBS from United Healthcare, which was going to impose a 25 percent increase to the city. It would have been a $96,000 increase.

According to councilmember Sue Davis, the city had budgeted a maximum of 15 percent for  an increase.

BCBS will be a 4 percent increase from what the city paid last year to United Healthcare.

Davis said she is glad to have the insurance for city employees.

“We are very fortunate to be able to provide such good healthcare,” she said.

With much of the Affordable Healthcare Act coming into place next year, Davis said she was not happy to find a mandatory increase the city has to pay.

“The only downside to this is with the Affordable Healthcare Act, commonly known as Obamacare, they will be adding an additional four percent in gross premiums that we have to absorb,” she said.

Davis said the city is currently looking into ways to be able to file as an exemption from the 4 percent increase.

If the city is not able to find an exemption, the 8 percent increase would total approximately $16,000.

The city is also making a change in its dental insurance as well.

Met-Life is the new dental insurance provider, which is a 9 percent decrease in cost over last year.