Police Jury may pass on rate hike

Webster Parish Police Jury employees may have to dig deeper into their pockets May 1 to stay in the parish-provided medical insurance coverage pool.

The Police Jury appears no longer able to absorb annual increases in group coverage costs. In 2012, the hit totaled $150,000. This year, the 9 percent increase will be almost $95,000 from the Police Jury’s insurance carrier, Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Police Jury Vice President Vera Davison said some of the cost will be passed on to workers.

Individual employees and retirees pay $50 a month for their portion of full coverage. An employee who includes a spouse and family pays $100 monthly, Secretary-Treasurer Ronda Carnahan said.

In a plan under consideration each employee would see the cost rise to $78 a month, Carnahan said.

The increase could be larger for those covered under a family plan.

“We’ve always absorbed most of insurance for the family. But we’re not going to be able to do that. We will do part of it, but not to the extent we have been doing. We just can’t keep doing it anymore,” Davison said.

Police jurors can leave the coverage plan as is or make revisions. One suggestion is permitting employees to opt-out of dental and life coverage to cut the cost.