Council discusses employee insurance

Joe P. Asher Staff Writer

November 19, 2013

The Harlan City Council tackled the question of health insurance for city employees during a meeting Monday.

Mayor Danny Howard brought the subject up to the council about midway through the meeting.

“If you’ll look on that sheet there, that’s a breakdown of everything that all of our employees have,” said Howard.

Howard said there are some new guidelines regarding retirement for part-time employees.

According to Howard, workers could be considered full-time under some circumstances even if they worked less than 30 hours a week.

“We went to the League of Cities and we talked about this,” said Howard. “Obamacare is coming…eventually we’re going to have to deal with some of the aspects of it.”

Howard said due to Obamacare and the city’s risk factor, the city fell into a group that allowed the city to offer employees a smaller deductible and better coverage while the city pays a better rate.

“This has been a good reduction for the city,” said Howard. “This has also enabled us to provide health insurance to those people that Kentucky Retirement says we have to.”

Howard said the city had decided to go with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield through the League of Cities.

“It has turned out to be a win-win situation for all of us in that we have been able to provide a better policy with less deductibles and out of pocket expenses,” said Howard.

In other council activity:

* City engineer Leo Miller advised the council that the walking track lights could be on line as early as the end of the week;

* City attorney Scott Lisenbee advised that he contacted the League of Cities and inquired about the requirements of canceling a regular council meeting. Lisenbee said he was told as long as proper notice is given a meeting can be canceled with no repercussions.

Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, jasher@civitasmedia.com