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Wow, healthcare must be really expensive!

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

For the employer, YES. For the employee - I’ll leave that determination up to you. You may want grab your own healthcare benefit information for comparison - the plans we're going to review are only available to school employees. So, get some coffee and let’s dig in….

School employees have access to the healthcare plans offered through VEHI (The Vermont Education Health Initiative). VEHI determines the plans available to school employees and sets the premium rates each year. The current offering of plans, in order of cost/coverage is Silver CDHP, Gold CDHP, Gold & Platinum. The monthly premiums for those plans for FY 21 (good until June 30, 2021) are as follows:

The arbitrator's award at the end of the first round of statewide bargaining fixed the premium share at 80% employer, 20% employee of the cost of either the Gold CDHP or Silver CDHP plan. For employees selecting the Gold or Platinum plans the employer will cover the amount equivalent to 80% of the Gold CDHP plan. Let's see what that premium split looks like for the employer and the employee.

The premium costs are only part of the equation. There are also out-of-pocket costs to consider. The arbitrator's award required that employers (school districts) fund "first dollar" Health Reimbursement Accounts at the following annual levels:

The "first dollar" HRA arrangement means that the employer covers the initial out-of-pocket costs before the employee is required to contribute. As an example, for a teacher enrolled in a family plan their $800 contribution would come after the employer has already covered the first $4,200 of out-of-pocket costs.

Let's end with an example: For a teacher enrolled in the Gold CDHP Single person plan they will pay $1,740 in annual premiums and in the "worst case scenario" need to cover the final $400 of out of pocket costs. This would be a total possible cost to the employee of $2,140.

For that same employee the school district will cover $6,984 in annual premium cost and $2,100 in HRA contributions. A total of $9,084.

Stay tuned for the next blog post where we'll dig into these benefits a little deeper.

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