Tama city employees will pay a bigger share of their health insurance deductible amount effective Dec. 1. The city council voted 4-0 during a special meeting Monday night, Sept. 9, to raise the amount for which employees are responsible from the current $500 to $1,500. Under the new plan the city will continue to pick up deductibles at a rate of $1,500 after the employee payments.
Tama pays the entire premium amount for its 14 employees. Currently, Tama city workers pay $500 deductible under a plan which costs Tama $16,758 monthly.
The move was prompted by the soon-to-be-implemented federal Affordable Care Act- Obamacare. Jake Jacobson, Independent Insurance representative - the city's carrier - told the council in August "Everything in (health) insurance changes on Jan. 1, 2014."
He said Iowa insurance companies have agreed to offer plans to small groups prior to the deadline.
If the city were to continue to offer the same coverage the cost would jump 19 percent to $19,957 monthly.
Under the plan adopted Monday, the city's premiums will rise 9.2 percent or to $18,306 monthly.
Council members Kenny McAdoo and Steve Baier agreed raising the deductibles paid by employees allowed the council an avenue to continue to consider annual pay raises. McAdoo said the city only has so much revenue and holding down the insurance costs allows some flexibility.