Minutes 11/15/18

Meeting Minutes- November 15, 2018


The Churubusco Town Council met for a special meeting on November 15, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall. Members present were Council Members Mark Pepple, Frank Kessler, and Bruce Johnson; and Clerk- Treasurer, Madalyn Sade-Bartl. Also in attendance was Steve Strantz, R&R Benefits; Councilman-elect, Nathan Van Horn; and a Churubusco News reporter.


President Kessler called the meeting to order, welcomed visitors and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll was called by the Clerk-Treasurer. All members were present. Because the meeting was called to discuss health insurance and the salary ordinance, President Kessler suspended public comments and old business and delved into new business.



New Business:

  1. Health insurance plans: Ms. Bartl introduced Steve Strantz from R&R Benefits. He had been working with Ms. Bartl on health insurance options. The plan employees were currently on was increasing by 9%, resulting in an increase of almost $18,000 over the current year. Ms. Bartl explained that while Mr. Strantz was not currently the Town’s agent, he had been kind enough to help her develop some other options because the Town’s current agent was not doing so. Mr. Strantz presented the Council with a proposal which outlined some different options including a Medicare carve-out program and some higher deductible plan options. One plan, a $3000/$6000 deductible plan, was a plan he recommended to the Council. Strantz argued that, although the deductibles were higher with the recommended plan, the cost savings would allow the Town to invest into an employee’s health savings account. Those funds would offset the employee’s overall contribution. He also stated the maximum out of pocket amounts were equal to what the employees currently had. If the Town were to invest $2000 (single)/$4000 (family) into an HSA, employees would not have any increase to what they were responsible for out of pocket given the current plan required an 80/20 match after the $500/$1000 deductible was met. The Council discussed the pros and cons of the higher deductible plan. Mr. Pepple argued that with the increases to premiums, the HSA plan was where the Town was headed anyway and that he liked being on that type of plan. He stated it was great to have the HSA card to use when he needed it. Ms. Bartl stated she liked office visits and prescriptions counted towards the deductible and the max out of pocket, something the current plan did not provide. President Kessler stated he felt the Medicare carve-out program was a no brainer but was hesitant to move to a high deductible plan. He was concerned with an employee’s ability to pay for medical expenses while the HSA was being built up. Mr. Strantz stated the Town would see an annual savings of almost $52,000 with the switch and Medicare carve-out. That money could then be reinvested into the HSA account and even with contributing $2000/$4000, the Town will still save money over the current plan’s renewal rates. That money could then be put into the HSA at the first of the year or quarterly, whichever the Town decides to do. Kessler questioned the Town’s ability to fund the HSA at the beginning of the year. Ms. Bartl stated she did not feel like this would be an issue. Mr. Pepple asked what the next steps were in the process. Mr. Strantz stated the Council would first need to make him the agent of record, so he could negotiate directly with PHP. The Council would then need to pass the Medicare carve-out policy, decide how much of the HSA the Town could fund, and sign the policy renewal. Mr. Strantz would then meet with all the employees to discuss the change in the policy and answer questions. Mr. Johnson made a motion to approve Steve Strantz as the agent of record for the Town’s health insurance needs. Mr. Pepple seconded, and the motion carried 3-0. The Council stated they would have the Town’s attorney look over the policy he presented and would further discuss the insurance changes at the next Council meeting.
  2. 2019 Salary Ordinance: Ms. Bartl asked the Council about the 2019 salary ordinance and whether the Council wished to provide a wage increase for the new year. Mr. Johnson stated he could not see himself voting in favor of a wage increase. Mr. Pepple argued that he didn’t see it as a wage increase, but a cost of living adjustment. Mr. Johnson argued that the employees already receive much more than what other municipal employees receive, and President Kessler countered cited their wages were why the Town does not experience high turnover. More discussion took place concerning the increase. Mr. Johnson made a motion to not increase wages in 2019. Mr. Pepple seconded, and the motion passed 2-1.


Having no other business and after all proper papers were signed, President. Kessler adjourned the meeting.





Council President, Frank Kessler




Council Member, Bruce Johnson



Council Member, Mark Pepple








Madalyn Sade-Bartl, Clerk-Treasurer


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