The Lyons-Brookfield School District 103 Board of Education’s newly formed insurance committee met May 4 for a brief meeting to discuss the district’s plan to review its health insurance options for employees.
The district’s insurance committee includes board President Michael Bennett and board member Jorge Torres.
Marty Stack, human resources director for the district, gave an overview of the district’s plan for receiving proposals for consideration. Currently, health insurance is provided to district employees through a co-op that includes other area school districts. The districts pool their funds to form a larger network, which helps in negotiations with providers.
Stack said the district has had issues getting answers for insurance questions through the co-op, including an issue that arose regarding an employee purchasing additional life insurance coverage.
According to Stack, the employee wanted to know if the district’s premium would increase if the employee purchased additional coverage and what might happen if the premium went unpaid because the district wasn’t aware of the increase.
Stack said the district tried to reach someone through the co-op to get an answer, but no one was able to provide one.
“We got hold of someone who really couldn’t tell us the answer,” Stack said.
Stack said the purpose of the meeting was to begin a process to request proposals for the district’s health insurance needs.
“It’s fact-finding to tell us what’s out there in comparison,” Stack said. “If the board decides not to do anything, they decide not to do anything.”
Bennett said that the board may receive no proposals or decide not to change anything, but the board wanted to see what their options were.
“Basically, the service leaves a little to be desired, so we’ve come to the conclusion to see what else is out there,” he said.
Toni Brandt, president of the District 103 teachers’ union, said during the public comment portion of the meeting that she believed the issue Stack referenced was resolved.
Stack said he wasn’t sure, but said it also wasn’t the only time the district has had trouble getting an insurance representative to answer questions.
Brandt reminded the committee that, per the union’s contract, the board was free to change providers, but that it would be required to find identical coverage, not comparable coverage for employees.
Stack said the teachers’ union would be involved in the selection process in some way and said he wasn’t opposed to the district possibly forming a joint committee to include a union representative.
Although the committee agreed to advertise its request for proposals, no due date for proposal submissions was set during the meeting.
Stack briefly entertained calling the committee back to order to discuss a date, but decided against re-opening the meeting. Stack said that the committee would likely decide on a date for proposals to be returned at their next meeting.