Stafford schools chooses new healthcare provider for retirees

Stafford County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Kizner.

Retirees formerly employed by Stafford County Public Schools will soon have a different health insurance provider.

The School Board has unanimously approved a one-year contract with United Healthcare as the new retiree supplemental group health insurance provider for retirees who are eligible for Medicare Part B.

This new provider comes as a result of  ‘a joint request for proposals for services with Stafford County Public Schools and the Stafford County Government,’ according to a Stafford County School Board meeting agenda.

This change, effective January 1, is set to benefit the school division’s 548 retirees, as well as 155 members of the local government by giving them lower premium costs and benefit enhancements.

  • Retirees’ premiums will now be $412.05 per policy, a $133.81 decrease from the division’s previous insurance provider The Hartford and Express Scripts, and their benefits will also now include hearing aid assistance and a fitness program.
  • These changes will not, however, affect the Retiree Health Insurance Reimbursement program nor coverage for supplemental benefits.

Most retirees and their spouses will additionally see a change in monthly contribution to their insurance plans, depending on the amount Stafford County Public Schools subsidizes for them, with the higher the subsidy meaning the lower the change in contribution.

Those receiving a 100% subsidy will see a $0 change, a 75% subsidy will see a $34 change, a 50% subsidy will see a $67 change, a 25% subsidy will see a $1oo change, a 15% subsidy will see a $114 change, a 0% subsidy will see a $134 change, and spouses of retirees will see a $134 change.

“Stafford County’s goal is for retirees to experience a smooth transition from the current insurers to UHC [United Healthcare],” stated a presentation given to the Stafford County School Board.

In addition to retirees, the school division is also set to benefit from this change. With United Healthcare, it is set to save $900,000 in total annual costs and $500,000 in total net annual costs. Previously, it cost the school division $3.6 million annually to provide retirees with insurance, but with their new contract with United Healthcare, it will only cost $2.7 million annually.

These savings come at a difficult financial time for the school division, as it is dealing with the implications and impact of the new coronavirus on its procedures and revenue flow.

“Stafford County went out to bid for an insurer with the primary goal of protecting the benefits for its Medicare retirees, to the maximum extent possible. Savings were not a goal, but also not an unexpected outcome due to: a competitive bid process, fewer fees for administration, and no commissions,” stated a presentation given to the Stafford County School Board.

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