City of Shreveport to raise health insurance premium for city employees

Shreveport Government Plaza
Shreveport Government Plaza
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 2:58 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The City of Shreveport has made the decision to raise the health insurance premium for employees of the city.

On Sept. 24, the Shreveport Police Officer’s Association shared a letter on their Facebook page, asking the Shreveport City Council to vote against the increases. The group says the increase is “unacceptable” and “an insult to those that serve during the most dangerous times in our history.”

The letter goes on to say the increase will have an impact on retaining officers, something that has been an ongoing issue for SPD.

“My members don’t understand why with all the other money, and all the other income that the city has that we have to raise the interest rates on already struggling families,” said Vice President of the Shreveport Police Officer Association Anthony Sutis.

He said first they asked for a raise and did not get the requested amount, and now this.

“I spoke with an officer that’s been with the department about a year, and he indicated that his gross check before taxes is between $1,500 to $1,700 a paycheck ,and after taxes, insurance and our retirement, he said it’s around $1,100 dollars. And this was an 80 dollars increase for me,” he said.

Sutis said they are trying to recruit and keep officers, and this is not a good idea, As of Aug. 31, 1,644, city employees and dependents are covered by the cities insurance and could see impacts. During a council meeting on Tuesday, Councilman John Nickelson said the increase is because of a deficit in the city’s health care trust fund.

“It’s my view that the allocation of health care cost between employees and the city has not been appropriately managed by past administrations. Year after year those costs have gone up for the city as they have for every employer, and year after year did not cause employees to bear a reasonable share of the cost,” he said.

City Marshal Accountant Macy Bowlin said she has many questions. She chose to stay on the city’s high deductible plan.

“I no longer know what my co-pays are going to be. I don’t know what I’m going to pay when I go to the hospital, you just might pay $130 when you go to the primary care according to benefit counselor. We just need more answers,” she said.

Bowlin said this is impacting many families.

The City of Shreveport made the following statement on the increase:

The Healthcare Trust Fund Board made a tough decision based upon compliance and past actions. We all care about City employees and are currently paying 85% of employees’ health care premiums for those enrolled in the lowest cost plan and 74% for the highest cost plan.

We must remain compliant with the City’s current ordinance relative to health care contributions. There are options available to reduce employee costs. Employees can select a higher deductible plan and there will be cost savings for employees and families. During open enrollment all employees are encouraged to meet with a benefits counselor to make the decision that is best for them and their families.

The increase is set to go into effect in January 2022.

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