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Hiawatha city employee insurance finalized

(KNZA)--Despite the cost being more than budgeted for, the Hiawatha City Commission has renewed the current health, dental and vision plans for city employees for 2018.

The Commission took the action Tuesday evening on the recommendation of City Administrator Mike Nichols.

Nichols said different health insurance options were looked at and presented to employees for their consideration, with a majority of employees favoring renewal of the current plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

The city will continue to pay for 100 percent of an employee’s premium, but will reduce what it pays towards spouse and dependent premiums from 80 percent to 74.5 percent.  

Even with the change, the city will spend nearly $19,000 more than budgeted for.   

The city had budgeted for a 10 percent increase, but saw an 11 percent   increase.

Mayor Steffen Shamburg and Commissioner Bill Collins both agreed the annual premium increases the city has been seeing are not sustainable.   Commissioners said if the trend continues, the city will have to make further reductions in what it pays toward an employee's health insurance coverage.

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