Report: Granby, town highway workers, could save with ‘Obamacare’

By Scott Allardice

The federal Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” could change the way the Town of Granby provides health insurance for its highway department employees.

And it could save both the town and the workers money.

At the Oct. 9 meeting, the town board heard a presentation from Brooks Wright, of KBM Management, Inc., on an alternative health insurance plan for the five highway employees.

Wright explained the workers, members of the Teamsters Union, are covered under a plan through the union. This plan costs the town $124,946 this year.

But under a plan through Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Wright said, the town could provide coverage for $105,348, a savings of almost $20,000.

The benefits, Wright said, “are pretty similar to what they have now.” The cost savings, Wright indicated, could be greater depending on the demand for services by the employees.

The employees also could see a drop in their contributions toward health insurance of about $100 per month.

The town is negotiating a new contract with the Teamsters Union employees. The employees would have to approve any change in health insurance plans.

Town Supervisor Ed Williamson said he wanted to set up a meeting with the workers and Brooks Wright so the alternative plan could be presented and explained to them.

Wright also discussed the insurance coverage for the town’s non-unionized workers. Those workers also would get their coverage through Excellus, but the monthly premiums for the town would increase slightly; $28 for individual coverage and $140 for family coverage.

In other business at the meeting, the board:

** Learned that Gordon Marvin had resigned as a member of the planning board, effective Sept. 14. The board authorized the town clerk advertise for a replacement.

** Accepted a $785 bid from Sunrise Construction for work in the town hall conference room that includes patching holes in the wall, painting walls and new wood baseboards.

** Approved a request from Judge Bruce Wells for permission to apply for grants from the state Office of Court Administration.

** Noted that the board had received the resignation of Councilor Joseph Cortini, effective Sept. 27.

** Agreed to pay the town’s scrap recycling firm 25 cents a pound for electronics dropped off at the recycling shed.

** Accepted an offer from Williamson of $15 for a surplus cabinet from the highway department.

** Agreed to hold a public hearing on the preliminary 2014 town budget at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 23 at the town hall, 820 county Route 8.

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