By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News
DANVILLE — While a representative of a municipal health insurance cooperative said Danville borough receives a surplus when employees remain healthy, a property owner contends the Geisinger Health Plan can save the borough money.
“It looks like the borough averages a surplus of $12,000 a year,” said Michael Kuziak, who owns a business and rental properties in Danville.
“With 28 employees, the borough is roughly paying $400,000 extra per year for health insurance and getting an average of $12,000 a year. How is that a good deal,” he asked at Tuesday night’s borough council meeting.
Kuziak received information from Montour County on its costs for GHP for its employees. He said GHP is good enough for the county. “I spend more money on insurance per year than most people in this town make,” he said.
“Shop around. Get some bids. If I didn’t do that, I’d go broke,” he said.
Kuziak said GHP is pretty competitive and a lot of people who work at GHP pay taxes here. “I think you people should do business with the people who support you,” he told council members.
Kuziak said he found, through a right-to-know request, the county averages $855 before an employee health insurance contribution is paid. With 63 employees, the monthly employee contribution ranges from $55 to $105. The monthly employer contribution ranges from $459 to $1,303 per month per employee.
Jon Ebersole, account manager for the Pennsylvania Municipal Health Insurance Cooperative, gave a presentation on Danville borough’s health insurance plan.
When councilman Collins Stump asked him if GHP was cheaper, he said he didn’t know what deductibles and what prescription costs were included in that plan.
Council President Dick Johns said he understood the borough’s plan costs about $2,300 per employee. If the employee remains healthy, the borough gets back $1,700.
With a self-funded plan, which Danville is currently enrolled in, a monthly family rate of $2,293 includes $43 paid to Capital Blue Cross, $32 to Benecon, $422 paid for reinsurance and $1,794 paid for low-level claims which the group retains. Benecon Benefits and Consulting Group manages the insurance cooperative, Ebersole said. Reinsurance covers claims of more than $35,000.
For a fully insured health care plan, a family pays $2,293 monthly with all of it going to the health insurance company, Ebersole said.