Flagler School Board will vote on adding a health care center for employees

'It’s an intervention to mitigate the cost of claims that we're currently receiving,' Superintendent LaShakia Moore said.

Superintendent LaShakia Moore presents a plaque to Jimmy Sorrentino, Buddy Taylor Middle School's Employee of the Year. File photo by Brent Woronoff
Superintendent LaShakia Moore presents a plaque to Jimmy Sorrentino, Buddy Taylor Middle School's Employee of the Year. File photo by Brent Woronoff
Photo by Brent Woronoff
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On April 16, the Flagler County School Board will vote on whether to add an in-house health care center to its employee insurance plan.

The school district’s insurance committee has recommended that the board agree to a proposal by Everside Health to establish and run the health center.

“It’s an intervention to mitigate the cost of the claims that we're currently receiving (in the district’s self-insurance plan),” Superintendent LaShakia Moore said.

Board members discussed their options for the third time at an agenda workshop on Tuesday, April 2.

Moore told the board that the district will have to increase premiums this year for Flagler Schools employees and their families who are on the health insurance plan regardless of whether or not the health care center is approved.

Claims have been cutting into the district’s insurance reserve fund. Last year, the district came within $100,000 of its health care budget and that window is only going to get smaller, Moore said. 

“What's happening is we've we're having to budget more and more because our claims are higher and higher each year,” Moore said.

In February, Brown & Brown, which runs the district’s self-insurance plan, estimated that costs this year would exceed the current fund by 10%. Due to fewer claims in January and February, Human Resources Chief Bob Ouellette said, it now looks like costs will be over by 8%. 

A health care center will cost over $800,000 after the first year in startup costs, operating and financing expenses, medication and labs, but it is expected to cut down insurance claims each year with a projected cumulative net savings of over $4 million by year five.

The district now projects it will have to increase insurance funding by 12% next year without the health center, 14% with a health center based on a repurposed district or campus site or 17% with a health center in a leased space.

The health center would be free for all employees and their families on the district’s insurance plan. It would include a provider and two medical assistants and be open 40 hours a week. It would provide primary care, pediatric care, acute care (sprains, strains and aches) and chronic condition management and have an onsite lab and pharmacy.

“When we first started presenting this, a large percentage of our our individuals who are enrolled in our insurance plan did not have a primary care physician,” Moore said. “So this will help to provide primary care for those individuals as well. It's also going to allow for us to cut down the cost we have for our drug tests through DOT. This is going to allow for those to go through this health clinic. It's also going to help us with our new employees when they come in and have to do their drug screening.”

The board will also vote on whether to increase district contributions to the insurance plans by 5% to mitigate the premium increases for next year. Most of the employees  who are on the plans currently pay $88.66 a month for the standard plan for employee only. For an employee plus spouse, that jumps to $1,010.19 a month. For a family on the standard plan, the monthly premium is $1,345.36. Of the 1,325 employees on the plans, 836 are on standard plan, employee only.

The health care center would replace a clinic contract with AdventHealth that expired in August. District administrators and Everside representative Shannon Mason said a key to the health center’s success is educating employees about its benefits.

Board chair Will Furry said he would prefer an onsite location for the health center over a leased option.

“It’s a very good deal, I feel like,” board member Christy Chong said.

“They know that this would be a benefit,” Moore said of the board members. “They're just making a decision on whether now is the time to go in that direction?”


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