June 2, 2005

Benefits for City Councilors other cities
# of Councilors
Other Benefits
Grants Pass
Mayor plus
6 council
Travel/training fir city business
Klamath Fall
Mayor plus 5 council
$200 p/m
$100 p/m
Full medical
Travel/training for city business
Central Point
Mayor plus
6 council
$250 p/m
$125 p/m
Travel/training for city business
Mayor plus
8 council
Travel/training for city business
Mayor plus 8 council
$100 p/m (mayor only)
Travel/training for city business
7 council
(council elects Mayor)
$200 p/m
Travel/training for city business
Mayor plus
6 council
$250 p/m/
$175 p/m
Travel/training for city business
Forest Grove
Mayor plus 6 council
$100 p/m
Mayor and council elected to use their stipend to pay medical employee premium of 10% which is approximately $56 per month for single coverage
Travel/training for city business
Albany (left voice msg. 5/26)
Pendleton (left voice msg. 5/26)
Wilsonville (left voice msg.5/26)
Lake Oswego
Mayor plus 6 council
$288 p/m
$128 p/m/
Travel/training for city business
Mayor plus 6 council
$1,500 p/m
$1,000 p/m
Elected can opt to purchase health insurance through the city and must pay premium (ex: full family coverage premium is $1100 p/m)
See attached memo
Travel/training for city business
Salem (left voice msg. 5/29)
Mayor plus 9 council
Travel/training for city business
Comments from Tina Gray, Human Resource Manager on providing health benefits to elected officials.
1) Impact on Risk Pool - The City purchases our health benefits through City County Insurance Services. We are part of a public employer risk pool that includes a majority of the cities, counties and special districts in Oregon. City County Insurance has offered many incentives to our employees to keep them healthy (Health Screening clinics, healthy benefits incentives, 24-hour nurse line, etc.). Additionally, the City offers a Wellness Program incentive to our employees. All of these Wellness initiatives are directed at trying to impact our rates and keep our claim frequency and severity as low as possible.
By adding elected officials into the mix, the City has less control over the impact this small group may have on the City’s overall rate risk pool. The City has no control over who is elected to the Council, and we do not conduct pre-employment physicals to determine if they are fit to serve as a City Council Member. So, the City is accepting whatever health risks the elected group may bring with them into our risk pool. City County Insurance does use a rate smoothing process to prevent one catastrophic claim from having a huge impact on the entity's rates, but this small elected group could impact the City’s overall rates positively or negatively.
2) Cost Containment -- The City has worked to achieve a cost-share from employees to help them understand that decisions they make regarding their health care have a direct correlation to the rates that we pay. When the city paid 100% for health benefits, we found that employee's took advantage of their "free" coverage and didn't make health care decisions in the same way they do now that they have some out-of-pocket investment. Currently city employees pay 5% of the monthly premium, Mayor and council members do not pay this percentage. Providing a monthly stipend that elected officials they could use to buy-in to the City’s health plan at their option would allow the City to budget a fixed cost and help continue the City’s efforts toward cost containment on health benefits.         
3) Additional administrative work - Although it is usually minimal, there is additional Administrative work attributed with managing the elected official benefits. This group isn’t as easy to communicate with on changes to the plans, Open Enrollment requirements, etc. as our employee group. Everything has to be customized for the differences in Elected Official benefits in order to eliminate confusion.  
4) Group Plan Membership-Membership in a group health plan offers an elected official the ability to continue to "buy in" to the group coverage under COBRA when they leave office. Once they have exhausted their rights under COBRA, they also have portability rights that may offer significant advantages over what they might have access to on the open insurance market. This could be especially valuable for someone who fills a vacant spot on the council and doesn’t get re-elected or someone who is appointed mid-term and is not re-elected.
Until there is a change in the benefit package and/or parameters for Elected Officials, health insurance is made available as an option to all elected officials regardless of how long they serve, and they have the same rights to continued coverage and portability as any employee of the City.
5) Adverse selection – Employees cannot waive health coverage even if they are covered under different insurance through a spouse. This is in place to prevent adverse selection. e.g. healthy employees who can opt out could do so, leaving a pool of less healthy employees which could affect the number of claims compared to the pool and in the end raise rates. Elected officials can opt out. This means that healthy electeds could opt out if they have other coverage leaving less healthy electeds in the pool.
This can work for and/or against the city. In past years, some members of council have elected not to take advantage of the insurance options. Each member of the current council as well as the city recorder and judge is taking full advantage of the health insurance, thus there is a significant increase in the budget to cover the increase in health costs.
City of Ashland
Monthly Health Insurance Premiums
Note:    Employees pay 5% of the monthly premium, Mayor and council do not.
$396.52 p/m                single coverage
$818.15 p/m                2 people coverage
$1124.05 p/m              full family coverage

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