Firefighters to contribute to health care costs



FLINT TWP. — Firefighters will contribute more toward health insurance costs following action taken by the board of trustees at a recent meeting.

Under provisions of new legislation, the board chose from three funding options laid out by controller Beth Takacs.

They could allocate a “hard cap” cost evenly distributed among the firefighters, or elect to pay an 80 percent cap of health insurance costs or choose the option requiring firefighters to pay 20 percent of costs that would be equally allocated among the members of the firefighters union.

A default option — requiring no action by the board — would have set a hard cap cost the township pays at a maximum of $5,500 for single coverage, $11,000 for a couple and $15,000 for a family, as set forth in provisions of the Enrolled Senate Bill No. 7 also known as the Publicly Funded health Insurance Contribution Act, passed this year.

All collective bargaining agreements executed after September 15 of this year must comply with provisions of this Act.

Full-time township firefighters’ collective bargaining agreement expired Dec. 31, 2010 and no new contract has been ratified.

The board unanimously approved the option which allocates the “hard cap’’ costs equally among eligible firefighters at about $3,176.12 annually per firefighter or $122.16 per pay.

If the board had chosen the 80/20 percent option, the cost per firefighter would have been $3,489.77 a year, about $134 per pay.

Currently the township has two firefighters with couple coverage and nine with family coverage. Costs would increase by an estimated $30.68 per firefighter if any of them chose to drop the township’s insurance coverage.


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